Protect Yourself From Tax-Related Identity Theft With the IRS Identity Protection PIN

Identity thieves are creating more sophisticated schemes and it is important for taxpayers to take steps to protect their personal information. The IRS Identity Protection (IP) PIN Opt-In Program helps protect taxpayers against tax-related identity theft. The IP PINs are available to anyone who can verify their identity.

Identity Protection PINKey features of the IP PIN:

  • It’s a six-digit number known only to the taxpayer and the IRS.
  • The opt-in program is voluntary.
  • The IP PIN should be entered onto the electronic tax return when prompted by the software product or onto a paper return next to the signature line.
  • The IP PIN is valid for one calendar year and taxpayers must obtain a new IP PIN each year.
  • Only taxpayers who can verify their identities may obtain an IP PIN.
  • IP PIN users should never share their number with anyone but the IRS and their trusted tax preparation provider. The IRS will never call, email or text a request for the IP PIN.

How do I get the IRS Identity Protection PIN?

To obtain an IP PIN, the best option is the IRS online tool, Get an IP PIN. Taxpayers must validate their identities through Secure Access authentication to access the tool and their IP PIN. Before attempting this process, see Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools.

If taxpayers are unable to validate their identity online and if their income is below $73,000 for individuals or below $146,000 for married couples, they may file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number. The IRS will call the telephone number provided on Form 15227 to validate their identity. For security reasons, the IRS will assign an IP PIN for the next filing season. The IP PIN cannot be used for the current filing season.

Taxpayers who cannot validate their identities online, or on the phone with an IRS employee after submitting a Form 15227, or who are ineligible to file a Form 15227, may call the IRS to make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. They will need to bring one picture identification document and another identification document to prove their identity. Once verified, the taxpayer will receive an IP PIN via U.S. Postal Service within three weeks.

The IP PIN process for confirmed victims of identity theft remains unchanged. These victims will automatically receive an IP PIN each year.

For security reasons, taxpayers must obtain their own IP PIN. Tax professionals cannot obtain an IP PIN on behalf of clients.

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