What is an IRS Issued Identity Theft PIN (IP PIN)?

Identity Protection Personal Identification Numbers (IP PINs) are typically issued to people who are the victims of identity theft or others whose Social Security numbers may have been compromised through a data breach or other exposure. Some people receive an invitation to apply for an identity theft PIN because the IRS has identified them as potential victims of identity theft. 

The objective of this is to reduce the likelihood that someone successfully files a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security number. It can help confirm that you are the individual who is attempting to file and not someone else.

You can voluntarily request an IP PIN through the Get an IP PIN application on the IRS website. To use this tool, you’ll need to verify your identity by following the instructions in the application. If you cannot successfully verify your identity through the Get an IP PIN tool and your annual income is no more than $73,000, you can file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number. Those who are ineligible or who can’t verify their identity either online or using Form 15227 should seek assistance with the application process at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. 

If the agency issues you an IP PIN, you will get a CP01A Notice in the mail that includes this unique, 6-digit identifier along with instructions for using it. You must use this number when you e-file your federal tax return using any of the following forms:

  • Form 1040 
  • Form 1040-PR 
  • Form 1040-SS 
  • Form 4868

You should use your IP PIN when filing paper returns using those forms as well, but it is not an absolute requirement. If you file using a paper return and do not include your identity theft PIN, it will take longer to process your return while the IRS utilizes additional screenings to ensure that the return is really from you. 

You may need your IP PIN to confirm your identity when you communicate or interact with the IRS. 

If family members or other people who are represented on our tax return have an IP PIN, you must include their number on your return. Do not use your IP PIN for others on your tax return; each IP PIN is tied to a single individual and should only be used to confirm their identity.

If you received an identity theft PIN last year then the IRS will issue a new one for you to use throughout the current tax year. 

If you did not receive your IRS-issued CPA01A Notice assigning a new or updated identity theft PIN or you lost your IP PIN, you can use the Get an IP PIN tool on the irs.gov website to retrieve your current one.