Obtaining an IP PIN – Identity Theft – Why Do You Need One, What’s The Process, How Do You Know If Your Identity Has Been Compromised, Steps to Obtain an IP PIN with the IRS?
The IRS assigns a verification number to victims of identity theft to ensure that they are able to file their tax returns upon the request of the victimized individual. This number is called an identity protection PIN (IP PIN). It is a six-digit code that only the IRS and the taxpayer know. It prevents identity thieves from using your personally identifiable information and filing fraudulent tax returns.
Why Do You Need An IP PIN?
The main reason why you need an IP PIN is that it helps ensure that identity thieves are unable to use your personally identifiable information. It serves as the key to your tax account. If an electronically filed return does not contain the right IP PIN, it would be rejected. The same goes for paper returns. Anyone can request an IP PIN as the IRS does not only provides an IP PIN to victims of identity theft. With the rise of unemployment tax fraud, it makes sense to obtain an IP PIN.
What’s The Process?
In order to obtain an IP PIN, you have to pass a rigorous identity identification verification process. Only when you complete the process will the IRS provide you with an IP PIN. The program is voluntary. Spouses and dependents can also get an IP PIN by verifying their identities. It is important to keep in mind that the IP PIN is only valid for a single calendar year and a new one would be automatically sent to you every year after you have been verified. You will need to enter the right IP PIN to submit electronic or paper tax returns.
How Do You Know If Your Identity Has Been Compromised?
The following signs reveal if you are a victim of identity theft.
- You receive a letter from the IRS asking you about a suspicious tax return that you do not even remember having filed.
- You receive a tax transcript in your mail which you had not requested.
- You are unable to e-file your tax return due to a duplicate Social Security number.
- You receive an IRS notice stating that an online account has been created under your name.
- You receive an IRS notice stating that your existing online account was accessed or disabled.
- You receive an IRS notice stating that you owe additional tax or informing you of a refund offset.
- IRS records show that you got wages or other income from an employer that you had not even worked for.
- You receive an Employer Identification Number despite having not requested one.
Steps to Obtain an IP PIN with the IRS
- Head over to the IRS website.
- Select the “Get an IP PIN” tool.
- Verify your identity using the Secure Access authentication process if you do not have an IRS account.
- Create your IP PIN.
If you have any more questions about obtaining an IP PIN or need help, you can reach out to us.