Tax-related identity theft is unfortunately here to stay. Taking proactive steps such as requesting an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS can help prevent fraudulent tax filings using a taxpayer’s personal information.
What is an IP PIN and how is an IP PIN obtained?
An Identity Protection (IP) PIN is a six-digit number assigned to a taxpayer and only applies to Forms 1040, 1040-NR, 1040-SR, and 1040-SS. Having an IP PIN is an additional method of verifying a taxpayer’s identity since the number is only known to the IRS and to the taxpayer.
A taxpayer may be issued an IP PIN as a result of a confirmed case of tax-related identity theft. In this instance, the IRS will mail the affected taxpayer a CP01A notice with his or her IP PIN.
The taxpayer may also choose to request an IP PIN. A taxpayer who has a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is eligible to request an IP PIN if their identity can be verified successfully. Taxpayers can request an IP PIN the following ways:
- Taxpayers can get an IP PIN through the IRS website. This is the quickest way to obtain an IP PIN. If the taxpayer’s identity is successfully verified, the taxpayer will receive the IP PIN online. Each year, the taxpayer will need to access the IRS website to obtain their new IP PIN. Taxpayers who request an IP PIN online will not receive their IP PIN in the mail.
- Individuals with income below $73,000 ($146,000 for married filing jointly) according to the taxpayer’s most recent tax return filing can complete Form 15227 (per most recent Form 15227 dated January 2022). Form 15227 must include the taxpayer’s name, address, SSN or ITIN, and a phone number. The IRS will call the taxpayer to verify their identity, and an IP PIN will be mailed.
- Taxpayers can request an IP PIN in-person at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center. Taxpayers must bring one non-expired form of government identification and another identifying document. The taxpayer’s IP PIN will then be mailed.
Once an IP PIN is issued for one tax year, a new IP PIN is issued every tax year following the initial IP PIN request.
What happens after requesting an IP PIN?
Taxpayers issued an IP PIN must include their IP PIN when filing their tax returns each year. This may include the taxpayer, spouse, and any other individual claimed on the return (such as a dependent child). Failure to provide an IP PIN or providing an incorrect IP PIN with the tax return will result automatic rejection to electronically file and may require the tax return to be filed by paper. Filing by paper without an IP PIN may delay processing until the taxpayer’s identity can be verified by the IRS.
What happens if a taxpayer loses their IP PIN?
Taxpayers who lose their IP PIN may use the IRS’s Get an IP PIN online tool (linked above) to retrieve their current IP PIN. Taxpayers may also call the IRS at 800-908-4490 for specialized assistance. The IRS will need to verify the taxpayer’s identity and their IP PIN will be mailed to the address of record within three weeks.
If you have questions regarding IRS IP PINs or need further assistance with accounting needs, please contact the professionals at Gilliam Bell Moser today.