IRS Expands Identity Protection Program


What it means to you: IRS recently announced an expansion of their anti-fraud Identity protection program. According to IRS, the IRS 2021 Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) opt-in program is available to all taxpayers. The IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to help prevent Social Security numbers’ misuse on fraudulent federal income tax returns.

An IP PIN will help the IRS verify the taxpayer’s identity and allow them to accept the e-filed or paper filed tax return. The IP PIN is valid for one year and must be obtained each January.
The details: Taxpayers who obtain an IP PIN should never share their code with anyone but their trusted tax provider. The IRS will never call to request the taxpayer’s IP PIN, and taxpayers must be alert to potential IP PIN scams.

The fastest way to get the IP PIN will be through an application online on the IRS website Get An IP PIN. To apply online, the taxpayer will need to pass a rigorous authentication process.  The authentication process is done online through Secure Access, for which the taxpayer will need the following information:

  • Email address
  • Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Tax filing status and mailing address
  • One financial account number linked to your name, which could be:
    • Credit card – last eight digits (no American Express, debit, or corporate cards)
    • Student loan – (you will use the student loan account number)
    • Mortgage or home equity loan
    • Home equity line of credit
    • Auto loan
  • A mobile phone linked to your name (for faster registration) or the ability to receive an activation code by mail

Alternatives are available for those who cannot pass the Secure Access authentication. Taxpayers with incomes of $72,000 should complete Form 15227 and mail or fax it to the IRS. An IRS assistor will call the taxpayer to verify their identity. For additional security reasons, taxpayers who pass authentication will receive an IP PIN the following tax year.

Taxpayers who cannot verify their identities remotely or who are ineligible to file a Form 15227 may make an appointment, visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center and bring two forms of picture identification. For an in-person identity verification, an IP PIN will be mailed to the taxpayer within three weeks.

Have questions? Contact your Smolin advisory team member.