PIN Opt-In Program from the IRS will be expanded to all taxpayers.
Until now, an Identity Protection PIN, or IP PIN was for fraud victims and was used to prevent future fraudulently filed tax returns. Now, eligible taxpayers may obtain an IP PIN. IP PINs are valid for one calendar year, and a new IP PIN must be obtained each year. The six-digit PIN helps the IRS confirm the identity of the taxpayer and accept their return. PINs are specific to an individual. PINs are specific to an individual. It is recommended that if the taxpayer applies for a PIN, spouses and dependents filing on the same return should apply for their own PIN.
The IRS Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program will not be available until mid-January 2021 due to scheduled year-end maintenance. When it is open for applications, the most efficient way to complete the process is to use the Get An IP PIN online tool. You may also make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center if you cannot complete the process online.
According to the IRS website, applicants “must pass a rigorous identity verification process.” Additionally, spouses and dependents may apply for the PIN. To file an online application, you must have:
- A valid Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Verified Identity
To verify your identity, you will need to have an Online Services Account. The information you will need to establish that account is:
- Email address
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
- Tax filing status and mailing address
- One financial account number linked to your name:
- Credit card – last 8 digits (no American Express, debit, or corporate cards) or
- Student loan information
- Mortgage or home equity loan or
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC) or
- Auto loan
- A mobile phone linked to your name (for faster registration) or the ability to receive an activation code by mail
Remember, the IRS will never call or email you to ask for sensitive information like your Social Security Number or banking information. If you receive a notice in the mail, we encourage you to confirm its authenticity with your CPA or EA. Identity thieves are very good at impersonating local, state, and federal tax offices.
Tara is a tax manager and business advisor at Wilke & Associates. She currently serves and has enjoyed working with small businesses throughout her career. Her resume includes serving clients in the small business community in various business sectors through tax advice, planning, and financial organization.