How to Get an Identity Protection PIN From the IRS

How to Get an Identity Protection PIN From the IRS

Molly McLaughlin
Updated March 10, 2023

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.

Related: Beware of Fake IRS Letter Scams

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.

  1. Click the “Get an IP PIN” button in the middle of the page.
  2. Sign in or create an account with the IRS.
  3. Click “Continue.”
  4. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you get a new IP PIN every year?

Yes, the IRS will issue you a new PIN each year. Each IP Pin expires after one year, automatically updated with a new one. If you file electronically, a tax return filed with an out-of-date PIN will be automatically rejected, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with your current number.

Is an IP PIN the same as self-select PIN?

No. A self-select PIN is a 5-digit number taxpayers may use as an electronic signature when e-filing an electronic Form 1040 and Form 4868. Users may choose their own self-select PIN and reuse each year. An IP PIN is a 6-digit number that the IRA assigns for victims of identity theft, or users who want to help prevent identity theft.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.