IRS Speeds Release of Identity Protection PINs – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning & Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on September 9, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans to begin speeding the issuance of identity protection personal identification numbers (IP PINs) now that the Agency is less worried about the potential risk involved, according to an IRS official.

Mary Howard, director of the Office of Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure, said on August 12 that the IRS has been “ultraconservative” when it comes to mailing out the PINs, hoping to ensure that they wouldn’t be sent to the same fraudsters who committed the crime in the first place.

The IRS issues these unique identifying numbers to victims of identity theft to provide an additional layer of security when they file their tax returns, and the Agency is issuing more every year. Indeed, the IRS issued around 770,000 IP PINs for the 2013 filing season, whereas roughly 1.2 million individuals received PINs for the most recent filing season.

The Agency’s abundance of caution in the past is perfectly understandable considering the potential risks. “If we send [IP PINs] to the wrong address, we know that we are supporting the fraud, not deterring it,” said Howard. However, as the IRS has become more familiar with the program, it has become less worried about the risks involved.

Howard also noted that the number of fraudulent refunds not being prevented, both in number and in monetary value, has declined since calendar year 2013, evidence that the IRS’s efforts have been succeeding. So far in calendar year 2014, the IRS has prevented nearly 1 million fraudulent returns from being filed and stopped more than $4.6 billion in fraudulent refunds from being issued.

Interestingly, those numbers are down from last year, which the IRS thinks is due to increased awareness that the Agency is “making inroads with preventing identity theft, and therefore we have people looking for different ways to perpetrate” identity theft, Howard said.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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