The IRS Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number (SSN) on fraudulent federal income tax returns. An IP PIN allows the IRS to verify a taxpayer’s identity at the point of filing, preventing someone else from filing a tax return using the IP PIN holder’s SSN.
The IRS is working to expand this voluntary opt-in program nationwide. In January 2021, taxpayers can go to the “Get an IP PIN” tool on IRS.gov to get their six-digit pin.
How does it work?
Taxpayers with either a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number who can verify their identities are eligible. The IP PIN will be valid for one calendar year. Taxpayers must obtain a new IP PIN at the start of each filing season through the same account they initially created at irs.gov/ippin.
What does this mean for tax professionals?
Tax professionals should not file Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, for clients who are not tax-related identity theft victims and who are voluntarily opting into the program. Tax preparers should enter the IP PIN issued to the primary and/or secondary taxpayers or their dependents when prompted by tax preparation products. An electronic return without a correct IP PIN will be rejected. Paper returns will be subject to greater scrutiny.
To get an IP PIN, must it be requested online?
Taxpayers who cannot authenticate their identities online and who made less than $72,000 may file Form 15227, which will be available next calendar year.
Taxpayers who cannot authenticate online and made more than $72,000 can verify their identities in person at an IRS office. An IP PIN will be issued within three weeks if their identity is authenticated at a local office.
Are there any changes for victims of tax-related identify theft?
No, there will be no change for victims of tax-related identity theft. Those clients whose e-filed returns are rejected due to a duplicate SSN filing should still file a Form 14039, mailed in with their paper tax return.
The IRS will investigate the case and remove the fraudulent return. Once the case is resolved, the taxpayer will automatically receive an IP PIN in the mail at the start of the next calendar year.