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Identity Protection PIN Available to ALL Taxpayers in January

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.

Eligibility

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.

Applying online

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
    • Mortgage
    • 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.

Applying in-person

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 tlalbanese@bmdllc.com or (330) 253-9195.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.