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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.

Provider Relief Funds – Continued Confusion Regarding Reporting Requirements and Lost Revenues

In Fall 2020, HHS issued multiple rounds of guidance and FAQs regarding the reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Funds, the most recently published notice being November 2, 2020 and December 11, 2020. Specifically, the reporting portal for the use of the funds in 2020 was scheduled to open on January 15, 2021. Although there was much speculation as to whether this would occur. And, as of the date of this article, the portal was not opened.

Ohio S.B. 310 Loosens Practice Barrier for Advanced Practice Providers

S.B. 310, signed by Ohio Governor DeWine and effective from December 29, 2020 until May 1, 2021, provides flexibility regarding the regulatorily mandated supervision and collaboration agreements for physician assistants, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse practitioners working in a hospital or other health care facility. Originally drafted as a bill to distribute federal COVID funding to local subdivisions, the healthcare related provisions were added to help relieve some of the stresses hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS Issues Opinion Regarding Illegal Attempts by Drug Manufacturers to Deny 340B Discounts under Contract Pharmacy Arrangements

The federal 340B discount drug program is a safety net for many federally qualified health centers, disproportionate share hospitals, and other covered entities. This program allows these providers to obtain discount pricing on drugs which in turn allows the providers to better serve their patient populations and provide their patients with access to vital health care services. Over the years, the 340B program has undergone intense scrutiny, particularly by drug manufacturers who are required by federal law to provide the discounted pricing.

S.B. 263 Protects 340B Covered Entities from Predatory Practices in Ohio

Just before the end of calendar year 2020 and at the end of its two-year legislative session, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 263, which prohibits insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) from imposing on 340B Covered Entities discriminatory pricing and other contract terms. This is a win for safety net providers and the people they serve, as 340B savings are crucial to their ability to provide high quality, affordable programs and services to patients.

DOL Finalizes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status, But Its Future Is In Jeopardy

On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor announced its final rule regarding independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As described in a prior BMD client alert, this new rule was fast-tracked by the Trump administration after its proposal in September 2020. The new rule is set to take effect on March 8, 2021, and contains several key developments related to the "economic reality" test used to determine whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee under the FLSA.