An Identity Protection PIN can help shield you from tax-related identity theft

An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) stops identity thieves from filing a fraudulent tax return using your Social Security number (SSN). Taxpayers who participate in this program are assigned a six-digit number that they use to prove their identity when they file their federal tax return. In the recent past, the IRS’s Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee said that the IP PIN is “the number one security tool currently available to taxpayers from the IRS.”

Who should request an IP PIN

Anyone affected by identity theft should request an Identity Protection PIN. Even if a thief has already filed a fraudulent tax return, an IP PIN could prevent you from being a repeat victim of tax-related identity theft.

All taxpayers are eligible to request an IP PIN, whether or not you have experienced an identity theft issue. Using an IP PIN with your tax return is an added layer of security for you to protect your tax filing information.

How to Request an IP PIN

In order to get an IP PIN, a taxpayer must first pass an identity verification process. This process can be completed online by many taxpayers. Review the IRS online identity verification requirements and our guide below for verifying your identity through the service.

If you are able to verify your identity online, you can then use the Get an IP PIN tool to request an IP PIN online.

If you are unable to complete the identity verification process online or if you need to request an IP PIN for an individual under age 18, you can apply for an IP PIN by mail or in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Additional Options for Requesting an IP PIN

Taxpayers who can’t validate their identity online and whose income is below a low-to-moderate income threshold can file Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number by mail. See here for more information about the current income requirements.

Once the IRS receives the form, a representative will call you at the phone number you provided to validate your identity. Once verified, you will get an IP PIN in the mail, usually within four to six weeks. Remember: The IRS will never call you about your taxes unless you contacted them first!

Taxpayers who can’t validate their identity online or by phone, those who are ineligible to file a Form 15227, or are having other technical difficulties can make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center by calling (844) 545-5640. You can read more tips about how to request an IRS appointment here.

You will need to bring one current government-issued picture ID and another identification document to prove your identity. Once verified, you will get an IP PIN in the mail, usually within three weeks.

How to Use Your IP PIN

  • An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year. For security reasons, new IP PINs are generated each year. Some participants will receive their IP PIN in the mail, while others will have to log in to the Get an IP PIN tool to see their current IP PIN.
  • Enrolled taxpayers can always log back in to the Get an IP PIN tool to see their current IP PIN.
  • Taxpayers with an IP PIN must use it when filing any federal tax returns during the calendar year, including prior year tax returns or any amended returns. 
  • IP PIN users should share their number only with the IRS and their tax preparation provider. The IRS will never call, email or text a request for your IP PIN.
  • Taxpayers can request an IP PIN now for the upcoming calendar year. The IRS will issue new IP PINs in January of each year.

Additional resources:
IP PIN Opt-In Program for Taxpayers (English/Spanish Version), IRS Publication 5367
IRS Information on How to Get An IP PIN
Application for an IP PIN, IRS Form 15227
Tips on Making an Appointment with IRS
Tips on Verifying your Identity Online on