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IRS pin
Old 05-30-2018, 11:59 AM   #1
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IRS pin

I was the subject of Social Security identity theft (someone fraudulently filed for my social security payments). At the recommendation of SS I filed an Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS back in January. I also filed my tax returns as early as possible and they were accepted so I guess I have not been the subject of IRS identity theft yet.

Today I get a letter form the IRS stating that the IRS has "marked my account with a identity theft indicator." The letter also said I have the option of getting an IRS PIN. I just tried to do that but was not able to do so because I have my credit frozen. The IRS website says I will have to unfreeze with Experian.

I was thinking that since my 2017 tax return was accepted there is no particular hurry to get the IRS Pin and that I would do it later in the year (or whenever I have to unfreeze Experian for some other reason.)

I was also thinking that a crook could not fraudulently file a tax return on my behalf and receive a refund because I always owe the IRS money. But I read that someone could still fraudulently file a return using my SS number and get a refund from the IRS even if I owe the IRS money. How can this be?

Can anyone give me any insight on how the IRS Pin works?
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:04 PM   #2
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Yes you can wait for the pin, until after September when it will be free to unfreeze and refreeze your credit.


You will need the pin to file next years return.


Yes someone can file a tax return and get a refund even if you own the IRS for that current year, they simply lie and say they had already paid a huge amount in estimated taxes or payroll taxes and the IRS gives them a refund on the non-existent pre-paid taxes.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:05 PM   #3
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I think the fraudster files a bogus return for you, claiming to have made a certain income and paid a certain amount of taxes already, with a result of being owed a refund. None of the numbers are true except for your SSN. As long as they beat your return in, it doesn't matter what your status is.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:26 PM   #4
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OP here, so the IRS does not cross reference your W-2s and your estimated tax payment to see if you have made payments to the IRS before they hand out a fraudulent refund?
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:51 PM   #5
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Apparently not. I've read something about the laws about how quickly a refund must be issued, and how quickly W-2s are received and processed by the IRS. Seems fixable though, just improve the systems to more quickly process these (maybe easier said than done), and push back the refunds until they are in the system and checking can be done. Don't like waiting for your big refund? Manage your withholding better so you don't get back so much.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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OP here, so the IRS does not cross reference your W-2s and your estimated tax payment to see if you have made payments to the IRS before they hand out a fraudulent refund?

Correct, they are so desperate to get out the refunds fast, they blindly pay. After all it's just taxpayer money.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:09 PM   #7
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I heard that after the 2008 financial crisis the there was a desire to pump money into the economy. One way to do this was to expedite refunds without really checking the numbers. So the government started issuing refund checks based on whatever was on the return.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:14 PM   #8
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Welcome to the club .

Since your 2017 taxes got accepted, sounds to me like your IRS pin won't be in effect until tax year 2018. You should get a letter from the IRS in about Jan or early Feb with an annual IRS pin each year. You need that to filing your taxes. Don't forget to use that if you e-file or paper file. Otherwise, your tax form will get rejected.

I almost forgot the first year and I think (but don't quote me) in Turbotax, the area to enter the pin is in the misc section. All I know is where to enter didn't stand out as I had to dig around to figure out where to enter my pin.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:36 PM   #9
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OP here, the letter from the IRS said I would not get a Pin unless I filed online for one. When I tried to file online for a Pin I could not get one because my credit is frozen. So I will have to unfreeze my credit with Experian to get the pin.
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:12 PM   #10
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Correct, they are so desperate to get out the refunds fast, they blindly pay. After all it's just taxpayer money.
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I heard that after the 2008 financial crisis the there was a desire to pump money into the economy. One way to do this was to expedite refunds without really checking the numbers. So the government started issuing refund checks based on whatever was on the return.
It’s been well over a decade. Congress put laws in place many years ago requiring the IRS to process refunds very quickly, so quickly that they would not have employment data to initially verify against filed returns.

Due to the refund fraud over the last few years, things have changed a bit. Now companies must report W2 info much earlier, and the IRS is better at flagging suspicious returns.

Not all returns have W2 data. Ours only has 1099s. So it’s still easy for someone to file a fraudulent return, blocking the true filer, regardless of whether they are successful in getting any money or not.
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:52 PM   #11
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OP here, so the IRS does not cross reference your W-2s and your estimated tax payment to see if you have made payments to the IRS before they hand out a fraudulent refund?
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Sadly, I worked with federal employees for a few months. They were the biggest collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents I ever observed in a single place.

I'm not saying all are that bad, but you had to look far and wide to find any spark plugs.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:03 PM   #12
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They were the biggest collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents I ever observed in a single place.
That was pretty harsh, and a pretty broad brush.

A “collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents” can be found just about anywhere - and everywhere. The opposite is also true - wherever one looks one can find excellence, brilliance and valuable contributors. IMO it depends on what one looks for.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:12 PM   #13
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OP here, the letter from the IRS said I would not get a Pin unless I filed online for one. When I tried to file online for a Pin I could not get one because my credit is frozen. So I will have to unfreeze my credit with Experian to get the pin.

Maybe the procedure changed from the time I signed up for the IRS Pin (my tax info was hacked a few years back from that IRS transcript hack). Seem to recall I just sent in IRS affidavit through snail mail and then got a verification letter from the IRS and then the pin around Jan/Feb without a need to get the pin by filing online for one.

When I get my free credit reports, I now go the snail mail route as seems I always flunk the verification when trying online .
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:18 PM   #14
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A lot of fraudulent returns have very little income claimed, but include the Earned Income tax credit and Child tax credit, since you can get $6k from EITC and $1k per kid claimed on the child tax credit. The Path Act delayed these refunds for a few weeks starting in 2017, but there's still a lot of things that aren't double checked
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:20 PM   #15
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That was pretty harsh, and a pretty broad brush.

A “collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents” can be found just about anywhere - and everywhere. The opposite is also true - wherever one looks one can find excellence, brilliance and valuable contributors. IMO it depends on what one looks for.
Fair comment. I did qualify (slightly) my comments in the last line. It was my experience and I meant what I said. Some people might be happy to leave the office "for a meeting," and then go fishing for a half day. Or, have a "private call," and close the office door for a few hours of shuteye. It was part of a reason I ended my first career. I just couldn't see doing what was being done for another 4-5 years.

But upon further reflection on the "collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents,"comment, I did go to to a Jets game once.

I'll tone it down going forward, but not for Jet's fans.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:00 PM   #16
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I worked with federal employees for a few months. They were the biggest collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents I ever observed in a single place.
I'm sorry that your few months gave you a negative impression, but in fact most federal employees are just like everyone else. The good, the bad, and the in between.

But I have to sidetrack this for just a moment to relate a funny incident.

The other day, we were visiting a National Forest Service site, and there was a fire tower on top of the highest point for a great many miles around. We drove near it and then hiked up to the tower itself and talked with a ranger for a while.

DW noticed a drain, and asked what it was for. The ranger rolled his eyes and said "That is a Federal Government Drain. The designer of this installation required that it be installed here, at the very highest point in a very arid region. As a taxpayer, you should be pleased that you're getting good value for your money, because it will never, ever be used, and should last virtually forever."

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Old 05-30-2018, 07:06 PM   #17
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Sadly, I worked with federal employees for a few months. They were the biggest collection of misfits, freeloaders, and malcontents I ever observed in a single place.

I'm not saying all are that bad, but you had to look far and wide to find any spark plugs.
Oh boy, you are going to be popular around here!

Ha
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:18 PM   #18
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A lot of fraudulent returns have very little income claimed, but include the Earned Income tax credit and Child tax credit, since you can get $6k from EITC and $1k per kid claimed on the child tax credit. The Path Act delayed these refunds for a few weeks starting in 2017, but there's still a lot of things that aren't double checked

Like how a person suddenly gets 4 children in 1 year
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