In an effort to combat identity theft and improve security, the IRS now offers an Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program for anyone who can verify their identity.
“An Identity Protection PIN prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS commissioner. “We’ve now made the IP PIN available to anyone who can verify their identity. This is a free way for taxpayers to protect themselves, but we need the help of tax professionals to make sure more people know about it.”
Tax professionals cannot obtain an IP PIN on behalf of clients. Taxpayers must obtain their own IP PIN.
Here are a few things taxpayers should know about the IP PIN:
- It’s a six-digit number known only to the taxpayer and the IRS.
- The opt-in program is voluntary.
- Tax Preparers: The IP PIN should be entered onto the electronic tax return when prompted by the software product or onto a paper return next to the signature line.
- The IP PIN is valid for one calendar year; taxpayers must obtain a new IP PIN each year.
- Only dependents who can verify their identities may obtain an IP PIN.
- IP PIN users should never share their number with anyone but the IRS and their trusted tax preparation provider. The IRS will never call, email or text a request for the IP PIN.
How to obtain an IP PIN:
Before attempting the rigorous process of validating their identities, see Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools.
Once taxpayers are ready to start the process, use the IRS online tool: Get an IP PIN.
Currently, taxpayers may obtain an IP PIN for 2021, which should be used when filing any federal tax returns during the year. The tool is offline between November and January. New IP PINs will be available starting in January 2022.
Read the IRS News Release.