When the IRS begins the 2020 tax filing season, taxpayers in selected locations will be eligible to opt into the online Identity Protection PIN program.
Taxpayers will be eligible for this voluntary program if they filed a federal tax return last year from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.
The IP PIN is a 6-digit number that adds another layer of protection for taxpayers’ Social Security numbers and helps protect against tax-related identity theft.
The IRS has issued IP PINs to confirmed identity theft victims since 2011. In recent years, the IRS has been expanding the program to taxpayers who are not confirmed identity theft victims but who may want this additional protection.
Taxpayers opting into the IP PIN program must use the online Get an IP PIN tool at IRS.gov/IPPIN.
The IRS has created a new publication – Publication 5367, Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program for Taxpayers – to help taxpayers understand the required steps. Please share with clients who are interested in this program. The publication is in English and Spanish. It can be printed and distributed, or the link may be shared.
Here are a few factors taxpayers should consider:
- The identity verification process is, by design, rigorous. Not everyone will be able to authenticate their identities and obtain an IP PIN.
- Taxpayers cannot call the IRS to obtain an IP PIN. The IRS is working on alternatives to the online process, but one is not yet in place.
- A new IP PIN must be obtained each year from the online tool.
- Taxpayers should never share their IP PIN with anyone but their tax preparer to file their tax return. The IRS will not call or email to request an IP PIN. People should be on guard against identity thieves seeking their IP PINs.
Before making this program available nationwide, the IRS is expanding it in phases to ensure there is no adverse impact on existing systems. After the 2020 filing season, the IRS will decide whether to add additional states or expand nationwide.
Until then, the IRS is seeking assistance from tax professionals and others to help inform taxpayers in the 20 locations of their eligibility. Your help in spreading the word is greatly appreciated. Again, the Get an IP PIN tool will be available at the start of the 2020 filing season.