IRS Expands the IP PIN Opt-In Program: A Key to Protect Your Identity

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January 15, 2021
Karen Tobin
SmithAmundsen Corporate Alert

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expanded the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to all taxpayers who can verify their identities. Up until now the IRS provided an Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program IP six-digit number only to confirmed identity theft victims and (in specific states) to others on a voluntary basis. However, beginning in 2021, taxpayers anywhere in the U.S. who wants an IP PIN, even if they are not victims of identity theft, may obtain one. This will help taxpayers protect their identities and also help the IRS verify taxpayers’ identities. This additional six- digit figure will serve as the key to open your account.

There is a rigorous identity verification process. Taxpayers with either a social security number or an individual tax identification number who can verify their identities are eligible. To obtain the IP PIN, go to the IRS.gov/IPPIN website and use the Get an IP PIN TOOL. Once you have authenticated your identity, your 2021 IP PIN will be immediately revealed. Your IP PIN must be applied on all tax returns or they will be rejected. IP PINS are only good for one year, so you will need to obtain a new IP PIN annually. 

Taxpayers should attempt to verify their identities online, but those who can’t have other options. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less may complete a Form 15227 Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number and mail or fax it to the IRS. An IRS Customer Service representative will contact them to verify their identity. Alternatively, you may also visit the Taxpayer Assistance Center and bring two forms of picture identification to enable in-person identity verification. An IP PIN will then be mailed within three weeks.

There is no change to the existing program in place for confirmed victims of identity theft who are already in the IP PIN program. They will continue to receive a CP01A Notice with a new IP PIN each year.

The IRS notes that they will never call you or request your IP PIN. Do not reveal your IP PIN to anyone but your trusted tax advisor. Employers are encouraged to print and share IRS Publication 5367 with their employees.