Identity Protection PIN

The IRS Identity Protection Personal Identification Number or IP PIN is issued annually to taxpayers who believe that they have experienced identity theft or who have received a letter or notice from IRS indicating they may be a victim of identity theft and inviting them to receive an IP PIN.  The number is a unique six-digit number used when filing a federal tax return.  The IP PIN is used as a method of authenticating the identity of the taxpayer in connection with the tax return being filed.  The use of the IP PIN will reduce delays in the filing of tax returns and the issuance of refunds.

The following is important information to remember about the IP PIN:

  • It is used on electronic and paper-filed returns.

  • Once an IP PIN is issued, the taxpayer’s return will not be accepted by the IRS unless the IP PIN is included on the tax return.

  • Only victims of identity theft are eligible for an IP PIN.

  • A new IP PIN will be issued for each new tax year for as long as the identity theft indicator remains on the taxpayer’s account (usually in late December).

  • The IRS will send a letter containing the IP PIN for the taxpayer.

  • A spouse does not need a separate IP PIN to file a joint return.

  • If the taxpayer and spouse have an IP PIN, they will both need to enter their respective IP PINs on an electronically filed return.  If they are filing a paper return, they will need to enter only the primary taxpayer’s IP PIN; however, if the spouse is the identity theft victim, the IP PIN issued to the spouse should be entered instead of the primary taxpayer’s IP PIN. 

  • The IP PIN letter should be kept in a safe place, usually with tax records.

  • The IP PIN should only be used on the federal tax return.

  • The IP PIN should not be provided to anyone except the tax professional preparing the tax return.IP PINs are required when filing Forms 1040, 1040NR, and 1040SS.

  • Amended returns do not require the use of an issued IP PIN.

  • Taxpayers who have been issued an IP PIN for the current tax year return must also use the IP PIN for delinquent prior-year tax returns filed during the current filing season.


Cathy Fisher

Common Cents Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation

Serving Henderson, NC, Buncombe County, Polk County, Transylvania County


P: 828-595-2835

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