Use an Identity Protection PIN to Protect Yourself
An Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit code you can use to confirm your identity when submitting your tax return.
An Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN) is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. An IP PIN helps the IRS verify your identity when you file your tax return. An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year and a new IP PIN is generated each year for your account. If you don’t already have an IP PIN, learn how you can get one to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft.
How you can get an IP PIN:
Use the Online ToolThe fastest way to receive an IP PIN is by using the IRS’s online Get an IP PIN tool. If you wish to get an IP PIN and you don’t already have an IRS account, you must register to validate your identity. The IP PIN tool is generally available starting in mid-January through mid-November. By logging into the Get an IP PIN tool will display your current IP PIN.
File an applicationFiling an application takes longer for an IP PIN to be assigned to you. If your adjusted gross income on your last filed return is below $73,000 for yourself as an individual or $146,000 for married filing jointly and you can’t use the online tool, you have the option to file an application for an IP PIN. You will need a valid Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, an adjusted gross income on your last filed return, and access to a telephone. The IRS will use the phone number on the form to call you and validate your identity. Once the IRS verifies your identity, you will receive your IP PIN via the U.S. Postal Service usually within four to six weeks.
Request in-person authenticationIf you are unable to verify your identity online or with the form you may make an appointment for an in-person meeting at your local Taxpayer Assistance Center. You will need to bring one current government-issued picture identification document and another identification document to prove your identity. Once your identity is verified, you will receive your IP PIN via the U.S. Postal Service usually within three weeks. You will then receive your IP PIN annually through the mail.
How to use an IP PIN to file:
An IP PIN must be used when filing any federal tax returns during the year including prior tax returns. Simply, enter the six-digit IP PIN when prompted by your tax software product or provide it to your trusted tax professional preparing your tax return.
Remember to never reveal your IP PIN to anyone. It should only be known to your tax professional and only when you are ready to sign and submit your return. The IRS will never ask you for your IP PIN. Phone calls, emails or texts asking for your IP PIN are scams.
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