Recent Tax Updates

Additional State Requests/Actions and the IRS IP PIN for the 2016 Filing Season

January 14, 2016

As the January 19 start date for the 2016 filing season draws near, here are some of the new actions that States are instituting to help fight tax identity theft and refund fraud, as well as an update on the IRS Identity Protection PIN.

Request by States for Driver’s License for the Upcoming Filing Season
As part of their continuing effort to combat tax identity theft and fraud, States will be requesting additional information be included with the tax return to help them confirm that the return they are receiving is truly the taxpayer’s. Providing the requested information will help ensure that the taxpayer’s tax refund will go to them and not to an identity thief.

One piece of information that nearly all States will be requesting is information from the taxpayer’s and spouse’s driver’s license or state-issued identification card. Although a return will not be rejected if the requested information from the driver’s license or state identification card is not present in the taxpayer’s return, not providing this information may delay the processing of the return and cause a delay in receiving any refund associated with the return.

Other State Actions to help Prevent Identity Theft and Tax Fraud
Below are some examples of new processes put in place by Illinois, Alabama, and Virginia that begin in the 2016 filing season:

  • Illinois will not be sending out refunds on returns filed in January and February until mid-March. For those returns filed after March 1, 2016, the refunds will be sent out within two to three weeks from the date the Illinois return is accepted.

    See the Illinois Refund Alert on the Illinois Revenue website for more information.

  • Virginia has begun to issue 7 alphanumeric Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to Virginia taxpayers who have been identified as victims of identity theft. If a Virginia taxpayer is issued a PIN they must enter it on their Virginia individual income tax return to ensure that it is processed in a timely manner.

    See the Tax Related Identity Theft Prevention page on the Virginia Department of Taxation website for more information.

  • Alabama will delay issuing refunds this year on returns for which the state has not received the W-2(s) from a taxpayer’s employer(s). This means that early Alabama filers will not receive their refunds as quickly as they have in prior years.

IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
Beginning with the 2016 filing season, the IRS requires that an identity protection PIN (IP PIN) be entered on the 2015 tax return if an individual that is claimed as a dependent on a tax return has received an IP PIN from the IRS. Otherwise, the IRS will reject the tax return.

As a reminder, the IRS issues IP PINs to individuals who have had an identity theft indicator applied to their IRS tax account. These individuals will receive the IP PIN via IRS notice CPO1A this month (January).

Important Note: Due to an error, the IRS is emphasizing that all IP PINs that are contained in the CP01A notices that an individual receives this month (January) are for filing the 2015 tax return even though the notices incorrectly state they are for filing the 2014 tax return.

Other things to know about the Identity Protection PIN:

  • If an individual loses their IP PIN, the original can be retrieved via the online IRS Get an Identity Protection PIN tool on the IRS website.
  • Individuals who had an IP PIN in 2015 (for Tax Year 2014) should have received a new 6 digit IP PIN from the IRS this month (January) via IRS notice CP01A.
  • When the taxpayer’s, spouse’s and/or dependent’s IP PIN is entered in the CrossLink program, they will be transmitted to the IRS as part of the Form 1040. The taxpayer’s IP PIN will print on Form 1040 in the area designated in the signature area. The Spouse’s and Dependent’s IP PIN will not print on the Form 1040 because the IRS has not included a place for them on the printed Form 1040.
  • The IRS may also invite an individual to get an IP PIN by sending them a letter because their account met specific criteria that made them eligible to receive an IP PIN.

See the Identity Protection PIN page and the IP PIN FAQ page on the IRS website for more information.