Thursday, May 1, 2014

IRS Launches 2014 Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) Pilot

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is sharing this information from the Internal Revenue Service to help Florida residents avoid falling victim to tax identity theft.

As part of its comprehensive identity theft strategy, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a limited pilot program to help taxpayers who filed their returns last year from Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia. This additional layer of security for identity theft would be available to taxpayers who need an Electronic Filing PIN (e-file PIN) to submit their tax return this year.

Under the pilot, any taxpayer who filed a tax return from one of those three locations last year and obtains an e-file PIN this year from the IRS may be offered an opportunity to apply for an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). The IRS encourages taxpayers who are offered this opportunity in this pilot program to complete the process to get the IP PIN.

The IRS selected Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia for the pilot because those are the locations with the highest per-capita percentage of tax-related identity theft. The pilot is an expansion of the current IP PIN program, which (generally) has only been used for victims of identity theft. The pilot is not limited to just identity theft victims.

Taxpayers selected for the pilot will be asked a series of questions online to verify their identity. The IRS will not issue an IP PIN to a taxpayer unless that person’s identity has been verified. Filing a return without an IP PIN should not delay processing their return.

The vast majority of taxpayers do not need an e-file PIN to file their taxes. In some cases, a taxpayer must obtain an e-file PIN if they need to e-file a tax return or other electronic forms, but they do not have their Self-Select PIN or Adjusted Gross Income from their 2012 tax return to verify their identity.  In these cases, the taxpayer may request an e-file PIN on the IRS website.

Following the pilot, the IRS will carefully assess the results and performance before deciding on how to proceed with the program.

The IP PIN is a unique six digit number that has been assigned annually to victims of identity theft whose cases have been resolved for use when filing their federal tax return. During this 2014 filing season, the IRS expects to provide more than 1.2 million victims with resolved cases with an IP PIN, up from more than 770,000 the year prior. The IP PIN will allow these individuals to avoid delays in filing returns and receiving refunds. The pilot program is in addition to these efforts.

Identity theft remains a top priority for the IRS. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. The IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible. The IRS has more than 3,000 employees working on identity theft cases. The IRS has trained more than 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize and provide assistance when identity theft occurs.

Taxpayers looking for additional information can consult the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft or the Identity Theft Protection page on the IRS website. For more information on the pilot program, see our questions and answers.

Please visit our website for more information on self-select PINs and e-file PINs.