Identity Protection PINS and Tax Identity Theft: What You Should Know (Re-Post)

We would like to remind everyone…

This is the time of year to consider getting an IP PIN. 

Make sure to tuck that IP PIN email or letter in a safe place!  You will need it when you file your 2023 tax returns.


Have you ever submitted an online tax return to the IRS only to have your efforts rejected?  Has the IRS ever claimed that someone else with your identity and Social Security number had already filed a tax return?

If so, you are likely a victim of tax identity theft.

An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) can prevent identity thieves from submitting false IRS tax returns on your behalf.

This additional layer of security offers safeguards and peace of mind to every taxpayer, including those who have already experienced identity theft and those not obligated to file a tax return.

How do IP PINs work?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number, known only to the taxpayer and the IRS, that serves as “two-factor authentication.”  Once an IP PIN is issued to a taxpayer by the IRS, that IP PIN must be used to submit a tax return on that taxpayer’s behalf. The IRS will reject any tax returns that do not include the taxpayer’s IP PIN. 

Without knowledge of the taxpayer’s IP PIN, identity thieves cannot file a false tax return using the taxpayer’s personally identifiable information.

Getting an IP PIN

Logging onto the IRS’ Get an IP PIN tool is the simplest way to obtain an IP PIN. You must prove your identity to obtain an IP PIN. This requires you to create an account on, a procedure that, according to the IRS, takes roughly 15 minutes.

Registering requires your email address, Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification number, tax filing status, postal address, and one financial account number associated with your name. The account number on your student loan statement, mortgage or home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or auto loan, as well as the last eight digits of your credit card (as long as it’s not an American Express, debit, or corporate card), can all be used. If you can submit a verifiable mobile phone number associated with your name, you will receive your IP PIN immediately.  Otherwise, your IP PIN will be mailed to you.

IP PINS are only valid for one calendar year. The IRS will automatically send confirmed identity theft victims a CP01A Notice with a new IP PIN. If you are not a confirmed identity theft victim and you wish to continue using an IP PIN, you must use the Get an IP PIN tool to receive a new IP PIN each calendar year.

IRS maintenance causes the Get an IP PIN online service to typically be unavailable from the middle of November to the middle of January every year.

An Offline Method For Requesting an IP PIN

Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) can be submitted by taxpayers whose identities cannot be verified electronically and whose income is below the specified threshold. The threshold for 2022 is $73,000 for single filers and $146,000 for married couples filing jointly. After receiving the paperwork, an IRS agent will contact the taxpayer at the supplied phone number to confirm their identification. The IRS will assign an IP PIN for the upcoming filing season.  Due to security concerns, the taxpayer will not receive an IP PIN for the current filing season.

Taxpayer Assistance Center in-person appointments are available to taxpayers who are unable to use the online Get an IP PIN tool or Form 15227. In-person appointments require two forms of identification including a recent, government-issued picture ID. These taxpayers receive their IP PIN in the mail, approximately three weeks after verification.

What To Do If You Become a Victim of Tax Identity Theft?

Tax-related identity theft happens when someone files a tax return in your name using your personal information. The perpetrators of this scam want to steal any refund you are due.

One sign of tax identity theft is when a taxpayer is unable to file their tax return online. The IRS sends notifications when taxpayer names and Social Security numbers appear on a previously filed tax return.

If you think you may have been a victim of tax identity theft, file a paper copy of your tax return, pay any taxes owed, and make certain to complete a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.  The IRS will work with you to resolve your case and place you in the IP PIN program.

Keep Your IP PIN Secure 

Your IP PIN is part of the IRS’ multi-pronged strategy to protect your Social Security number and your Tax Identification Number.

There is one important thing to keep in mind – make sure to store your IP PIN information somewhere secure and accessible. The most common issue facing taxpayers is forgetting or losing their IP PIN. In this situation, the IRS can help to either issue you a new IP PIN or recover your old one. However, it can take some time.  Be careful to have your IP PIN well before any filing deadlines.

Guaranteeing the privacy of customer information is essential due to the complexity of identity theft crime. Taxpayers must pay more attention than ever to fraud prevention, particularly the correct use and maintenance of IP PINs.

If you need help or have any questions, contact our Tax, Payroll, and Accounting firm today. 

We at BASC Expertise look forward to serving you!


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