ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WMAR) — The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday announced the expansion of its voluntary Identity Protection PIN program to taxpayers in Maryland and other states.
Meant to prevent tax payers social security numbers from being used on a fraudulent tax return, the six-digit pin number also helps to protect against tax-related identity theft.
To be eligible, you would've had to file last year's federal tax return in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, or Washington State.
Taxpayers will be prompted to enter their PIN by their electronic provider or tax professional. The correct PIN must be entered to avoid return rejects or delays.
To opt into the program, taxpayers need to use the online “Get an IP PIN” tool. Signing up requires a rigorous identity verification process, that not everyone can pass according to the IRS.
Taxpayers cannot call the IRS to request a PIN.
To help understand the required steps, the IRS has created Publication 5367, Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program for Taxpayers.
If you do sign up, the IRS warns that you should be on high alert for phishing attempts by cyber criminals and others to steal your PINs. The IRS says they will never ask taxpayers to disclose their PINs, and the only time when you should disclose your pin, is when prompted by the tax software provider preparing your tax return or when the tax preparer needs it to complete the tax return. Any calls, emails, or texts requesting the PIN are likely theft attempts.
The PIN is only valid for one year, and must be renewed each year at “Get an IP PIN” tool.