Monday, February 16, 2015


The Internal Revenue Service is offering the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) to all taxpayers who filed their federal tax returns last year from Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia as part of a pilot program to help determine taxpayer demand for the IP PIN and the Service's ability to issue the PIN to a larger number of taxpayers. These locations have the highest per-capita percentage of tax-related identity theft. The program is voluntary and optional.

Taxpayers who wish to take advantage of this pilot opportunity for additional filing protection should visit to register and create an account. The IRS can’t issue an IP PIN to a taxpayer unless that person’s identity has been verified online. Once issued an IP PIN, taxpayers need to use it to confirm their identities on all federal income tax returns filed during the 2015 calendar year and future tax years. Taxpayers receive a new IP PIN by postal mail.

The IRS Identity Protection PIN is a 6-digit number assigned to victims of identity theft whose cases have been resolved. The IP PIN allows affected individuals to avoid delays in filing returns and receiving refunds. Many taxpayers across the country have been forced to use IP PiINs because their identity or someone else has fraudulently filed a return in their name. THIS program for Georgia, Florida, and the District of Columbia is voluntary: it is an optional way for taxpayers who live in areas where tax-related identity theft is more prevalent to add an additional layer of protection .

Resolving tax-related identity theft remains a top priority for the IRS. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and preventing tax refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. The IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving tax-related identity theft cases as soon as possible.

Fake Charities Among the IRS List of Tax Scams for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service warn taxpayers about groups masquerading as a charitable organization to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. "When making a donation, taxpayers should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate and currently eligible charities,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “ has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations.”

The IRS offers these basic tips to taxpayers making charitable donations: • Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, which allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible. .”

• Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords to anyone who solicits a contribution from you. Scam artists may use this information to steal your identity and money. People use credit card numbers to make legitimate donations but please be very careful when you are speaking with someone who called you. .”

• Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift. .”

Another long-standing type of abuse or fraud involves scams that occur in the wake of significant natural disasters.

Following major disasters, it’s common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Scam artists can use a variety of tactics. Some scammers operating bogus charities may contact people by telephone or email to solicit money or financial information. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.

They may attempt to get personal financial information or Social Security numbers that can be used to steal the victims’ identities or financial resources. Bogus websites may solicit funds for disaster victims.

To help disaster victims, the IRS encourages taxpayers to donate to recognized charities. Call the IRS toll-free disaster assistance telephone number (1-866-562-5227) if you are a disaster victim with specific questions about tax relief or disaster related tax issues.