Beginning in January 2021, the IRS will allow all taxpayers who can properly verify his/her identity to obtain an Identity Protection PIN. An Identity Protection PIN (“IP PIN”) is a six-digit number assigned to a specific taxpayer to assist in preventing the misuse of a taxpayer’s social security number on fraudulent federal tax returns. Previously, only confirmed victims of identity theft who resolved his/her tax issues with the IRS were eligible for an IP PIN.
To be eligible for the IP PIN Opt-in Program, a taxpayer must pass a rigorous identity verification process. Spouses and dependents are eligible for an IP PIN if he/she can also pass the identity verification process.
How to get an IP PIN
In order to participate in the IP PIN Opt-in Program, a taxpayer may apply online, mail in Form 15227, or in certain circumstances, may make an in-person appointment.
Taxpayers who apply online should use the “Get an IP PIN” tool on the IRS website. The taxpayer will need to create an account on IRS.gov if one has not already been created previously. When creating an account, the taxpayer should have the following readily accessible:
- Email address
- Social Security Number
- Tax filing status and mailing address
- One financial account number linked to the taxpayer’s name such as:
- Credit card
- Student Loan
- Home Equity Line of Credit
- Auto Loan
- Mobile phone linked to the taxpayer’s name or the ability to receive an activation code by mail
Once logged in to the Get an IP Pin tool, the taxpayer’s IP PIN will be immediately displayed.
Applying by mail
Taxpayer’s whose income is $72,000 or less may complete Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number. This Form may be mailed or faxed to the IRS and will be available in January 2021. After receipt, an IRS employee will call the taxpayer to verify his/her identity using a series of questions. If the taxpayer successfully verifies his/her identity, an IP PIN will be assigned for the following tax year. If a taxpayer chooses to file a Form 15227, caution should be used when the IRS agent calls to ensure the caller is not a scammer.
For taxpayer’s who cannot verify his/her identity remotely or are ineligible to file Form 15227, an in-person appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center may be made. The taxpayer should take two forms of picture identification with them to the appointment. If the taxpayer successfully verifies his/her identity at the in-person appointment, the IRS will mail an IP PIN to him/her within three weeks.
Things to Know if an IP PIN is issued
Taxpayer’s should be aware of that IP PINs are only valid for one year. Each January, the taxpayer must obtain a new IP PIN. IP PINs must also be entered correctly on the federal tax return or the return may be rejected or delayed
For additional questions related to the identity theft and the IP PIN program, please contact BMD Tax Law Attorney Tracy Albanese at firstname.lastname@example.org or (330) 253-9195.