IRS offering PIN to prevent identity theft, tax refund fraud - WRBL

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>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • St. Petersburg plane pulled from Tampa Bay after Sunday crash

    St. Petersburg plane pulled from Tampa Bay after Sunday crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:49:18 GMT
    The plane that crashed in Tampa Bay, off the coast of St. Petersburg Sunday,has been recovered.A recovery team started work early this morning. It took hours to bring the plane up from about 25 feet under water. The company that owns the plane, Aerial Banner, Inc., sent company representatives to St. Petersburg.
    The plane that crashed in Tampa Bay, off the coast of St. Petersburg Sunday,has been recovered.A recovery team started work early this morning. It took hours to bring the plane up from about 25 feet under water. The company that owns the plane, Aerial Banner, Inc., sent company representatives to St. Petersburg.
  • Pinellas Park police reunite trapped ducklings with mother

    Pinellas Park police reunite trapped ducklings with mother

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:15 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:15:46 GMT
    Photo courtesy Facebook/Pinellas Park Police DepartmentPhoto courtesy Facebook/Pinellas Park Police Department
    Police officers in Pinellas Park helped reunite a family of ducks on Sunday.
    Police officers in Pinellas Park helped reunite a family of ducks on Sunday.
  • Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:47:16 GMT
    File photo of Bubba the Love Sponge ClemFile photo of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
  • 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

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

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