One would think that the IRS proofed important letters and notices before they’re finalized. That didn’t happen with IRS Notice CP 01A, the notice used when sending out an Identity Theft PIN (personal identification number).
Due to an error, taxpayers are receiving Identity Protection PIN letters with an incorrect year listed. Taxpayers and tax professionals should be advised the IP PIN listed on the CP 01A Notice dated Jan. 4, 2016, is valid for use on all individual tax returns filed in 2016.
The notice incorrectly indicates the IP PIN issued is to be used for filing the 2014 tax return when the number is actually to be used for the 2015 tax return. The IRS emphasizes the IP PIN listed on the CP 01A notice is valid for the 2015 returns. Taxpayers and their tax professionals should use this PIN number for 2015 tax returns, which the IRS will begin accepting from taxpayers starting Jan. 19, 2016.
The IRS apologizes for the confusion and any inconvenience.
For more information, see the questions and answers below.
Q. When were the CP01A notices mailed?
A. The notices are all dated Jan. 4, 2016, but were mailed in late December. Taxpayers are receiving these now through mid-January.
Q. What does an IP PIN do?
A. An IP PIN helps the IRS verify a taxpayer’s identity and accept their electronic or paper tax return. When you have an IP PIN, it prevents someone else from filing a tax return with your SSN.
If a return is e-filed with your SSN and an incorrect or missing IP PIN, our system will reject it until you submit it with the correct IP PIN or you file on paper. If the same conditions occur on a paper-filed return, we will delay its processing and any refund you may be due for your protection while we determine if it’s yours.
Q. Does this issue affect anything else involving the IP PIN process?
The IRS will not be sending out replacement letters. Somehow, this all seems apropos when dealing with the IRS.