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What is the IRS ID PIN Protection program and what does it do?

Posted on March 4, 2021

First, know that this IRS program is optional. You can chose to opt-in or not this 2020 tax preparation season.

Secondly, the Identity Protection PIN is simply a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and the IRS.

The PIN exists to help prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns in your name, using your personally identifiable information, such as a stolen social security number.

The IRS has expanded the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to all taxpayers who can verify their identity.

Here are a few key things to know about the IP PIN Opt-In program.

  • It’s voluntary.
  • You must pass a rigorous identity verification process to get your IP PIN.
  • Spouses and dependents are also eligible for an IP PIN if they can verify their identities.
  • An IP PIN is valid for a calendar year.
  • You must get a new IP PIN each filing season.
  • Correct IP PINs must be entered on both electronic or paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays.
  • If you acquire an IP PIN, never share with anyone but your trusted tax provider. There are plenty of scammers out there.
  • The IRS will never call, text or email requesting your IP PIN.
  • There currently is no opt-out option, but the IRS is working on one for 2022.
  • The online IP PIN tool is offline between November and mid-January each year.

How do you get an IP PIN?

  • Only from the IRS. If you want one for 2021, use the Get an IP PIN tool on gov.
  • This secure online tool uses Secure Access authentication to verify a person’s identity.
  • Review the Secure Access requirements on IRS.gov before you use the Get An IP PIN tool.
  • You won’t need to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, to join the program.
  • Once in the program, a new IP PIN will be mailed to you every year.

Once you have authenticated your identity, you will be immediately provided with a 2021 IP PIN. This PIN must be used when prompted by electronic tax returns or written near the signature line on paper tax returns for that tax year.

What if you are the victim of identity theft?

Confirmed identity theft victims
and/or current tax-related identity theft victims will receive IP PINs by mail at no change.

For more information, go toPublication 5477, All taxpayers now eligible for Identity Protection PINs PDFPublication 5477 – SP, All taxpayers now eligible for Identity Protection PINs Publication 5367 – EN and SP, Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program for Taxpayers Get an Identity Protection PIN.