Updated: Sep 19, 2019
With data breaches becoming more and more common, more people than ever are at risk for identity theft. According to the FTC, the two most common types of fraud are credit card and tax fraud.
Most people utilize some form of credit monitoring or identity theft protection. But many people fail to take one of the basic steps in protection themselves against tax fraud. Signing up for the IRS' Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) pilot program.
The IP PIN is a 6 digit number issued to a taxpayer every year. When the taxpayer goes to file their return the IP PIN is required, adding an additional layer of identity verification. If you've been issued an IP PIN, no one can file a return in your name without the PIN.
The IRS originally piloted the program in the 3 states with the highest rates of identity theft; Michigan, Florida, and Washington D.C. However, in 2019 the IRS has expanded the program to include 7 more states. If you filed a return in one of these states last year, you're eligible to apply for an IP PIN:
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.
If you haven't already received a notice from the IRS inviting you to the program (CP10A), you can apply for one on the IRS website: