How To Get an Identity Protection PIN From the IRS To Protect From Fraudsters

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When someone steals your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, it can be used to file a fraudulent tax return. However, an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS is a six-digit number that can help prevent potential identity theft and verify your identity when you file your electronic or paper tax return.

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If you are a victim of tax-related identity theft and the IRS has resolved your account issues, the agency will mail you a CP01A Notice with your new IP PIN each year. If you don’t have an IP PIN, you can request one to protect your identity.

If you want to request an IP PIN, the IRS says that you must pass an identity verification process. Spouses and dependents are also eligible for an IP PIN if they can pass the identity verification process.

The IRS says that the quickest way to get an IP PIN is to use the online Get an IP PIN tool. You must have an IRS Online Account to validate your identity and the IP PIN tool is generally available starting in mid-January through mid-November.

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While alternative methods generally take longer, there are other ways to get an IP PIN if you cannot validate your identity through the Get an IP PIN tool.

If your adjusted gross income on your last filed return is below $73,000 for individuals or $146,000 if you’re married filing jointly and you can’t use the online tool, you can use Form 15227. The IRS will call the phone number you listed on the form to validate your identity. You will receive your IP PIN through the mail usually within four to six weeks.

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You can also request in-person authentication for an IP PIN if you cannot verify your identity online or with Form 15227. Make an appointment for an in-person meeting at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center and bring one current government-issued picture ID and another identification document to prove your identity. Once your identity is verified, you will receive your IP PIN through the mail usually within three weeks.

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Your IP PIN is only valid for one year and a new IP PIN is generated each year for your account. An IP PIN must be used when filing any federal tax returns.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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