Editor’s note: This service from the IRS is down for maintenance until January 2022.
You can request an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) from the IRS if you worry about security when filing your taxes or have been victimized by identity theft. The process for getting an IP PIN is straightforward, and the IRS offers three methods: online, by phone and in person.
What is a taxpayer Identity Protection PIN?
An Identity Protection PIN is a six-digit number the IRS uses to verify a taxpayer’s identity. The PIN prevents others from filing a tax return using your personally identifiable information, such as your Social Security Number.
Anyone can request an IP PIN, though initially it was available only for verified victims of identity theft.
The IP PIN protects your identity and your IRS data, so you should not share the PIN with anyone else, except your tax preparer. The IRS will issue you a new PIN each year.
How do I get my IP PIN?
The easiest and fastest way to get an IP PIN is by requesting one on the IRS website. You need to create an account.
Go to the IP PIN page on the IRS website.
- Click the “Get an IP PIN” button in the middle of the page.
- Sign in or create an account with the IRS.
- Click “Continue.”
- The next screen displays your PIN.
Requesting a PIN using Form 15227
If you’re unable to use the online tool and your income is $72,000 or less, you can file a Form 15227.
You need a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to complete the process.
The IRS calls the phone number you provide on the form, verifies your identity and assigns you a PIN. However, you can’t use the PIN for the current tax season, so plan ahead.
Starting with the following year, the IRS will send you a new PIN annually by mail.
Requesting a PIN in Person
Finally, if you’re unable to use the online tool or file Form 15227, you can verify your identity in person at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. After your appointment, you should receive the PIN by mail within three weeks.
To find a Taxpayer Assistance Center, you can search by ZIP code using the IRS office locator. Find the office that’s most convenient for you to visit, and click “Make Appointment” in the listing.