IRS offering PIN to prevent identity theft, tax refund fraud - WNEM TV 5

IRS offering PIN to prevent identity theft, tax refund fraud

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

As the 2013 tax filing season begins, Florida taxpayers have a new tool to protect themselves from identity theft and tax refund fraud.

The Tampa Bay area has been a hotbed for the crime, in which fraudsters use someone else's name, date of birth and social security number to file a fake tax return. In recent years, they've been able to use that information to trick the government into sending out thousands in tax refunds they don't deserve.

The crime can create headaches for identity theft victims, who often spend months – or longer – straightening out the mess and waiting for their refund.

This year, taxpayers in Florida have a new option to protect themselves. The IRS is launching a new pilot program involving something called an Identity Protection PIN or IP-PIN – a special number assigned to the taxpayer to help the IRS verify the tax return is legitimate.

Previously, the IRS has assigned PINs to identity theft victims, but these new numbers can be used by individuals who have not been identity theft victims. The new IP-PINs are available to residents in Florida, Georgia and Washington, D.C. - areas with high incident rates for identity theft.

Although anyone's personal information can be vulnerable, the IRS also suggests taxpayers not carry their Social Security card or documents with their Social Security number on them, secure your personal information in your home and don't give a business your Social Security number just because they ask. The IRS says to only give that information when required.

Experts recommend taxpayers file their returns as early as possible to avoid being victims of identity theft and tax refund fraud.

Learn more about the IRS' Identity Protection PIN:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2014-Identity-Protection-PIN-(IP-PIN)-Pilot:-Questions-and-Answers

Copyright 2014 WFLA-TV (Media General). All rights reserved.



  • NewsMore>>

  • Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

    Creeping landslide devouring part of Wyoming town

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-04-19 21:52:46 GMT
    A sudden lurch in a creeping landslide in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson split a house in two and forced workers to abandon efforts to stabilize the hillside.More >
    No one can say precisely when the mountainside collapsing into this Wyoming resort town will give way. But it appears increasingly likely that when it does, it's going to take a piece of Jackson with it.More >
  • Man drowns taking part in triathlon

    Man drowns taking part in triathlon

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-04-19 21:44:33 GMT
    A Michigan man participating in a triathlon at Fort De Soto State Park has died.Donald Bautel, 64, was visiting Florida to take part in the "Escape from Fort De Soto" triathlon at the park 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. in St. Petersburg.During the swimming portion of the triathlon, Bautel appeared to be drowning, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office news release stated.The sheriff's office was contacted,and deputies responded to the park about 8:16 a.m.Swimmers in the area pulled Bautel from the wate...More >
    A Michigan man participating in a triathlon at Fort De Soto State Park has died.Donald Bautel, 64, was visiting Florida to take part in the "Escape from Fort De Soto" triathlon at the park 3500 Pinellas Bayway S. in St. Petersburg.During the swimming portion of the triathlon, Bautel appeared to be drowning, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office news release stated.The sheriff's office was contacted,and deputies responded to the park about 8:16 a.m.Swimmers in the area pulled Bautel from the wate...More >
  • Your Week in Viral Videos: Dyed eggs and dead technology

    Your Week in Viral Videos: Dyed eggs and dead technology

    Saturday, April 19 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-04-19 21:41:28 GMT
    (RNN) – Easter is Sunday, and you’ve probably dyed a few eggs or know someone who has.Make sure you remember where you hid them, because you don’t want to come across them in July and have an unfortunate smell to deal with.Eggs will get their annual day in the sun Monday at the White House Easter Egg Roll, which is being protested by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.PETA doesn’t have a problem with rolling eggs, but it does have a problem with those eggs coming from chickens, so, i...More >
    (RNN) – Easter is Sunday, and you’ve probably dyed a few eggs or know someone who has.Make sure you remember where you hid them, because you don’t want to come across them in July and have an unfortunate smell to deal with.Eggs will get their annual day in the sun Monday at the White House Easter Egg Roll, which is being protested by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.PETA doesn’t have a problem with rolling eggs, but it does have a problem with those eggs coming from chickens, so, i...More >
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.