The Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program has been expanded to all taxpayers who can verify their identities.
The Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit code known only to you and the IRS. It helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using your personally identifiable information.
The IP PIN allows your tax account to be locked down and, therefore, serves as the key to opening that account. If an electronic return does not contain the correct IP PIN, the filing will be rejected. Paper returns will also go through additional security measures.
The IRS launched the IP PIN program nearly a decade ago to protect confirmed identity theft victims from ongoing tax-related fraud. In recent years, the IRS expanded the program to specific states where taxpayers could voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program. Now, the voluntary program is going nationwide.
About the IP PIN Opt-In Program
Here are a few key things to know about the IP PIN Opt-In program:
- This is a voluntary program.
- You must pass a rigorous identity verification process.
- Spouses and dependents are eligible for an IP PIN if they can verify their identities.
- An IP PIN is valid for a calendar year.
- You must obtain a new IP PIN each filing season.
- The online IP PIN tool is offline between November and mid-January each year.
- To avoid rejections and delays, correct IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns.
- Never share your IP PIN with anyone but your trusted tax professional. The IRS will never call, text, or email requesting your IP PIN.
- Beware of scams to steal your IP PIN.
- There currently is no opt-out option, but the IRS is working on one for 2022.
How To Get An IP PIN
If you want an IP PIN for 2021, go to IRS.gov/IPPIN and use the Get an IP PIN tool. This online process will require you to verify your identity using the Secure Access authentication process if you do not already have an IRS account.
See IRS.gov/SecureAccess for the information you will need to be successful. There is no need to file a Form 14039, an Identity Theft Affidavit, to opt into the program.
Your 2021 IP PIN will be revealed to you immediately once you have authenticated your identity. This PIN must then be used when prompted by electronic tax returns or entered by hand near the signature line on paper tax returns.
All taxpayers are encouraged to use the online IP PIN tool first to obtain their IP PIN. Taxpayers who cannot verify their identities online do have options.
If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less, complete Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, and mail or fax it to the IRS. An IRS customer service representative will contact you and verify your identity by phone. You should have your prior-year tax return at hand for the verification process.
If you verify your identity through this process, you will have an IP PIN mailed to you the following tax year. This is for security reasons. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to you each year.
If you cannot verify your identity online or by phone and are ineligible to file Form 15227, you can contact the IRS and make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify your identity in person. You should bring two forms of identification, including one government-issued picture identification.
Those who verify their identities through the in-person process will have an IP PIN mailed to them within three weeks. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.
No Change for Confirmed Identity Theft Victims
If you are a confirmed identity theft victim or have filed an identity theft affidavit because of suspected stolen identity refund fraud, you will automatically receive an IP PIN via mail once your case is resolved.
Current tax-related identity theft victims who have been receiving IP PINs via mail will experience no change.
A Final Note
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