The IRS is gradually rolling out a new identity protection program that prevents anyone who has stolen your Social Security number from using it to file a fraudulent return. Learn how it works and whether you’re eligible.
The IRS can now give eligible taxpayers an “IP PIN,” a six-digit code to help prevent the misuse of Social Security numbers on fraudulent federal income tax returns. As the IRS explains, this PIN helps the agency verify a taxpayer’s identity and accept his or her electronic or paper tax return.
Not everyone can get one yet. If you are a confirmed victim of identity theft and the IRS has resolved your tax account issues, the agency will mail you a CP01A Notice with your IP PIN. Also, to be eligible for 2020, you must have filed a federal return last year as a resident of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas or Washington. This is as of February; the list will grow in the future.
Taxpayers eligible for the IP PIN Opt-In Program must use the online Get an IP PIN tool, explains the IRS. If you do not already have an account on irs.gov, you must register to validate your identity. Before attempting to register, read about the secure access identity authentication process. Taxpayers cannot obtain an IP PIN by calling the IRS.
How do you use an IP PIN?
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. An incorrect or missing IP PIN will result in the rejection of your e-filed return or a delay of your paper return until it can be verified.
Do not reveal your IP PIN to anyone. It should be disclosed only to your tax professional and only when you are ready to sign and submit your return. The IRS will never ask for your IP PIN. Avoid phone, email or text scams trying to trick you into revealing your IP PIN. For more details on using the IP PIN and the latest updates, go to the IRS IP PIN page. It contains a FAQ that answers the most common questions.