With the onset of tax preparation season, it's a great time to get updated on the latest IRS (and MA) measures to prevent identity theft (a pernicious issue last tax season).
The latest IRS announcement regarding measures taken to prevent identity theft for 2016 tax season (and beyond). The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax software industry have formed a coalition to take steps to increase security and decrease vulnerability. For this tax season, your tax software will have standards for enhanced password features, time-out features, and other built-in security features and efile metadata security protocols. For further information, and to get up to date on these latest measures the following links are helpful. IRS Fact Sheet 2016-01 may be found at:https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS,-States-and-Tax-Industry-Combat-Identity-Theft-and-Refund-Fraud-on-Many-Fronts
For the details regarding the recent "Security Summit" between the IRS, the state tax departments (many of which have implemented their own safeguards) see https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Security-Summit-2015 and for a link to IRS Fact Sheet 2015-23 and further details on the latest efforts of the IRS plus some statistics on identity theft convictions, see https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Taxes-Security-Together
For the MA DOR webpage regarding steps the DOR has taken to prevent identity theft and updating the public on the most recent scams (including the "lien scam"), see http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/identity-theft-information/
My discussion with key IRS personnel indicates that the IP PIN "Pilot Project" for voluntary issuance of an IP PIN in FL, GA and DC has been discontinued due to lack of participation by taxpayers.
Note: if any of the above links do not work, simply "copy and paste" them in your browser search engine....