Incidences of identity theft are unfavorably common across the United States. Thus, it is crucial to understand the fundamental ideology of safe technology use and be mindful of cyberattacks. As technology usage increases yearly, so does the number of fraudulent, tax-related cyberattacks during tax season. Correspondingly, in 2021 the IRS issued a program to alleviate the potential risk of tax-related identity theft, known as an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN).
What is an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)?
An IP PIN is a six-digit code that serves as a two-factor authorization to prevent someone else from filing a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This six-digit PIN is only known by you and the IRS, which helps the IRS verify your identity when filing an electronic or paper tax return. These pins are valid for one year and must be requested each year.
How Criminals Attempt Tax Theft or Fraud
Fraudsters will use a variety of tactics to embezzle your information—the most common phishing tactic during tax season is impersonating the IRS. It’s important to know the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via email, text or social media and will never request your data over the phone.
Learn more about other tax related scams here and how the IRS investigates and helps prosecute fraud here.
How to Apply for an IP PIN
To apply for your IP PIN, simply go to the IRS webpage “Get an Identity Protection Pin.” You will be prompted to verify your identity before moving forward, which takes approximately 15 minutes and requires the following information:
- Email address;
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN);
- Tax Filing Status and Mailing Address;
- One financial account number linked to your name (i.e. credit card – last 8 digits, mortgage or home equity loan, auto loan); and
- A mobile phone number linked to your name.
If you are unable to access the online tool, Form 15227 (Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number) can be used; however, this form may only be used if you have a valid SSN and your adjusted gross income on your last tax return is below $73,000 for individuals or $146,000 for joint filers.
The Wisconsin Identity Protection PIN
The Wisconsin Identity Protection PIN is also available for taxpayers to prevent fraudsters from using their personal information to file a return or file for a refund claim.
The Wisconsin Identity Protection PIN is:
- A seven-digit alpha-numeric code which is unique to you and cannot be used on federal or other state returns.
- Specific to Wisconsin individual income tax returns and cannot be used on Federal or other State returns
How to Apply for a WI Identity Protection PIN:
- Log in to My Tax Account (MTA) at https://tap.revenue.wi.gov/mta
- Select the View Periods link for the individual income tax or homestead credit account
- Select the Request Identity Protection PIN link
Registering for the Federal and Wisconsin Identity Protection PIN may seem like a rigorous process; however, once completed, you will have peace of mind knowing your tax accounts are secured. We at KerberRose recommend you apply for both the IP PIN and WI Pin to ensure the safety of your identity.
With KerberRose, you can rest assured your information is secure, thanks to our Trusted Technology Advisors. In addition, KerberRose Technology offers cybersecurity training, antivirus software and more, which can be tailored to your needs. For more information about securing your data from cyberattacks, start a conversation at https://kerberrosetechnology.com/lets-talk.