how to get pin number from irs
July 25, 2023

How to Get PIN Number From IRS? Process and Necessary Information

Personal Taxes

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Despite the efforts to prevent identity theft, the IRS flagged over a million tax returns as fraudulent in 2023. This unsettling statistic shows that identity fraud still poses a threat to individual and business taxpayers.

The IP PIN is the IRS’ answer to this growing threat because it prevents scammers from using someone else’s SSN to file tax returns.

You’re probably wondering how to get a PIN from the IRS if you were an identity theft victim or want to protect yourself from becoming one.

The process is surprisingly easy. All you need to do is join the IP PIN program, verify your identity, and keep the code safe.

We’ll give you the information necessary to get the IP PIN from the IRS and talk you through the process.

What is an IP PIN?

Identity Protection Personal Identification Number or IP PIN is a six-digit code taxpayers can enter on their tax returns to confirm their identities.

Obtaining this number ensures that someone who knows your SSN or TIN can file a federal tax return only with your knowledge. You and your tax return preparer are the only persons besides the IRS who should know your IP PIN.

The IRS issues a new IP PIN yearly, so you cannot use the same code on two returns. You can get a new personal identification between January and November of the current calendar year.

Entering the IP PIN on Forms 1040, 1040-NR, 1040-SR, and 1040-PR is mandatory once you join the IP PIN program. Taxpayers with the Married Filed Jointly filing status can obtain the IP PIN for their spouses and dependents.

Your spouse or dependents must provide their IP PINs on the return after the IRS assigns them these unique six-digit codes.

The IRS sends Notice CP01A to all taxpayers who were victims of identity theft every year to add an additional security layer and ensure their private data is safe.

Reasons to Get the IP PIN From the IRS

Reasons to Get the IP PIN From the IRS

Obtaining an IP PIN is a precautionary measure that ensures no one can file a tax return for you without your consent. This extra layer of security is vital to taxpayers whose identity was stolen because it guarantees their tax accounts cannot be targeted again.

Getting the IP PIN can be useful for taxpayers who go through a divorce and want to prevent their ex-spouses from claiming dependents they’re ineligible to claim.

Participation in the IRS IP program is voluntary, so taxpayers can decide whether adding a safety layer to their filing process is necessary.

Opting out of this program isn’t possible, and you’ll have to include your IP PIN, SSN, and TIN on each tax return you file with the IRS after you join the program.

Moreover, participating in this program means you don’t have to file Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit to report repeated unauthorized attempts to access your private information.

Joining the IRS IP PIN Program

A valid Social Security Number and the ability to prove your identity are the only prerequisites for participation in the IRS IP PIN program. As a result, all taxpayers who can create an account on the IRS website and verify their identities can obtain this six-digit code.

When you complete the sign-up process, the code is generated automatically, so you won’t have to wait for the IRS to send it to you. Let’s go through the steps you must take to join the IRS IP PIN program.

Creating an account on the IRS website

You can skip this step if you already have an IRS account. Taxpayers who don’t have an IRS account should gather the following information:

  • A valid SSN or TIN
  • An active email address
  • Home address
  • ID, passport, a driving license

You should go to the IRS website and click the Sign In to Your Online Account button on the homepage. Choose the Create a new account option, enter your email address, and create the password.

You’ll have to confirm your email address before proceeding to enable the multifactor authentication on your smartphone. Afterward, you must choose between’s Video Chat with Agent or Self Service with ‘video selfie’ identity verification methods.

You can then upload your ID, which the agent will examine during the video call, and enter your SSN or TIN. The final step is authorizing the IRS to access the identity verification you completed.

Obtaining the IP PIN

Go to the Get IP PIN page on the IRS website after you create an account. Scroll down the page and click the Get IP PIN button in the How to Get an IP PIN section.

Sign in to your account, complete the identity verification process by answering security questions, and click Continue.

Your IP PIN will be generated automatically, and you can find it at the top of the Identity Protection PIN page. Print this page and read the filing instructions carefully.

If you forget your IP PIN, you can check it by signing in to the Get IP PIN tool. Remember that the IRS can only accept your tax return if you enter the IP PIN in the appropriate box.

Alternative Methods of Obtaining IP PIN

Alternative Methods of Obtaining IP PIN

Taxpayers who cannot confirm their identities online and get this unique six-digit code with the Get IP PIN tool have two options. They can apply for an IP PIN on paper or schedule an in-person appointment at the local Taxpayer Assistance Office.

Applying for the Personal Identification Number

You must fill out Form 15227 and send it to the IRS if your access to the internet is restricted or you cannot acquire an IP PIN online for some other reason. The IRS won’t consider your application unless you meet these criteria:

  • You don’t have an IP PIN.
  • The adjusted gross income on your last tax return was $73,00 or less if your filing status is Single or $146,000 for joint returns.
  • You have a valid SSN or ITIN.
  • You have access to a telephone.

You can mail or fax this form to the IRS, and an agent assigned to your case will call the number you provide on the form to confirm your identity.

The IRS will send your IP PIN by post four to six weeks after verifying your identity, and you’ll continue to receive new IP PINs via post every year.

Scheduling an In-Person Identity Verification

Use the Taxpayer Assistance Center locator to find the nearest office and make an appointment. You should bring a government-issued ID with a photo and additional documents the TAC agent can use to confirm your identity during the meeting.

Your IP PIN will arrive via post approximately three weeks after the appointment. TAC will continue sending you new IP PINs annually through the US Postal Service.

Retrieving Lost IP PINs

Retrieving Lost IP PINs

The Get IP PIN tool on the IRS website makes it impossible to lose the six-digit code. Hence, all you need to do if you lose or forget your IP PIN is log in to your account, confirm your identity, and check the PIN assigned to your account.

The IRS will automatically update your IP PIN in mid-January, and you must use the Get IP PIN tool to retrieve your new PIN.

However, retrieving this number can be more difficult if you don’t receive Notice CP01A on time or struggle to find it online. You must call 800-908-4490 to have your IP PIN reissued and sent to you by mail within three weeks.

This method of retrieving a lost IP PIN is only possible if you file a tax return before October 14 of the current calendar year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the IRS Automatically Assign an IP PIN to a Taxpayer?

Participation in the IP PIN program is voluntary. Nonetheless, the IRS retains the right to automatically assign an IP PIN to identity theft victims. You’ll receive Notice CP01A if the IRS assigns this code to your account.

What Happens if I Enter Incorrect IP PINs for Secondary Taxpayers on a Tax Return?

The IRS might reject your return or request more information if you don’t provide the correct IP PINs for all secondary taxpayers.

Do I Need an IP PIN to File Form 2441?

You don’t have to provide your IP PIN to complete Form 2441. However, if one or more dependents you claimed on a tax return have IP PINs, you must include them on this form. 

Does the IRS Ask Taxpayers to Provide their IP PINs in Emails or During Phone Calls?

When Filing a Tax Return, the IRS will only ask you to provide your IP PIN as a security measure. Any requests for IP PINs you may receive over the phone or in an email are fake, and you should report them to the IRS.

Protecting Private Data with IP PINs

You may lose your tax refund if someone steals your identity and uses your SSN to file a tax return.

The IRS automatically assigns IP PINs to all identity theft victims. Despite this, millions of taxpayers are still vulnerable to hacking attacks and other forms of tax identity fraud.

That’s why the IRS has simplified the process of obtaining an IP PIN for primary and secondary taxpayers who want to ensure their private data is safe.

All taxpayers with valid SSNs and online IRS accounts who can verify their identities can get this six-digit code from the IRS in just a few minutes. Entering this program will guarantee that your data is safe and prevent fraudsters from filing tax returns in your name.


Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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