How To Get An Identity Protection Pin: A Step-By-Step Guide

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In recent years, identity theft has skyrocketed, with a staggering 33% increase in cases reported in 2020 compared to the previous year. Protecting your identity has never been more crucial. One effective measure introduced by the IRS is the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal income tax returns. In this guide, we delve deep into How To Get An Identity Protection Pin, offering you a step-by-step pathway to securing your tax-related information. Stay tuned as we unravel the process, the benefits, and the peace of mind that comes with having an IP PIN.

What is an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)?

In the grand scheme of protecting oneself in the digital age, the IRS threw in a superhero cape, albeit a numerical one, called the Identity Protection PIN or IP PIN for short.

So, what exactly is this superhero in the digital safety world?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number that the IRS allocates to eligible U.S. taxpayers to help prevent their Social Security number from being used on fraudulent federal income tax returns. It’s like having a VIP pass in the world of tax filings, where only you have the golden ticket, that golden ticket being your unique IP PIN.

To dive deeper into the world of IP PINs and to understand their role in safeguarding your identity, feel free to visit the IRS official page.

How IP PINs Work

Now that we have introduced our superhero, let’s talk about the superpowers it holds.

The IP PIN serves as an additional verification layer, ensuring that the person filing the tax return is indeed the rightful owner of the Social Security number being used. It’s like a secret handshake that tells the IRS, “It’s really me!”

This mechanism not only adds an extra layer of security but also fosters a safer financial ecosystem. For a broader understanding of cyber security measures and how an IP PIN complements them, check out this detailed guide on cyber security.

Why You Might Need an IP PIN

Alright, we have met our superhero and understood its superpowers, but why exactly do we need this superhero in our lives?

Well, in certain situations, having an IP PIN can be your saving grace. Imagine being in a situation where your social security number has been compromised. It’s akin to someone stealing Thor’s hammer; not everyone can wield it, but if someone does, chaos ensues.

Having an IP PIN in such scenarios ensures that you have a shield, a barrier that keeps the fraudsters at bay, allowing only you to wield the power of your identity. It’s like having a secret fortress that guards your most precious possession, your identity.

To understand the gravity of having an IP PIN and the security it offers, delve deeper into the subject with this informative article.

How To Get An Identity Protection Pin: A Step-By-Step Process

Eligibility Criteria Description
Victim of Identity Theft with IRS If you have been a victim of identity theft with the IRS, you are eligible for an IP PIN.
Received CP01A Notice or Invitation Letter If you have received a CP01A notice or a letter inviting you to opt for an IP PIN, you are eligible.
A resident of Certain States Residents of certain states may also be eligible for an IP PIN. Check the IRS website for the list of eligible states.

Embarking on the journey to secure your very own Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is akin to stepping into a fortress that guards your tax-related information with an impenetrable shield. But before you step into this fortress, you need to ensure you are on the guest list, that is, you meet the eligibility criteria set by the IRS.

First things first, who is eligible? Well, if you have been a victim of identity theft with the IRS or if you have received a CP01A notice or a letter inviting you to opt for an IP PIN, you are eligible. Moreover, residents of certain states can also opt for this service.

Now, let’s get down to the brass tacks of how to apply for an IP PIN. The process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Verify your identity – this could be through an existing account or by registering a new one with the IRS.
  2. Secure a tax return from the last six years.
  3. Have your mobile number ready for verification.

For a detailed guide on the application process, feel free to visit this comprehensive guide.

How To Get An Identity Protection Pin

Retrieving a Lost or Forgotten IP PIN

Oh no, did your IP PIN play hide and seek and now you can’t find it? Fret not, for the IRS has got you covered with a retrieval system that is as easy as pie.

To retrieve your lost IP PIN, simply:

  1. Log in to your IRS account.
  2. Follow the step-by-step instructions to retrieve your IP PIN.

And voila, your IP PIN is back in your hands, safe and sound. For a detailed walkthrough on retrieving your IP PIN, check out the official IRS guide.

But hey, let’s ensure we don’t lose it again, shall we?

Tips for Safeguarding Your IP PIN

Protecting Your Identity

Keeping your IP PIN safe is like guarding a golden ticket that grants you access to a world of security. Here are some golden rules to follow:

  • Never share it: Treat your IP PIN like the secret ingredient in your grandma’s famous recipe; never share it with anyone.
  • Store it safely: Find a secure place, perhaps a digital vault, to store your IP PIN.
  • Change it annually: Yes, you heard it right. Changing your IP PIN annually is a good practice to ensure its effectiveness.

For more tips on how to protect yourself against cyber criminals and to keep your IP PIN secure, head over to this informative article for a deep dive into the world of cyber security.

The Role of IP PINs in Broader Identity Theft Protection

IP PINs are a vital piece of identity theft protection that protects your tax information from scammers.

IP PINs are a powerful tool in the fight against identity theft, but they are only one of many.

So, what else is there?

Well, you have credit freezes, fraud alerts, and regular monitoring of your financial accounts to ensure that you are not just safe, but fortress-safe.

To get a more detailed insight into how IP PINs fit into the broader picture of identity theft protection, feel free to explore this resource.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with IP PINs

As Spiderman’s uncle rightly said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Holding an IP PIN is no different. It comes with its own set of potential pitfalls and misconceptions.

First off, sharing is not always caring when it comes to your IP PIN. Keeping it confidential is the golden rule.

Secondly, don’t procrastinate in reporting if your IP PIN has fallen into the wrong hands. The sooner you report, the quicker the IRS can act to protect your identity.

For a deeper understanding of how to avoid common mistakes and ensure optimal protection, dive into this guide on business cybersecurity.

Future of Identity Protection and the Role of IP PINs

Future Of Identity Protection And Ip Pins

Identity theft is rising rapidly, thus we must ask, “What lies ahead in the realm of identity protection?”

IP PINs will continue to shape the future, making it bright and secure. However, more advanced procedures may be woven into the security fabric, creating a tight but adaptable security blanket.

Consider a world where IP PINs incorporate biometric verification for further protection that is as unique as your fingerprint.

To delve deeper into the evolving landscape of identity protection and the role IP PINs will play in the future, explore this informative article.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number that the IRS provides to help prevent your Social Security number from being used on fraudulent federal income tax returns.

How do I know if I am eligible to get an IP PIN?

You are eligible if you received a CP01A notice, are a victim of identity theft, or are a resident of a location specified by the IRS. Visit the IRS website for detailed eligibility criteria.

How can I retrieve a lost IP PIN?

You can retrieve a lost IP PIN through the IRS account, by calling the IRS, or by visiting the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Can I get a new IP PIN every year?

Yes, the IRS encourages taxpayers to get a new IP PIN each year for enhanced security.

What should I do if my IP PIN doesn’t work?

If your IP PIN doesn’t work, you should contact the IRS immediately for assistance and to avoid any potential delays in your tax return processing.


As we saw, knowing how to get an identity protection pin is crucial to digital identity protection. An IP PIN secures your tax filings and keeps your personal information safe.

Thank you for reading!