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The Equifax Hack: The IRS IP PIN

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Sandy Botkin

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Sandy is a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former IRS trainer. He has authored many helpful books on the subject of taxes, including 7 Simple Ways to Legally Avoid Paying Taxes ( Click Here ), Lower Your Taxes: Big Time ( Click Here ), and Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich ( Click Here ).
Sandy Botkin
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My previous post dealt with what you need to do as a result of the Equifax hack.

I wanted to clarify one of the steps in which I said to get an IP Pin from the IRS. Sadly, due to reduced funding from Congress, not everyone can get an IP PIN. Here is what IRS says about getting this pin:

What’s an IP PIN?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal income tax returns.

Important: You currently can’t opt-out once you get an IP PIN. You must use your IP PIN to confirm your identity on all federal tax returns you file this year and in future tax years.

Getting Your IP PIN…

To get your IP PIN, you must be eligible as determined in Step 1 below. You’ll receive your IP PIN online once the IRS verify your identity. They’ll send you a new IP PIN each December by postal mail.

1. Determine your eligibility…

A. You must get an IP PIN to file your current or prior year tax returns in 2017 if:

  • You lost the CP01A Notice they sent you with your new IP PIN, or
  • You didn’t receive your new IP PIN and you had one before, or
  • They rejected your e-file return because your IP PIN was missing or incorrect.

2. You may choose to get an IP PIN only if:

  • You received an IRS letter inviting you to ‘opt-in’ to get an IP PIN, or
  • You filed your federal tax return last year with an address in Florida, Georgia, or the District of Columbia

To register and use this service, you need:

  • Your Social Security number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from your latest tax return,
  • Access to your email account,
  • Your credit card number or account number from a car loan, mortgage, home equity loan or home equity line of credit, and
  • A mobile phone with your name on the account.

To get an IP PIN, you must:

  • Pass the identity verification secure access process, and
  • Create a user profile
  • Get an IP PIN

I noticed that CBS and NBC recommended credit freezes. HOWEVER, what they didn’t tell you is that if you are eligible to get an IP PIN, you MUST NOT have a current credit freeze with Equifax. You will need to temporarily lift the freeze in order to get this pin. I would recommend that if you are eligible, you get the freeze AFTER you get the pin.

NOTE: If you are not eligible to get the IP PIN because you don’t live in the areas noted above, I would send a complaint to your Congressman asking for them to allow everyone to get an IP PIN or you could eventually be subject to Tax Identity Theft where a thief will file a false tax return in your name and get any refund you are entitled to.

Finally, follow my advice in the post below. Freezing your credit, which was recommended by various media is only one step in the process of preventing ID fraud. You NEED to do everything that I mentioned in my previous post including setting up a 90-day fraud alert every 90-days (although you can renew it when you only have 30 days or less left in the time remaining for the fraud alert). In addition, getting a credit monitoring service is crucial. In fact, I might even recommend using two services.

Forewarned is forearmed.


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Sandy Botkin

Sandy is a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former IRS trainer. He has authored many helpful books on the subject of taxes, including 7 Simple Ways to Legally Avoid Paying Taxes ( Click Here ), Lower Your Taxes: Big Time ( Click Here ), and Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich ( Click Here ).