WASHINGTON – The Internal
Revenue Service today expanded the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to
all taxpayers who can verify their identities.

The Identity Protection PIN (IP
PIN) is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and to the IRS. It helps
prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayers’
personally identifiable information.

“This is a way to, in essence,
lock your tax account, and the IP PIN serves as the key to opening that
account,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Electronic returns that do not
contain the correct IP PIN will be rejected, and paper returns will go through
additional scrutiny for fraud.”

The IRS launched the IP PIN
program nearly a decade ago to protect confirmed identity theft victims from
ongoing tax-related fraud. In recent years, the IRS expanded the program to
specific states where taxpayers could voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program.
Now, the voluntary program is going nationwide.

About the IP PIN Opt-In Program
Here are a few key things to know about the
IP PIN Opt-In program:

  • This
    is a voluntary program.

  • You
    must pass a rigorous identity verification process.

  • Spouses
    and dependents are eligible for an IP PIN if they can verify their

  • An
    IP PIN is valid for a calendar year.

  • You
    must obtain a new IP PIN each filing season.

  • The
    online IP PIN tool is offline between November and mid-January each year.

  • Correct
    IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid
    rejections and delays.

  • Never
    share your IP PIN with anyone but your trusted tax provider. The IRS will
    never call, text or email requesting your IP PIN. Beware of scams to steal
    your IP PIN.

  • There
    currently is no opt-out option but the IRS is working on one for 2022.

How to get an IP PIN

Taxpayers who want an IP PIN for 2021 should go to
IRS.gov/IPPIN and use the Get an IP PIN tool. This online
process will require taxpayers to verify their identities using the Secure
Access authentication process if they do not already have an IRS account. See
IRS.gov/SecureAccess for what information you need to be
successful. There is no need to file a Form 14039, an Identity Theft Affidavit,
to opt into the program

Once taxpayers have
authenticated their identities, their 2021 IP PIN immediately will be revealed
to them. Once in the program, this PIN must be used when prompted by electronic
tax returns or entered by hand near the signature line on paper tax returns.

All taxpayers are encouraged to
first use the online IP PIN tool to obtain their IP PIN. Taxpayers who cannot
verify their identities online do have options.

Taxpayers whose adjusted gross
income is $72,000 or less may complete
Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal
Identification Number, and mail or fax to the IRS. An IRS customer service
representative will contact the taxpayer and verify their identities by phone.
Taxpayers should have their prior year tax return at hand for the verification

Taxpayers who verify their
identities through this process will have an IP PIN mailed to them the
following tax year. This is for security reasons. Once in the program, the IP
PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.

Taxpayers who cannot verify
their identities online or by phone and who are ineligible for file Form 15227
can contact the IRS and make an appointment at a
Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify their identities in
person. Taxpayers should bring two forms of identification, including one
government-issued picture identification.

Taxpayers who verify their
identities through the in-person process will have an IP PIN mailed to them
within three weeks. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these
taxpayers each year.

No change for confirmed
identity theft victims

Taxpayers who are confirmed identity theft victims or who have filed an
identity theft affidavit because of suspected stolen identity refund fraud will
automatically receive an IP PIN via mail once their cases are resolved. Current
tax-related identity theft victims who have been receiving IP PINs via mail
will experience no change.

See IRS.gov/IPPIN for additional details.

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