This month, I’m providing information from the Internal Revenue Service Center on how an Identity Protection PIN will help shield you from tax-related identity theft from Tax Tip 2023-70. Your participation in this program will provide you a six-digit number to prove your identity when a tax return is filed by you or your tax preparer. The IRS’s Identity Protection PIN is an added layer of security and is the number one security tool currently available. The PIN is available by going to IRS.gov and search the website for “PIN”. There will be a new pop-up screen and you’ll see “Get an Identity Protection PIN”. If you have a Social Security Number or individual taxpayer identification number, you’ll be able to request an IP PIN online. You’ll need to review the identity verification requirements before you try to us the tool. Be advised the IP PIN is valid for only one year. Therefore, each year you will receive a new IP PIN and some will receive it through the mail or you’ll have to log into the “Get an IP PIN” tools to see your current IP PIN. You’ll also use your annual PIN to file current year tax returns and any prior or amended tax returns submitted during the year electronically. Be advised, IRS will never call, email, or text a request for your IP PIN and you should share your PIN only with an IRS agent or your tax preparer. Sometimes, some fail to validate their identity online and you’ll have to file the Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number. Once IRS receives the form, a representative will call you at the phone number you provided to validate your identity. Once verified, you’ll get an IP PIN in the mail, usually within four to six weeks. If this fails, you’ll have to file the Form 15227 by making an appointment at the Taxpayer Assistance Center in Melbourne, Fl. for face-to-face verification. You’ll need to bring one current government-issued picture ID and another picture ID to prove your identity. Once verified, you’ll get your IP PIN in the mail, usually within three weeks. Again, this was a restatement of IRS Tax Tip 2023-70. On a short note, did you know the Internal Revenue Service has an Interactive Tax Assistant. Go to irs.gov and you’ll see an icon “Get Answers to Your Tax Questions”. Click on the icon and the next screen will provide you an opportunity to enter your question and utilizing the Interactive Tax Assistance Search method. Also, if you scroll down, there is a number of questions already reflected for immediate explanation of many questions. In doubt, it’s better for you to review your concern here or give your tax professional a call. Doing it right the first time is better than having to redo as a second time. Last, I hope everyone enjoyed the 4th of July Fireworks, Thunder Over the Indian River!!! We appreciate the opportunity to be a prime sponsor and I want to thank the Port St. John Community Foundation, Inc. members for their efforts making our community one of the best to live in. Be sure to let them know! This is a very brief overview. Additional details and specific assistance in applying the general information in this article may be attained by contacting your tax professional or our office. Provided by Tracey C. Higginbotham, E.A., (321) 632-5726, a member of the National Society of Accountants.