Do you have an IRS Identity Protection PIN?

Every week this year we’re going to come to you with either a market update, a client spotlight, or an idea. Something that you can apply to your finances. This week, the idea that I want to get across, I think, is a really important one.

I’ve had a couple of meetings recently with some really prominent CPAs here in Denver. One of the big concerns they have all expressed to me is, unfortunately, a lot of fraudulent tax returns get filed every year. I don’t want to see that happen, of course, to any of you.

What is an IP PIN?

There’s a step you can take to help protect yourself. That is by filing for an Identity Protection PIN or an IP PIN. What that is, it’s a six digit number that prevents someone from filing a tax return using your Social Security number or your individual taxpayer identification number. Your IP PIN is only known by you and the IRS. It helps them verify your identity when you file that return.

Applying for an IP PIN online

If you don’t already have one, you can get an IP PIN. We’ve included a link on the IRS website here that will take you to the correct location so that you can file for a PIN.

You will have to validate your identity. There are some steps to do that. You’re going to have to jump through hoops or two, because they do want to validate that it is you for that correct PIN. The fastest way to do it is to use the online system and to go through those steps on the IRS.gov website.

Applying in-person

If you don’t want to do it online, there are a couple of other ways where you can register and do that through paper. You can also set up a time to meet with an IRS employee in person to get that done. Click here to make an appointment with your local IRS office to begin that process.

Protect your PIN

Remember, the correct PIN has to be entered on your tax return. Make sure to only share your IP PIN with your tax preparer—your CPA. If someone is asking for your PIN via text, phone call, email, anything, it is a scam. Unfortunately, I know we all come across those types of situations at times, but just understand that the IRS is trying to protect you.

Like I said, I’ve met with a lot of CPAs recently and this is one of their biggest concerns that all of them have voiced. I encourage all of you to go about getting your PIN. I started that process yesterday. You do have to jump through a couple of hoops.


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