An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only to you and the IRS and helps us verify your identity when you file your electronic or paper tax return.
If you are a confirmed victim of identity theft and we have resolved your tax account issues, we’ll mail you a CP01A Notice with your IP PIN each year.
Starting in 2021, you may voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program as a proactive way to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft.
If you want to opt in, please note:
- You must pass a rigorous identity verification process.
- Spouses and dependents are eligible for an IP PIN if they can pass the identity proofing process.
How to get an IP PIN
If you’re a confirmed identity theft victim, we will mail you an IP PIN on a CP01A Notice if your case is resolved prior to the start of the next filing season.
If you’re volunteering for the IP PIN Opt-In Program you should use the online Get an IP PIN tool. If you don’t already have an account on IRS.gov, you must register to validate your identity. Before you register, read about the secure access identity authentication process. Note:
- An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year.
- You must obtain a new IP PIN each year.
- The IP PIN tool is generally unavailable mid-November through mid-January each year.
Note: If you’ve already registered for an IP PIN, or have one of the following accounts, you should log in with the same username and password:
- Get Transcript
- Online Account
- Online Payment Agreement
Lost IP PINs
If you receive the annual IP PIN via mail but lose or fail to receive your CP01A Notice, you may use the Get an IP PIN tool to retrieve your number. Review Retrieve Your IP PIN for details.
Alternatives to the online tool
If you’re volunteering for the IP PIN Opt-In program and you can’t successfully validate your identity through the Get an IP PIN tool, there are alternatives. Please note: using an alternative method will delay your IP PIN.
Filing an application for an IP PIN
If your income is $72,000 or less and you can’t use the online tool, file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number PDF. You must have:
- A valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- An adjusted gross income of $72,000 or less
- Access to a telephon
We will use the telephone number provided on the Form 15227 to call you, validate your identity and assign you an IP PIN for the next filing season. For security reasons, the IP PIN cannot be used for the current filing season. You will receive your IP PIN via the U.S. Postal Service the following year and in the future.
If you are unable to verify your identity online or with the Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number PDF process or you are ineligible to file Form 15227, you may make an appointment for an in-person meeting at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. Please bring one picture identification document and another identification document to prove your identity. Once we verify your identity, you will receive your IP PIN via the U.S. Postal Service within three weeks. You will receive your IP PIN annually through the mail.
Use an IP PIN
Enter the six-digit IP PIN when prompted by your tax software product or provide it to your trusted tax professional preparing your tax return.
Correct IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays. An incorrect or missing IP PIN will result in the rejection of your e-filed return or a delay of your paper return until it can be verified.
Don’t reveal your IP PIN to anyone. It should be known only to your tax professional and only when you are ready to sign and submit your return. The IRS will never ask for your IP PIN. Phone calls, email or texts asking for your IP PIN are scams.