Protect Yourself with an IP PIN

Liz Belcher writes about how to protect yourself come tax season with an IP PINBy Liz Belcher, CPA
Partner, Tax Services
Email Liz

Before you file your taxes this year, don’t forget: Sign up for an IRS account and request an Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN)!

A secret between you and the IRS, this six-digit number is vital in preventing an identity thief from filing a tax return using your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The IP PIN helps the IRS verify your identity and accept your electronic or paper tax return. Freshly generated each year, an IP PIN is valid for one calendar year, and it can be used only on Forms 1040, 1040-PR and 1040-SS. It is also unique to each taxpayer and only for their individual use, meaning spouses or dependents would need to request their own separate number.

Be wary of any phone calls, emails or texts asking for your IP PIN — the IRS will never make these requests.

The IP PIN was initially reserved for confirmed victims of identity theft, but now all taxpayers can opt in to the IP PIN Program. And said victims will receive a CP01A Notice with a unique IP PIN each year.

The easiest and fastest way to receive an IP PIN is through the online Get an IP PIN tool, but you must have an account. The IP PIN tool is available now through mid-November.

Alternatively, you can file a Form 15227 application for an IP PIN if you have the following:

  • A valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • An adjusted gross income on your last filed return below $79,000 for Individuals or $158,000 for Married Filing Joint
  • Access to a telephone for the IRS to call for identity verification

Lastly, you can make an appointment for an in-person meeting at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center. Just be sure to bring two forms of identification.

Opting in to the IP PIN Program is opting in for protection. Don’t pass on this measure of security. You have nothing to lose by requesting a PIN but a whole lot to lose by not doing so. If you lose your IP PIN, review Retrieve Your IP PIN for information on what to do. Do not file a Form 15227 to apply for a new IP PIN.

If we can help you further with the IP PIN or tax filing process, please call us at (317) 608-6699 or email Liz.