IRS Identity Protection PIN Goes Nationwide



Last year, the IRS expanded its voluntary program which allows taxpayers who are not currently victims of tax return identity theft to obtain an identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN) to seven additional states, including Michigan. In a memo to tax professionals last week, the IRS announced that it will be expanding that program nationwide beginning January 2021.  

In order to obtain an IP PIN, taxpayers will use the ‘Get and IP PIN’ tool on Tax professionals need not file Form 14039 for those clients opting into the program unless their client is a victim of tax-related identity theft. Once a six-digit IP PIN is assigned, clients and tax preparers will need that PIN for use on tax prep products and electronic returns filed without a correct IP PIN will be rejected, according to the notice.  

The memo also stated that each IP PIN is only valid for one calendar year, so clients will need to obtain a new IP PIN every year at the start of the filing season using their IP PIN account. It is important to note that the IRS does not currently have an option to opt-out of the program once someone opts in though the function is planned to be added later. Tax professionals should advise their clients accordingly. 

Additionally, a Form 15227 will be made available in January 2021 for those taxpayers who earned $72,000 or less and are unable to authenticate their identities online. Those who fall into this category can expect a call from an IRS assistor who will verify their identity with a series of questions. They will receive an IP PIN at the start of the next calendar year upon verification. Those that earn above $72,000 will have the option, once vetted, to verify their identity in person at an IRS office and receive their IP PIN within 3 weeks of authentication.  

So far, the process for victims of tax-related identity theft remains unaffected by the expansion of the IP PIN program. The IRS stated that 2020 will be a “test-and-learn year” so tax professionals should keep an ear to the ground as additional changes will likely occur after the expansion is implemented. The MICPA will continue to watch this issue closely and report on any changes as they occur. 

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Source: MICPA

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