Identities can be stolen just about anywhere nowadays. Workplaces, nursing homes, local police stations, and hospitals are just some to name a few. Anyone with a social security number is at risk. The Identity Protected PIN (IP PIN) is a personal identification number issued by the IRS each year to ensure that you are the one filing your return and not a scammer attempting to swipe some refunds.

How To Get An IP PIN

Using the online Get An IP PIN tool on IRS.gov is the quickest way to receive an IP PIN. If you want an IP PIN but don’t have an account on IRS.gov, you’ll need to create one to verify your identity. Tax professionals can assist taxpayers who have been victims of identity theft by advising them to obtain an IP PIN as soon as possible. Even if a thief has already filed a false tax return, an IP PIN would protect the taxpayer from being a repeat victim of tax-related identity theft.

If you’re not able to get an IP PIN through the Get An IP PIN tool, there are two alternatives on how to obtain an IP PIN. The first alternative is by filing an application for an IP PIN. You have the option to file Form 15227, Application For An Identity Protection Personal Identification Number if your adjusted gross income on your most recent tax return was less than $73,000 for individuals and $146,000 for married filed jointly.

There are three requirements needed when using this alternative to get an IP PIN:

  • A valid SSN or TIN

  • An adjusted gross income on your last filed return is below $73,000 for Individuals or $146,000 for Married Filing Joint.

  • Your telephone number

The IRS will call you at the phone number you gave on Form 15227 to verify your identity. Within 4-6 weeks after validating your identity, the IRS will be sending you your IP PIN via the US Postal Service. Your IP PIN will be mailed to you every year after that.

The second alternative to getting your IP PIN if the IRS tool and Form 15227 process was unsatisfactory for you is scheduling an appointment with a local Taxpayer Assistance Center. To establish your identity, please make sure to bring one current government-issued picture identification document and another identification document.

Within 3 weeks of the IRS verifying your identity, you will get your IP PIN via the US Postal Service. Your IP PIN will be mailed to you every year after that.

Important Things To Know About IP PIN

  • Every year, enrolled taxpayers are given a new IP PIN for security purposes. The IP PIN is only good for one calendar year.

  • Enrolled taxpayers can log back into the Get An IP PIN tool to see their current IP PIN.

  • Taxpayers with an IP PIN must use it when filing any federal tax returns during the year, including prior-year tax returns.

  • Taxpayers who use IP PINs should only share their numbers with the IRS and their trusted tax preparation provider. (The IRS will never call, email or text a request for the IP PIN.)

File Your Returns Using An IP PIN

When the tax software prompts you to do so, enter the six-digit IP PIN that you were provided by the IRS, or provide it to your trusted tax professional who is preparing your tax return. To minimize rejections and delays, correct IP PINs must be entered on both electronic and paper tax returns. If your IP PIN is wrong, your e-filed return will be rejected and your paper return will be delayed until it can be confirmed.

Only your tax expert should know about your IP PIN, and only when you’re ready to sign and submit your return. Just a brief reminder, that your IP PIN will never be requested by the IRS so any phone calls, text messages, or emails asking or confirming your IP PIN are all scams.

Resolve Your Tax Bills

If you’ve found yourself in a nasty mess with the IRS, take a deep breath. For taxpayers who may have difficulty paying off an excessive amount of tax debt, there’s a new and improved relief program that consolidates many major relief programs into a one-size-fits-all assistance program. Any issues regarding back taxes, unfiled years, or any other tax-related problems may be solved through one program; the IRS Fresh Start Program!

How Simple Is Qualifying?

Considering that the Fresh Start Program is a federal program, you would think meeting the qualifications may be very difficult, but really, it’s a lot simpler and quicker than you think. Take the following steps in order to find out if you are eligible in as little as 3 minutes.

  1. Fill out some basic information about yourself and your back taxes here.
  2. Have a representative reach out to you to discuss your eligibility.
  3. Go through the enrollment process and finally reduce or eliminate your tax liabilities.