Should I Get an Identity Protection PIN?

Taxpayers can protect themselves from becoming a victim of identity theft by getting an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). By requesting Identity Protection PINs from the IRS, taxpayers can prevent thieves from claiming tax refunds in their names.

What is an IP PIN?

Identity Protection PINAn IP PIN is a six-digit number the IRS assigns to a taxpayer that works as two-factor authentication. Once an IP PIN is assigned to a taxpayer, only a person who has the taxpayer’s IP PIN (and all the taxpayer’s other identification information) can file a tax return for that taxpayer. An IP PIN can stop identity thieves from using a protected taxpayer’s information to file a fraudulent tax return. The IP PIN protects the taxpayer’s account, even if they’re no longer required to file a tax return, by rejecting any e-filed return without the taxpayer’s IP PIN.

Taxpayers should request an IP PIN for themselves and their families when:

  • They want to protect their SSN or ITIN from being used for filing fraudulent tax returns;
  • They want to protect their dependent’s SSN or ITIN from being used for filing fraudulent tax returns;
  • They think their SSN, ITIN, or personal information was exposed by accident, theft, or fraud; or
  • They suspect or confirm they’re a victim of identity theft.

How do I get an IP PIN?

Taxpayers can get an IP PIN using the Get an IP PIN tool on IRS.gov. The tool will lead the taxpayer through a comprehensive identification check. Once the taxpayer has authenticated their identity, the tool will immediately provide the taxpayer with an IP PIN.

Once an individual is enrolled in the IP PIN program, there’s no way to opt-out. A new IP PIN is generated every year for added security. Taxpayers will either receive a notice with their new IP PIN every year in early January for the next filing season or they must retrieve their IP PIN by going to IRS.gov.

The IRS may automatically assign an IP PIN if the IRS determines the taxpayer is a victim of tax-related identity theft. The taxpayer will receive a notification confirming the tax-related ID theft incident along with an assigned IP PIN for future tax return filings.

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