Do You Have an IP PIN? What They Are and Why You Should Get One

Social Security cards and glasses on top of paper reading "protect your identity"In the ever-evolving landscape of tax regulations and cybersecurity threats, safeguarding your financial information is of paramount importance. One powerful tool in your arsenal is the IRS-issued Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). At Demian & Company CPAs, with our extensive experience in tax preparation, we understand the significance of this added layer of security. If you haven’t yet heard of this form of identity protection, keep reading to learn more about the intricacies of IP PINs, what they are, when they were instituted, their effectiveness, how to obtain one, and most importantly, how an IP PIN can shield you from falling victim to tax scams.

What Is an IP PIN?

An Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) is a six-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to eligible individuals. It serves as an additional layer of protection for their tax returns, preventing fraudulent filings under their Social Security Number (SSN). Essentially, an IP PIN acts as a unique identifier, allowing the IRS to verify the authenticity of your tax return.

IP PINs differ from other types of PINs because they are uniquely generated every year. This means that, each tax season, you will receive a new, unique IP PIN from the IRS. You will use that IP PIN when filing your tax return; if any tax returns are filed in your name without the assigned IP PIN, they will be automatically rejected.

The Genesis of IP PINs

The IRS introduced the IP PIN program as a response to the escalating threat of identity theft and tax-related fraud. The program was initially rolled out on a limited scale, targeting specific regions with higher instances of fraudulent activities. Over time, recognizing its effectiveness, the IRS expanded the program to offer IP PINs to a broader spectrum of taxpayers. It is now available to the majority of taxpayers throughout the country.

Effectiveness of IP PINs

The effectiveness of IP PINs lies in their ability to thwart identity thieves attempting to file fraudulent tax returns using stolen personal information. By requiring the correct IP PIN to accompany the tax return, the IRS ensures that only the legitimate taxpayer can successfully submit their filing. This means that, if your Social Security number or other identifying information has been stolen, the thief still cannot use that data to file a false tax return in your name. This proactive measure significantly reduces the risk of falling victim to tax scams and the associated financial fallout.

How to Obtain an IP PIN

Securing an IP PIN involves a straightforward process facilitated by the IRS. Eligible individuals can opt to obtain an IP PIN through the IRS's online tool or by submitting a paper application. The online tool streamlines the process, providing a quick and secure method for obtaining this crucial identifier. Demian & Company CPAs can guide you through this process, ensuring that all necessary steps are followed accurately.

Protecting Yourself from Tax Scams

The primary purpose of an IP PIN is to safeguard your personal information and finances from falling into the wrong hands. Tax scams, ranging from fraudulent filings to phishing attempts, pose a constant threat. With an IP PIN, you add an extra layer of security, making it significantly more challenging for scammers to impersonate you and submit false tax returns.

At Demian & Company CPAs, we pride ourselves on our extensive experience in tax preparation and our commitment to client security. Our team of seasoned professionals understands the nuances of the IP PIN process and can guide you seamlessly through obtaining your unique identifier. Whether you're a first-time applicant or need assistance with a renewal, our experts are here to ensure that your financial information remains protected.

The importance of an IP PIN cannot be overstated in today's digital age. As threats to personal information continue to evolve, staying one step ahead is crucial. Demian & Company CPAs is your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of obtaining an IP PIN and ensuring your tax returns are filed securely. Take control of your financial security; contact us today to discuss obtaining your IP PIN or for assistance with filing your tax return. Safeguarding your financial future starts with proactive measures, and the experts at Demian & Company CPAs are here to guide you every step of the way.