What’s an IRS Identity Protection PIN and Should You Have One?

Launched nearly a decade ago, the Identity Protection (“IP”) PIN program's purpose was to allow confirmed identity theft victims to obtain a PIN from the IRS, which is then necessary to electronically file a federal tax return.  Beginning in 2021, the IRS expanded the program to make it available to all taxpayers in an effort to prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayer’s personally identifiable information. 

The IRS has recently made some announcements to inform taxpayers about obtaining an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN).  Here are some facts about an IP PIN.

  • The IP PIN program is voluntary
  • It's a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a federal tax return using your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • It helps the IRS verify a taxpayer's identity when he or she files an electronic or paper tax return.
  • The number is known only to the taxpayer and the IRS. Users should never share their numbers with anyone but the IRS and their trusted tax advisors. The IRS will never call, email or text a request for an IP PIN.
  • The IP PIN is valid for one calendar year; taxpayers must obtain a new one each filing season in order to electronically file their federal tax return. Presently, there is no ability to discontinue use an IP PIN, however, the IRS has indicated they are working on an opt-out option for 2022.
  • Even though a taxpayer may not have a filing requirement, an IP PIN still protects his or her account.

If you don't already have an IP PIN, you can get one as a proactive step to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft. The fastest way to receive an IP PIN is by using the online "Get an IP PIN" tool on the IRS website.

If you wish to get an IP PIN and you don't already have an account on IRS.gov, you must register to validate your identity. Here is the link for more information: https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin

The IRS notes that if you're a confirmed victim of tax-related identity theft and tax agency has resolved your tax account issues, you will be mailed a CP01A Notice with your new IP PIN each year.

If you would like additional information about an IP PIN, please contact your BST Advisor.