IRS offering PIN to prevent identity theft, tax refund fraud - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

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.



  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • 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

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.