To assist in safeguarding the identities of taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that come Jan. 2021, its Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program will open to all taxpayers who can verify their identities. IP PINs were put in place as an additional measure to deter criminals from stealing Social Security numbers and using them for fraudulent federal income tax returns. Eligible taxpayers receive a unique, six-digit PIN to help the IRS confirm their identity and accept both paper and electronic tax returns. Doeren Mayhew’s tax advisors explore what you can expect if you choose to opt-in for an IP PIN.

Confirmed victims of identity theft and participants enrolled before 2019 will receive IP PINs annually by mail. Identity theft victims do not have the option to opt-out of the IP PIN program due to security risks. Taxpayers who have not received an IP PIN before can access the IRS’s Get an IP PIN tool to receive their IP PIN. Identity theft victims may also use the Get an IP PIN tool to pull up their PIN if they already were assigned one.

What to Know About IP PINs

Before applying for an IP PIN, take into consideration the following factors:

  • The Get an IP PIN tool will launch in mid-January
  • Individuals who would like to opt into the IP PIN program are not required to file a Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit)
  • IP PINs are only valid for one year
  • PINs must be added to both electronic and paper returns to avoid delays or rejection
  • Individuals who can verify their identities and either have a Social Security number or an Individual Tax Identification Number are eligible for the opt-in program
  • Primary and secondary taxpayers (listed first or second on the tax return) as well as their dependents may be able to receive an IP PIN if they pass identity proofing requirements
  • If the IP PIN program is not right for a taxpayer, the IRS plans to offer an opt-out feature in 2022

If you’re unsure if you should take advantage of the IP PIN program, contact Doeren Mayhew’s tax advisors today.