IRS has announced that, following a temporary suspension, it has re-launched its “Get an IP PIN” (Identity Protection Personal Identification Number) tool on its website with a stronger authentication process to help protect taxpayers.
To provide relief to victims of identity theft, IRS began issuing IP PINs to eligible taxpayers in Fiscal Year 2011. An IP PIN is a 6-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that allows their tax returns/refunds to be processed without delay and helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on fraudulent Federal income tax returns.
A taxpayer can receive an IP PIN if he meets one of the following criteria:
- He received an IP PIN last year;
- He received a CP01A (which provides an IP PIN) or CP01F (which invites the taxpayer to obtain an IP PIN because he had a non-tax identity theft issue) notice; or
- He filed his last tax return as a resident of Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia (DC).
Taxpayers receive their IP PINs by regular mail unless they received a CPO1F or the reason they received an IP PIN was their Florida, Georgia or DC residence.
In 2015 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), IRS provided instructions for taxpayers who were assigned an IP PIN, and who lost, misplaced, or didn’t receive the IP PIN in the mail. It said that such a taxpayer had to obtain his IP PIN before he could electronically file his return. He could retrieve his lost IP PIN by following the instructions at IRS’s “Get an IP PIN” webpage. (See Weekly Alert ¶ 34 10/15/2015.)
IRS temporarily suspended online program. Back in March, IRS announced that it had temporarily suspended the IP PIN tool on IRS.gov and provided instructions to taxpayers affected by the suspension. (See Weekly Alert ¶ 43 03/10/2016 for more details.)
Re-launched tool has heightened security features. On July 19, IRS announced that it re-launched the “Get an IP PIN” tool on its website, complete with a multi-factor authentication process that will help prevent automated attacks.
Taxpayers must now verify their identities using a more rigorous “Secure Access” process that requires them to have immediate access to an email address, account information from a credit card or from another type of loan (e.g., a car loan or a home equity line of credit), and a text-enabled mobile phone. New and returning users must follow the Secure Access steps outlined in Fact Sheet 2016-20, 06/07/2016, “How to Register for Get Transcript Online Using New Authentication Process”. (The Get Transcript Online tool was the first to use the Secure Access process, which IRS describes in the Fact Sheet as “in line with…the latest industry practices used by major financial institutions”.)
Please contact us with any questions you may have on this or any other tax items.