Secure Your Tax Return With an IRS Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN)

Tony Brumley |

In the past decade, the IRS has incorrectly paid out tens of billions of dollars in fraudulent tax returns due to identity theft. As a result, the IRS has developed an extra layer of security for tax returns, called an Identity Protection PIN, or IP PIN. In prior years, you needed to be a confirmed victim of identity theft with the IRS to use an Identity Protection PIN.  However, starting this year, all taxpayers can voluntarily opt into the IRS IP PIN program and receive a secure six-digit number.

This is a proactive way to protect your personal and tax information from tax-related scams and fraudulent tax returns. The new IP PIN portal was unveiled in January 2021. Your IP PIN will be valid for one calendar year, and each January you must obtain a new IP PIN.    

 Get your Identity Protection PIN

If you are a confirmed victim of identity theft with the IRS, you will be mailed a CP01A Notice that contains your IP PIN. You will receive a new IP PIN every year.

If you are requesting to receive an IP PIN with the online Opt-In Program, you can use the Get an IP PIN button, pictured below. Your spouse or other dependent(s) can also get their own IP PIN. When beginning the process to receive your IP PIN, you will be required to provide personal information to confirm your identity. The process takes about 10 minutes: a few minutes to gather the required information, and another few minutes to confirm your identity online. 

Confirming your identity takes just a few steps:

  1. The personal information that is required to confirm your identity or recertify your account includes your email address, where a confirmation code is sent.  After you pass this first validation you will be required to enter your birthdate, Social Security Number, mailing address, and phone number. 
  2. An SMS text message with another code is sent to your mobile number, and after this validation is successful you are required to provide the correct account number to one financial account linked to your name. 
  3. The financial account questions include entering the last part of your credit card number, student loan, mortgage or home equity loan, or auto loan.  After the validation is successful, you will be presented with your 2021 Identity Protection PIN online. You should print and securely store this IP PIN.

To request an IRS IP PIN, click the button below.

Using an IP PIN

Once you request an IP PIN, you’ll need to use it on your tax returns. You must enter the six-digit code when prompted by your tax software program, or provide it to your trusted tax professional preparing your tax return. Do not share your IP PIN with anyone other than your tax professional. If you provide an incorrect or missing IP PIN, your e-filed return will be rejected, while your paper return will be delayed until it can be properly verified.

NOTE - The IRS will only require your IP PIN on your tax forms. They will never ask you directly or separately for your IP PIN. If you receive any phone calls, emails or text messages asking for your IP PIN they are scams.

Recovering a Lost IP PIN

To retrieve an IP PIN that is lost or forgotten, or if you never received a CP01A Notice, use the IP PIN request portal at IRS.gov. If you are unable to access your IP PIN online, contact the IRS at (800) 908-4490 for help. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. local time, to assist in reissuing your IP PIN.

Choosing to add an IRS Identity Protection (IP) PIN in 2021 will ensure your personal information and federal tax information are secure from tax related scams and fraudulent tax returns for the current year—leaving you with one less thing to worry about!

 

 Portfolio Solutions® does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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