IRS Identity Protection PIN: What it is and why it’s important

by | Jan 27, 2024


In an ongoing effort to bolster security measures, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and their partners from the Security Summit initiative are reminding taxpayers about the opportunity to enhance their protection against identity theft during the 2024 tax season by enrolling in the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program.

What is the IRS Identity Protection (IP) PIN?

The IRS issues a 6-digit number known as the IP PIN to eligible taxpayers. This unique code is designed to thwart the unauthorized use of their Social Security number in fraudulent federal income tax filings. A fresh IP PIN is generated annually.

If you’ve been provided with an IP PIN, using it for identity verification is mandatory when submitting any tax return during the present calendar year. This requirement applies to both current-year tax returns and any overdue tax filings.

Please note that an IP PIN applies exclusively to Forms 1040, 1040-NR, 1040-PR, 1040-SR, and 1040-SS.

Why do I need an IP PIN?

Danny Werfel, an IRS spokesperson, emphasized the significance of this special code, describing it as a secret weapon against identity thieves attempting to file fraudulent tax returns. Only the IRS and the taxpayer are privy to this code, providing an extra layer of security during the tax return filing process.

It’s important to take extra precautions to safeguard your financial and tax-related information from cybercriminals. Identity theft can have severe consequences when thieves gain access to a person’s personal information, including their name, address, Social Security Number (SSN), or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and attempt to use this information to file fraudulent tax returns.

The unique aspect of IP PINs is that they are known only to the taxpayer and the IRS.

Who’s eligible for an IRS IP PIN?

Individuals with a valid Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) who can confirm their identity are eligible to participate in the IP PIN program. Over 8.1 million taxpayers are benefiting from this additional layer of protection against tax-related identity theft.

How do I get an IRS IP PIN?

The quickest and most convenient method to obtain an IP PIN is through the online tool “Get my IP PIN,” available from mid-January to mid-November on the IRS website.

Here’s a brief overview of how the IP PIN process works:

1. Taxpayers interested in obtaining an IP PIN should visit

2. After creating an account and completing the required steps, the IP PIN will be revealed.

3. It’s important to note that an IP PIN is valid for one calendar year, and participants must acquire a new one each January.

The IRS encourages individuals who may have been previously rejected during the identity authentication process to reapply, as the process is continually refined to improve accuracy and security.

Important Information about IP PINs

  • The IRS will never request an IP PIN through email, text, or phone.
  • The IP PIN should only be shared with trusted tax software providers or tax preparers, and individuals should guard it against potential theft or scams.
  • Taxpayers should include their IP PIN on all tax returns, whether filed electronically or on paper, including amended returns or returns for previous years, to avoid processing delays or rejection by the IRS.
  • An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year.
  • A new IP PIN is generated each year for your account.
  • Logging back into the Get an IP PIN tool will display your current IP PIN.
  • An IP PIN must be used when filing any federal tax returns, including prior year returns. 
  • More questions? Visit: FAQs about the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN)
  • The IRS will never request an IP PIN through email, text, or phone.

For additional information or questions, please refer to the FAQs above. And remember, the IRS will never request your IP PIN through email, text, or phone calls.