Tax refund fraud is so rampant that you might be looking for other steps you can take to prevent this type of fraud. Thanks to an ongoing pilot program, there are three states where if you’re a resident, you can get an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, called an IP PIN, from the IRS to help prevent your Social Security number being used to file fraudulent federal income tax returns. In this blog post, I will talk about the three states where this is an option, explain more about what an IP PIN is and how to determine your eligibility for the pin.
First, more about the IP PIN. “An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on a fraudulent federal income tax return,” according to the IRS website. Basically, the IP PIN acts as an authentication number that helps the IRS validate the correct owner of the Social Security number listed on the tax return that is designed to prevent tax refund fraud. Each year, the IRS sends new IP PINS in late December or early January by postal mail.
As this blog post points out, “The IP PIN service can be a great way for identity theft victims or simply taxpayers concerned about potential identity theft to further safeguard their tax information against abuse by identity thieves.”
There are basically three ways to get an IP PIN:
- If the IRS has sent you a CP01A Notice containing an IP PIN.
- You received a letter from the IRS inviting you to opt-in to get an IP PIN.
- You filed your federal tax return last year as a resident of Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia. If you live in these states, you do not have to be an identity theft victim in order to participate. These three states have the highest per-capita percentage of tax-related identity theft, according to the IRS, which is why they’re using those states for this pilot program. “This ongoing pilot program helps us evaluate taxpayer demand for the IP PIN and assess our ability to issue the PIN to a larger number of taxpayers,” according to the IRS.
The IRS might issue you an IP PIN if they identify you as a possible victim of identity theft or if you were a previous victim of identity theft.
It’s important to note that once you get an IP PIN, you can’t opt-out but will have to use your IP PIN to confirm your identity every year you file taxes moving forward.
Remember to keep your IP PIN in a safe location and never share it with anyone.
If you filed your federal tax return last year with an address in Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia and you want to get an IP PIN, you’ll have to provide the following information in order to prove your identity and get it:
- Your Social Security number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from the latest tax return
- Access to your email account
- Your credit card number or account number from an auto loan, mortgage, home equity loan or home equity line of credit
- Your mobile phone with your name on the account.
For the full details of these requirements, visit this IRS page.
For a full FAQ regarding the IP PIN, visit this page.
Looking for even more peace of mind (and it is a lot simpler)? Make sure you sign up for LibertyID if you haven’t already. LibertyID is the AAA of identity theft protection, offering the most effective identity theft restoration and protection service. If you’re a member and your identity is stolen, we will fix it. We use a limited power of attorney to resolve the fraud and restore your identity to pre-event status. A certified restoration specialist will handle all of the legwork and keep you informed with regular status updates. But just like with AAA, you have to be covered before there’s an incident.
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