Tax Security Awareness Week: Identity Protection PIN

National Tax Security Awareness Week Choosing a special Identity
Protection PIN adds extra safety for taxpayers

WASHINGTON – As part of a wider effort to increase security, the Internal Revenue Service today
reminded taxpayers they can get extra protection starting in January by joining the agency’s Identity
Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program.
Anyone who can verify their identity can protect themselves against tax-related identity theft by opting
into the IP PIN program. More than 5.1 million taxpayers are now participating in the IP PIN program,
enabling them to proactively protect themselves against identity theft. The IRS has made recent
changes to the program to make it easier for more taxpayers to join. The fastest and easiest way to
receive an IP Pin is by using the Get an IP PIN tool.
Today’s reminder marks the third day of National Tax Security Awareness Week, which runs through
Dec. 3. This annual observance is sponsored by the Security Summit, a partnership that includes
state tax agencies, the nation’s tax industry and the IRS.
The Security Summit was established in 2015 to protect taxpayers and the nation’s tax system
against tax-related identity theft. This unique collaboration between the public and private sectors has
increased mutual defenses against criminals trying to file fraudulent tax returns and steal refunds.
One of the key features of the IRS system involves an IP PIN, which is a six-digit number assigned to
eligible taxpayers to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer
Identification Number on fraudulent federal income tax returns.
An IP PIN is known only to the taxpayer and the IRS. Originally designed for confirmed victims of tax-
related identity theft, the IP PIN program was expanded in 2021 to include any taxpayer, nationwide,
who wants the additional protection and security of using an IP PIN to file tax returns with the IRS.
“When people have this special code, it prevents someone else from filing a tax return in their name,”
said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The fastest way to get an Identity Protection PIN is to use our
online tool, but keep in mind people must pass a rigorous authentication process. We must know that
the person asking for the IP PIN is who they really say they are.”
An IP PIN helps the IRS verify a taxpayer’s identity and accept their federal income tax returns,
regardless of whether they are filing electronically or on paper. The online Get an IP PIN tool at immediately displays the taxpayer’s IP PIN. In each subsequent year, any participating
taxpayer will then use the tool to obtain a new number.
The IRS urges any IP PIN applicant previously rejected during the identity authentication process to
try applying again in 2022. The authentication process has been refined and improved, now enabling
many taxpayers screened out in the past to have a better chance of passing the authentication


page 2

Before applying, keep in mind these key points about the IP PIN program:
 For 2022, the Get an IP PIN tool is scheduled to launch on Jan. 10. It’s the fastest and easiest
way to get an IP PIN. It is also the only option that immediately reveals the IP PIN to the taxpayer.
For that reason, the IRS urges everyone to try the Get an IP PIN tool first, before pursuing other
 No identity theft affidavit is required for taxpayers opting in. This means that anyone who
voluntarily applies for an IP PIN doesn’t need to file Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, with the
 The IP PIN is valid for one year. This means that each January any participating taxpayer must
obtain a newly generated IP PIN.
 Be sure to enter the IP PIN on any return, whether it is filed electronically or on paper. This
includes any amended returns or returns for prior years. Doing so will help avoid processing
delays or having the return rejected by the IRS.
 Anyone with either a Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
(ITIN) who can verify their identity is eligible for the IP PIN opt-in program.
 Any eligible family member can get an IP PIN. This includes the primary taxpayer (the person
listed first on a tax return), the secondary taxpayer (on a joint return, the person listed second on
the return) or any of their dependents.
 With one key exception, never reveal an IP PIN to anyone. The only exception is a taxpayer who
uses a trusted tax professional to file their return. Even then, only share the IP PIN with the trusted
tax pro when it is time to sign and submit the return. The IRS will never ask for an IP PIN.
Remember to watch out: Phone calls, emails and texts requesting an IP PIN are scams.
 Identity theft victims should still fill out an ID theft affidavit. This means that any confirmed victim of
tax-related identity theft still needs to file Form 14039 with the IRS if their e-filed tax return was
rejected by the agency due to a duplicate SSN filing. The IRS will then investigate their case.
Once the fraudulent tax return is removed from their account, the IRS will automatically mail an IP
PIN to the confirmed victim at the start of the next calendar year. Because of security risks,
confirmed identity theft victims cannot opt out of the IP PIN program.
Options for people who can’t pass the online authentication process
Two options are available for people who cannot pass the IRS online identity authentication process.
One involves filing Form 15227 and the other requires a visit to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center
(TAC). Unlike the online option, both of these options involve, for security reasons, a delay in
receiving an IP PIN.
Form 15227: For processing year 2022, individuals with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less
and those married filing jointly with an AGI of $146,000 or less with access to a telephone can
complete Form 15227 (.pdf) and either mail or fax it to the IRS. An IRS representative will then call
them to verify their identity with a series of questions. Taxpayers choosing this option who pass the


page 3

identity authentication process will generally receive their IP PIN in about a month.
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers: Any taxpayer who is ineligible to file a Form 15227 may make an
appointment to visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). Anyone using this option must bring
two forms of picture identification. Because this is an in-person identity verification, an IP PIN will be
mailed to the taxpayer after their visit. Normally, allow three weeks for delivery. To find the nearest
TAC, use the IRS Local Office Locator online tool or call 844-545-5640.
The IRS, state tax agencies, the private sector tax industry, including tax professionals, work in
partnership as the Security Summit to help protect taxpayers from identity theft and refund fraud. This
is the third in a week-long series of tips to raise awareness about identity theft.
See for more details. Also, check out the most recent A Closer Look column
on National Tax Security Awareness Week