Written By: Cristi Jones, CPA, Partner
It is a frustrating ordeal for many of our clients that submit their income tax return only to be told that a tax return has already been filed in their social security number. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing thefts nationwide and is currently one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. All it takes for a criminal to file a return using your identity is your social security number, date of birth, and a false W2.
Theft of a taxpayer’s identity results in additional forms to be filed with the IRS and delay of refunds. The Internal Revenue Service is now offering the Identity Protection PIN to all taxpayers who filed their federal tax returns last year from Florida, Georgia, and District of Columbia as part of a pilot program to combat this issue. These locations have the highest per-capital percentage of tax-related identity theft.
The Identity Protection PIN is a six digit PIN. Once in place, the PIN is required in order to file a tax return whether electronically or by paper. Once you receive an IRS PIN, you can not opt out. You must use this PIN to confirm your identity on all federal tax returns you file in the current year and subsequent year.
If you would like to obtain an IRS PIN, you will need your social security number, date of birth, email address, filing status, and the mailing address from your most recently filed tax return. You must have access to your email account to confirm your email address and you will also have to answer a few personal, financial, and tax related questions to confirm your identity. The IRS website has a page http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-An-Identity-Protection-PIN which has more information, can help determine your eligibility, and will allow you to setup a PIN.
If you have any questions regarding whether an IRS PIN is appropriate in your situation, please do not hesitate to contact our office.