According to a 2019 report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax administration, 3-million tax returns were flagged due to suspected identity theft. Of those 3 million returns pulled for further verification, 13,737 were confirmed victims of identity theft. This number is projected to grow annually and when a taxpayer falls victim to identity theft often times a fraudulent tax return is filed in an attempt to obtain funds from the respective tax agencies.

One way the IRS combats identity theft is through the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) program. Once a unique IP PIN is issued to a taxpayer the PIN must be used on the individual tax return or else it will be rejected. Historically these IPPINs were given to victims of ID theft after a fraudulently filed return, however, on December 2, 2020, the program has been updated to allow for voluntary applications. Taxpayers that want to obtain an IP PIN must apply here and be able to pass a rigorous identity verification process which may request verification on the following:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Tax Return filing status
  • Prior year tax liabilities

If the online tool is not accessible the taxpayer may file Form 15227 (Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number) or visit their local IRS branch by making an appointment here.

Do note this IP PIN changes from year to year and is only valid in the applicable tax year stated on the notice generated with the IP PIN.

For more information or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter please contact your WilkinGuttenplan advisor.

WG Observation: Due to scheduled maintenance the online application tool will not be available until mid-January 2021.