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Protecting Your Financial Identity: The Importance of the IRS IP-PIN

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Business, Business Tips, News

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, safeguarding your financial Identity is paramount. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a powerful tool to enhance Identity protection—the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). With over 8 million taxpayers already on board, urging your employees and clients to acquire an IP PIN is a crucial step in fortifying their defenses against identity theft.

Understanding the IP PIN: A Shield Against Tax-Related Identity Theft

What is an IP PIN?

The IP PIN is a 6-digit number issued by the IRS, known only to the taxpayer and the IRS. This extra layer of security is entered whenever an electronic tax return is filed or next to the signature line on a paper return.

Why is it Important?

Identity theft often involves filing false tax returns, and the IP PIN acts as a robust deterrent. Once assigned, the IRS will not accept a tax return without it, ensuring that only the legitimate taxpayer can file.

How to Obtain an IP PIN: Ensuring a Secure Process

  1. Through the IRS’s ID.me Website:  Most taxpayers opt for this method to validate their personal identity. By navigating through the IRS’s ID.me website, individuals can authenticate their identity before proceeding to obtain their unique IP PIN.
  2. Form 15227: Alternative for Identity Validation:  For those unable to validate their identity through ID.me, Form 15227, the “Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN),” provides an alternative. This form can be filled out online, and once submitted, the IRS will contact the taxpayer to validate their identity.
  3. Taxpayer Assistance Center Appointment: In-Person Validation:  Making an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center is another option. By bringing appropriate identification to the appointment, individuals can validate their identity in person, ensuring a secure process.

Key Details About IP PIN: Your Shield in the Fight Against Fraud

  1. Annual Renewal:  An IP PIN is valid for one year, automatically renewed and mailed to the taxpayer each January. This ensures continuous protection against identity theft.
  2. Limited Sharing:  Share your IP PIN only with a trusted tax preparer. There is no need to disclose it to other tax or financial advisors. Restricting access enhances the effectiveness of this security measure.
  3. Beware of Fraud Attempts:  The IRS will never request the IP PIN via telephone, email, or text. Any such request is a red flag for attempted fraud. Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
  4. Personal Application:  Crucially, the taxpayer must personally apply for the IP PIN. A tax professional cannot obtain one on behalf of someone else, ensuring the integrity of the application process.

Conclusion: A Unified Front Against Identity Theft

As we step into an era where digital transactions are the norm, securing our financial identity is non-negotiable. The IRS Identity Protection PIN provides a formidable defense against tax-related identity theft. By encouraging your employees and clients to obtain their IP PINs, you contribute to a collective effort in building a more secure financial landscape. Let’s empower ourselves and others to safeguard what matters most—our financial well-being. [IR-2023-134]

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