The IRS continually offers a service to all taxpayers who would like to add one more layer of protection to their identity when filing a tax return.
If your identity has previously been stolen, the IRS has already provided you with a six-digit number to list on your return in addition to the usual information.
If you are in a situation where you believe your identity has been compromised, it is recommended you request that additional protection from the IRS. It can be issued for your social security number and can be issued for minor children on your return, as well. This could be relevant in the case of a non-custodial parent attempting to use the child’s social security number to fraudulently claim the child on a tax return.
Even it your identity is intact, taxpayers are free to request this protection. Make sure you give the letter to your tax preparer to include on your return. If not used, your return will be rejected for electronic filing. That six-digit number will change every year so be sure to retain the new letter when it arrives, typically in the last two months of the year, just before filing season open.