With more people working from home and spending more time on the internet both working and shopping, fraudsters have additional opportunities to scare or scam folks out of their identities or money. In the next few blogs, I will talk about steps you can take to protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft. In this first installment, I’ll talk about the IP PIN.

What is an IP PIN?

Some who have been a victim of identity theft were able to work with the IRS to resolve their tax account issues. These individuals will be assigned an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). Starting in mid-January, other taxpayers who can verify their identities may also be able to apply for and receive an IP PIN. The IP PIN is a six-digit code known only to you and IRS.

What is the Advantage of Having an IP PIN?

An IP PIN provides an additional layer of protection for your Social Security number and your identity. The IRS will not accept a tax return with your Social Security number without the IP PIN.

How Do I Apply for an IP PIN?

  • Go to www.irs.gov/ippin and click on “Get an IP PIN.”
    • Only on-line registration is available.  The IRS is working on alternatives for taxpayers without online access.
  • If you do not already have an IRS on-line account, you will need to register with the IRS and verify your identity.
  • You will need the following information to set up the account and verify your identity:
    • Email address.
    • Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification number.
    • Tax filing status and mailing address for your last filed and accepted tax return.
    • One financial account number linked to your name:
      • Credit card—last 8 digits or
      • Student loan or
      • Mortgage or home equity loan or
      • Home equity line of credit or
      • Auto loan.
    • Mobile phone linked to your name or the ability to receive an activation code by mail.

What Else Should I Know About the IP PIN?

Do not share your IP PIN with anyone except your trusted tax provider. Keep in mind that your IP PIN is valid for one calendar year only. You will be able to (and must) obtain a new IP PIN each year. IP PINs are just one more layer of security to protect your identity as we move into 2021. If you have any questions about obtaining a PIN, please reach out! I’d love to help.

Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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