The Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and to the IRS. It helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayers' personally identifiable information.
Here are a few key things to know about the IP PIN Opt-In program.
- This is a voluntary program.
- Taxpayers must pass a rigorous identity verification process.
- Spouses and dependents are eligible for an IP PIN if they can verify their identities.
- An IP PIN is valid for a calendar year.
- People must get a new IP PIN each filing season.
- The online IP PIN tool is offline between November and mid-January each year.
- Correct IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays.
- Taxpayers should Never share their IP PIN with anyone but their trusted tax provider.
- The IRS will never call, text or email requesting their IP PIN.
- People should beware of scams to steal their IP PIN.
- There currently is no opt-out option but the IRS is working on one for 2022.
Once a taxpayer have authenticated their identity, their 2021 IP PIN immediately will be revealed to them. This PIN must be used when prompted by electronic tax returns or written near the signature line on paper tax returns.
Options for taxpayers who can't verify their identity onlineTaxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less may complete Form 15227 (EN-SP), Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number PDF, and mail or fax it to the IRS. A customer service representative will contact the taxpayer and verify their identity by phone. Taxpayers should have their prior year tax return for verification process.
Taxpayers who verify their identity this way will have an IP PIN mailed to them the following tax year. This is for security reasons. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.
Taxpayers who can't verify their identity online or by phone and are ineligible for file Form 15227 can contact the IRS and make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify their identity in person. They'll need to bring should bring two forms of identification, including one government-issued picture identification.
Taxpayers who verify their identity in-person will have an IP PIN mailed to them within three weeks. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.
Confirmed identity theft victims. Current tax-related identity theft victims who have been receiving IP PINs by mail will experience no change.
Taxpayers who are confirmed identity theft victims or who have filed an identity theft affidavit because of suspected stolen identity refund fraud will automatically receive an IP PIN by mail once their cases are resolved.
IRS Tax Tip 2021-07, January 26, 2021