IPPIN (March 2021)

Tax Tips

Identity Protection Pin Program

By Michael Aston, E.A.
Alhambra Tax Center


In January, the IRS Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) Opt-In Program was expanded to all taxpayers who can properly verify their identity.

An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help their Social Security number from being used to file fraudulent federal income tax returns. This number helps the IRS verify a taxpayer’s identity and accept their tax return. The online “Get AN IP PIN” tool immediately displays the taxpayer’s assigned number.

This tool uses Secure Access authentication verify a person’s identity. Taxpayers should review the “Secure Access requirements” before they try to use the “Get an IP PIN” tool.

There are other ways to get an IP PIN if someone is unable to pass the Secure Access authentication. Taxpayers with income of $75k or less should complete Form 15227 and mail or fax it to the IRS. An IRS employee will call the taxpayer to verify their identity using a series of questions. Those who pass authentication, an IP PIN will receive and IP PIN the following years.

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

Taxpayers should never share the IP PIN with anyone but their tax provider. The IRS will never call to request the taxpayer’s IP PIN, and taxpayers must be alert to potential IP PIN scams.

Here’s what taxpayers need to know before applying:

·       The “Get and IP PIN” toll became available in January.

·       This is the preferred method of obtaining an IPPIN and the only one that immediately reveals the PIN to the taxpayer.

·       Taxpayers who want to voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program don’t need to file Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.

·       The number is valid for one year. Each January, the taxpayer will be sent a new number.

·       It must be entered correctly on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays.

·       Taxpayers with either Social Security or Individual Tax Identification Number who can verify their identity are eligible for the program.

·       Any primary or secondary taxpayer or dependent can get an IP PIN, if they can prove their identity.

·       The IRS plans to offer and opt out feature to the IP PIN program in 2022.

This article is from the IRS Tax Tips 2020-168, from December 9, 2020.

If IP PIN is for you, my suggestion is for you to wait to apply after you have filed your 2020 tax return to prevent any delays on your 2020 filing.

Any taxpayer that already has an IP PIN because of identity theft can retrieve their IP PIN by going to the “Get an IP PIN” tool at irs.gov.