The Importance of Understanding Your IP PIN and Setting Up an IRS Account

Secure Your Identity

An IP PIN is a 6-digit code assigned to you by the IRS to prevent tax fraud and identity theft. The IRS will either automatically assign you an IP PIN if they detect your information has been compromised, or you can request one yourself. Your IP PIN changes annually and is generated by the IRS.

If you have an IP PIN, it must be used when filing your tax return or e-filing. If not entered, your return will be rejected. Neither your accountant nor tax software can generate or retrieve your IP PIN for you. The only way to obtain your IP PIN is by setting up an IRS account, which requires verification of your identity. Opening an account helps safeguard you from fraudulent filings in your name.

Access Important Tax Information

Opening an account on IRS.gov provides many benefits for taxpayers and accountants alike. Through your account, you can:

  • Check your tax balance and payment history instantly. No more waiting for notices in the mail. See payments made, refunds issued, and any amount still owed immediately.
  • Access tax transcripts immediately for various needs like applying for a mortgage. Transcripts provide your full tax filing and income history for current and many past years.
  • Review any tax notices from the IRS digitally. Both you and your accountant have access to the same notices instantly which helps in resolving any issues and preparing an accurate tax return.
  • Change your address, set up payment plans and more right within your IRS account.

How to set up your IP Pin

Here are the steps to request an IP PIN from the IRS:

  1. Gather the required information. You will need your Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status, and addresses from the past two years.
  1. Visit IRS.gov/IPPIN and select “Get an IP PIN”. This will take you to the IRS’s ID Verification Service (IDVerify) screening.
  1. Create an IDVerify account or log in with an existing account like ID.me. Follow the steps to verify your identity which includes entering personal information and your Social Security number.
  1. Review and sign the IRS IP PIN Consent agreement. This allows the IRS to issue you an IP PIN.
  1. Provide a mobile phone number or email to use for identity verification or to receive a security code.
  1. Answer security questions to help verify your identity. Some examples include questions about addresses where you have lived or vehicles you have owned.
  1. Provide documentation to verify your identity if requested. This may include images of your driver’s license, passport or Social Security card. The documents must be authentic and unedited.
  1. Your IP PIN will be generated in about 15 business days. It will be mailed to the address you have on file with the IRS. This IP PIN will be needed when filing your tax return. (Remember, your accountant cannot call or log in to retrieve this for you.)
  1. Use your IP PIN when e-filing or filing a paper tax return. It must be entered correctly, or your tax return will be rejected.
  1. Continue using your IP PIN annually as it will change each year. It will be mailed automatically about three weeks before the start of the tax filing season.
  1. Be sure to keep your IP PIN confidential and share only with your accountant or tax preparer. Using an IP PIN helps prevent fraudulent tax filings using your social security number and gives you extra security and peace of mind. Let the IRS know right away if your IP PIN is lost or stolen.

Convenience and Security

While the thought of setting up an IRS account or dealing with IP PINs and tax notices may seem daunting, the convenience and security they provide makes the process worthwhile. Having online tools to monitor and maintain your tax accounts means peace of mind and convenient electronic access to your tax data and transcripts.

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