How To Get Identity Protection Pin: A Comprehensive Guide

Identity Protection Pin Illustration
Post Menu and Details.

Words: 1428

Reading time: ~6 minutes

In the digital age, securing personal information has become paramount. One such measure, especially for taxpayers in the U.S., is the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). But how to get an Identity Protection Pin? This comprehensive guide dives deep into the significance, process, and benefits of obtaining this crucial security feature. With identity theft cases rising by 45% in 2020, ensuring your tax-related security has never been more essential. So, let’s embark on this journey to fortify your tax filings.

What is an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)?

Hand Receiving An Ip Pin Envelope

In the vast realm of tax-related jargon, the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) stands out as a beacon of security. So, what’s the big deal about it? The IP PIN is a six-digit number, exclusively issued by the IRS. Its primary purpose? To ensure that only you can file a tax return using your Social Security Number. Think of it as a VIP pass to the tax-filing club, where only you and the IRS know the secret handshake (or in this case, the secret number).

Every year, you get a new IP PIN, making it even harder for identity thieves to misuse your information. It’s like changing the locks to your home regularly. And the best part? This PIN is exclusive to the taxpayer. Even if someone knows your Social Security Number, without the IP PIN, they’re locked out of filing a fraudulent return in your name.

Why You Might Need an IP PIN

Now, you might be thinking, “Do I really need another number to remember?” Well, considering the alarming rise in identity theft and tax refund fraud, it’s a resounding yes. In 2019 alone, the IRS identified 1.4 million taxpayers who were victims of identity theft. That’s a staggering number! And the aftermath? A whirlwind of paperwork, stress, and potential financial loss.

But here’s the silver lining. The IRS isn’t just sitting back and watching the chaos unfold. They’ve taken the initiative to provide IP PINs to all U.S. taxpayers, ensuring an added layer of security. It’s their way of saying, So, if you’ve ever felt the sting of identity theft or just want to sleep better at night knowing your tax returns are safe, getting an IP PIN should be on your to-do list.

While we’re on the topic of digital security, it’s essential to understand the broader spectrum of protecting your digital identity. From secure passwords to two-factor authentication, there’s a world of measures you can take to ensure your online safety. Dive deeper into this realm with our comprehensive guide.

How To Get Identity Protection PIN: The Application Process

Secure Online Tax Filing With Ip Pin

Ah, the digital age! Where even our tax-related security measures have gone online. If you’re wondering how to get an Identity Protection Pin, you’re in the right place. The process is more straightforward than you might think, and it all starts with a visit to our good friends at the IRS.

First things first, you’ll need to create an account on the IRS website. This isn’t just any account; think of it as your personal vault for all things tax-related. You’ll need to provide some basic details, like your Social Security Number, email address, and tax filing status. Once you’re in, it’s time to navigate to the online tool specifically designed for the IP PIN.

Now, here’s a fun fact: the IP PIN isn’t forever. It’s like that carton of milk in your fridge – it has an expiration date. The IP PIN is valid for one year. But don’t fret! The renewal process is a breeze. Every January, you can get a new IP PIN, ensuring you’re always one step ahead of potential identity thieves.

Alternative Methods to Obtain an IP PIN

If the online world isn’t your cup of tea, or if you’re just feeling a tad nostalgic for the good old days of paper and pen, there are alternative methods to get your IP PIN.

For those who prefer the tactile feel of paper, you can apply via mail or fax. You’ll need to fill out the IRS Form 15227 (doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?) and send it over. But remember, this method is only available for taxpayers who earn $72,000 or less.

If you’re the face-to-face type, you can also apply in person at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. It’s like a trip to the DMV, but for your taxes. Before you head out, make sure to check out this handy guide to ensure you have all the necessary documents.

Handling and Protecting Your IP PIN

Best Practice Description
Keep Your IP PIN Confidential Do not share your IP PIN with anyone, including friends, family, or on social media.
Store Your IP PIN Securely Safeguard your IP PIN in a secure location, such as a locked drawer or a digital password manager.
Use Secure Communication When discussing tax-related matters or sharing your IP PIN with professionals, ensure secure communication channels.
Report Lost or Stolen IP PIN Promptly If you suspect your IP PIN is lost or stolen, report it to the IRS immediately.
Renew Your IP PIN Annually Don’t forget to renew your IP PIN each year to maintain its effectiveness.
Explore Additional Identity Protection Measures Consider credit freezes, fraud alerts, and phishing awareness to further enhance your identity protection.

In the vast realm of numbers that govern our lives – from Social Security Numbers to those pesky PINs for our phones – the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) holds a special place. Think of it as the VIP of PINs, especially when it comes to your tax-related affairs. But with great power comes great responsibility.

First and foremost, treat your IP PIN like the secret ingredient in your grandma’s famous pie recipe: don’t share it. Not with your best friend, not with your cat, and definitely not on social media. This number is exclusively between you and the IRS.

“But what if I misplace it?” you ask. Well, life happens. If you happen to lose your IP PIN, don’t panic. The IRS has a process in place for IP PIN re-issuance. You can visit their help forum for guidance. Remember, it’s like losing a sock; it’s annoying, but there’s always a way to find it or replace it.

Enhancing Your Identity Protection

Identity Theft Prevention Measures

Now, let’s talk about going the extra mile. Or in this case, adding extra layers of security armor. Your IP PIN is just the start. There’s a whole world of identity protection measures out there, waiting for you to embrace them.

Consider freezing your credit. It’s like putting your credit report in a state of hibernation. This ensures that identity thieves can’t open new accounts in your name. It’s a bit like locking your treasure chest and throwing away the key.

Next up, fraud alerts. Setting these up means you’ll be notified if someone tries to apply for credit in your name. It’s like having a security guard for your credit report, who gives you a heads-up if anything fishy is going on.

Lastly, always be on the lookout for phishing attempts. Regularly updating your security settings is a must. And if an email seems too good to be true or asks for personal information, be wary. As the saying goes, “When in doubt, throw it out.” For more tips on enhancing your identity protection, check out this guide by Avast.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What exactly is an Identity Protection PIN?

The Identity Protection PIN, or IP PIN, is a six-digit number issued by the IRS to prevent unauthorized tax filings using your Social Security Number.

Why do I need an IP PIN?

Having an IP PIN provides an extra layer of security, ensuring that only you can file your tax return.

How often do I need to renew my IP PIN?

You need to renew your IP PIN annually. The IRS provides a new PIN each year for added security.

Can I share my IP PIN with my tax preparer?

Yes, you can share it with your tax preparer when they’re filing on your behalf. However, ensure it’s a trusted individual.

What should I do if I lose my IP PIN?

If lost, you can retrieve your IP PIN using the IRS’s online tool or by contacting them directly.

Are there any fees associated with getting an IP PIN?

No, obtaining an IP PIN from the IRS is completely free.

Can I opt out of the IP PIN program once I have an IP PIN?

Yes, but it’s not recommended due to the security benefits the IP PIN offers.


Securing your identity in today’s interconnected world is not just a choice but a necessity. Understanding how to get Identity Protection Pin is a significant step towards ensuring that your tax-related information remains in safe hands. As identity theft continues to rise, taking proactive measures like obtaining an IP PIN can offer peace of mind. Remember, your security is in your hands.

Thank you for reading!