IRS Suspends Identity Protection Online PIN Program

identity protection PIN programThe IRS has announced that it has temporarily suspended the online Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program due to concerns over the security of the system.  This online program allowed taxpayers to retrieve a lost/forgotten IP PIN or, under certain circumstances, access the program for the first time.

In 2011, the IRS developed the IP PIN as a mechanism for reducing tax-related identity thefts, typically income tax refund fraud, by validating a taxpayer’s identity when filing a federal income tax return.  The system assigns a six-digit number to taxpayers who have previously experienced identity theft and allows voluntary program enrollment for Florida, Georgia, and Washington D.C. – states where taxpayers have experienced high levels of tax-related identity theft.

Taxpayers who already have been issued an IP PIN, and have not lost or misplaced the information, will not be affected by the online program suspension.  These taxpayers should continue to file their returns using their IP PINs.  Please note that recent IRS correspondence (dated January 4, 2016) incorrectly references the IP PIN as being valid for 2014 tax returns. The IRS has emphasized that the IP PIN provided in this correspondence is valid for filing 2015 income tax returns.

Taxpayers who have been assigned an IP PIN, but have lost or misplaced the information, should call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.  Upon successful identity verification, the IRS will mail an IP PIN to the address on record.  If you have moved since January 1, 2016, you will be unable to file electronically with an IP PIN and must file a paper return.  The IRS takes longer to process these paper-filed returns, and they will be subject to scrutiny in an attempt to reduce tax-related identity theft.

Unfortunately, Florida, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. taxpayers who wish to voluntarily join the IP PIN program will be unable to do so at this time.  These taxpayers should file their returns as normal.

If you have questions about the suspension of the IP PIN program, or would like to request a speaker on this topic for your organization or event, contact one of our executives listed below, (800) 270-9629.

Sara Harman

Sara Harman

Senior Manager

Eric Elliott

Eric Elliott


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