Identity Theft Victims Now Safeguarded With Pin Number
- March 20th, 2015
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With roughly 10 million annual cases, identity theft ranks as America’s top consumer complaint. As a result, securing personal data is now a big priority for identity theft victims and many other citizens. To ease these concerns, the IRS has responded with a solution: the Identity Protection Pin.
What is an Identity Protection Pin?
The Identity Protection Pin is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to prevent hijacking of their Social Security number. This pin number verifies a taxpayer’s identity to prevent another person from filing a tax return with their Social Security number. The Identity Protection Pin must be used when filing all future tax returns.
Who is eligible?
Since 2011, identity theft victims whose cases have been resolved with the IRS were eligible to receive Identity Protection Pins. Last year, the pins were offered to the general public as a pilot program in Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C.
Why is the pin necessary?
In the United States, identity theft is projected to increase rapidly in the next few years. As more and more taxpayers prepare online filings, a person’s identity has become easier to steal. After stealing a Social Security number, a criminal can falsify income and tax information to receive a fraudulent refund from the IRS. Once a scammer files a return with an individual’s Social Security number, identity theft victims become unable to file their own return, because the IRS rejects all duplicate returns.
How do identity theft victims apply?
Identity theft victims should receive a CP01F Notice from the IRS inviting them to receive a secure IP Pin. This notification grants the ability to create an online account to verify your identity. The pin must be used when filing all future tax returns. Taxpayers are urged not to share their pin with anyone except their tax preparer.
In the event of a possible security breach, identity theft victims should first notify the IRS. But be prepared to wait. Typically, an identity theft case takes as long as six months to resolve.
JRH & Associates, Inc., is an accounting, tax, and business consulting firm backed by over 20 years of experience. If you have any further questions about whether an Identity Protection Pin is right for you, or any other accounting questions, please feel free to call JRH Associates at 516-794-5752.