How to Protect Yourself Against Taxpayer Identity Fraud
In light of the recent issues surrounding identity theft and cybersecurity, Smith & Howard would like to offer some tips to protect your credit and your federal tax account from fraudulent tax returns. Residents of Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia may participate in an IRS pilot program and apply for a special identification number called an IP PIN. An IP PIN is a unique six-digit number assigned by the IRS to prevent others from filing a fraudulent return using your social security number.
Note: If you have already frozen your credit, you will need to unfreeze it temporarily to create this IP PIN. We also recommend that you enroll in credit monitoring, if you haven’t already done so.
Instructions for obtaining an IP PIN from the IRS can be found here.
Other things to note on taxpayer ID fraud and the IP PIN:
- The IP PIN is a unique number that is re-issued annually in December by letter from the IRS.
- The IP PIN is generally available to taxpayers who have been victims of identity theft and/or tax fraud, but is also available to qualified taxpayers in Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia, even if they have not yet been a victim of ID theft and tax fraud.
- The IRS generally does not contact taxpayers by email. You should continue to ignore any correspondence other than written correspondence you receive via United State Postal Service.
- Other steps to take in order to mitigate tax fraud, include:
- File early, don’t give fraudsters an opportunity to beat you to the punch by submitting returns before you do.
- Monitor your credit through commercial credit monitoring services.
- Sign up for an online account with the IRS and monitor it regularly.
- Provide a change of address notification to tax authorities (i.e., file Form 8822) if you have moved recently.
If you have any questions, please contact Smith & Howard Tax Partner, Mark Abrams at 404-874-6244 or fill out the contact form below.