All taxpayers – especially victims of identity theft – are reminded of an important step they should take to protect themselves from tax fraud: requesting an Identity Protection Pin from the IRS. Identity thieves sometimes use taxpayers’ information to file fraudulent tax returns. As such, taxpayers can protect themselves by using the Get an IP PIN tool on IRS.gov to request Identity Protection PINs and prevent thieves from claiming tax refunds in their names. Here is how it works:
What is an Identity Protection PIN?
An IP PIN is a six-digit number the IRS assigns to an individual to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on federal income tax returns. 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:
- If they want to protect their SSN or ITIN with the IRS,
- If they want to protect their dependent’s SSN or ITIN with the IRS,
- If they think their SSN, ITIN or personal information was exposed by theft or fraudulent acts or
- If they suspect or confirm they’re a victim of identity theft.
How to Request an Identity Protection PIN
Taxpayers can go to IRS/getanippin on the IRS website to complete a thorough authentication check. Once authentication is complete, an IP PIN will be provided online immediately. A new IP PIN is generated every year for added security. Once an individual is enrolled in the IP PIN program, there’s no way to opt-out.
The IRS may automatically assign an IP PIN if the IRS determines the taxpayer’s a victim of tax-related identity theft. The taxpayer will receive a notification confirming the tax-related ID theft incident and an assigned IP PIN for future tax-return filings.
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/getanippin.
Need help requesting an IRS Identity IP PIN? Help is just a phone call away.