Notice CP01A
September 16, 2023

IRS Notice CP01A: Here’s the Steps to Take After Receiving it

Personal Taxes

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Fraudulent tax returns filed with the intention of claiming taxpayers’ tax refunds are a persisting problem for the IRS.

Identity theft victims receive their IP PINs on Notice CP01A, which the IRS assigns to their accounts to prevent future attempts of unauthorized use of their private data.

Despite all the efforts the IRS puts into preventing identity thefts, taxpayers face difficulties when filing their returns every year due to misuse of their social security numbers.

The IRS will send you Notice CP01A if you’re among the thousands of taxpayers forced to file Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit. Although getting this notice isn’t a reason for concern, you might wonder what to do next.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps you must take after you receive Notice CP01A from the IRS.

Key Points

  • You don’t have to respond to Notice CP01A
  • The notice contains your IP PIN, without which you cannot e-file your tax return
  • You’ll receive Notice CP01A with a new IP PIN every year. 

What is IP PIN and How to Use it?

What is IP PIN and How to Use it

The Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) is a unique six-digit number the IRS assigns to identity theft victims after they file Form 14039.

Taxpayers can request this number through the Get IP PIN tool on the IRS website even if scammers didn’t target their accounts.

Optionally, you can submit Form 15227 to avoid applying for IP PIN online. However, remember that this option might be unavailable if the adjusted gross income you reported on your last return was over $73,000.

The IRS only sends Notice CP01A to identity theft victims who previously filed Form 14039 once their case is resolved.

Once you opt into the IRS’s identity protection program, you must enter your IP PIN on all your tax returns. This unique number expires at the end of the calendar year, and you’ll receive a new one before the start of the next filing season, usually in December or January.

Overview of Notice CP01A

Overview of Notice CP01A

Getting Notice CP01A means that the IRS has resolved the issue that prompted you to file Form 14039. As already mentioned, the notice contains your IP PIN and an explanation of the reason the IRS sent you the notice.

The notice date, the tax year during which your IP PIN is valid, and the telephone number you can use to contact the IRS if you have any questions about the notice are in the upper right corner of the notice’s first page.

The first heading should read ‘Important Information about filing your federal tax return‘ and include the tax year. The title below reveals why the IRS is contacting you as it states, ‘We Assigned You an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number.’

The list of reasons why the IP PIN was assigned to your account indicates that you’re receiving Notice CP01A because:

  • You were an identity theft victim.
  • You requested an IP PIN.
  • You informed the IRS that your tax account might be exposed to an identity theft attempt.

This notice also informs you that the IRS added an indicator to your account and reveals that the IP PIN helps the IRS confirm that you entered your SSN on a tax return. It also instructs you to use the IP PIN for all tax returns you file from January until December of the current year.

The valid IP PIN is below the section explaining why you received this notice.

The Steps to Take After Receiving IRS Notice CP01A

You’ll find the instructions regarding what you must do on the first page of this notice. The document states that you should keep your IP PIN safe and not share it with anyone except your tax preparer.

You must enter the same IP PIN when filing this year’s tax return or filing past-due returns for previous years. E-filers should follow the instructions in their tax software regarding where to enter their IP PINs or ask their return preparer when to use this number.

The IP PIN should be in the Identity Protection PIN box next to the Spouse’s Signature and Occupation box on a paper return. You don’t have to enter your spouse’s PIN if your name is listed first on a paper return and you’re filing jointly.

Opting out of the Identity Protection program isn’t an option, and the IRS will assign a new IP PIN to your account every year. As a result, you must File Form 8822 if you move to tell the IRS your new mailing address.

Remember that the e-file or Self-Select PIN and IP PIN cannot be used interchangeably because the e-file PIN has just five digits.

What to Do if You Misplace IRS Notice CP01A?

What to Do if You Misplace IRS Notice CP01A

You must e-file a tax return with the IP PIN after the IRS assigns this number to your account, so you must keep your Notice CP01A safe until you receive a new one.

Creating a backup of the document or writing down your IP PIN can help you avoid going through the process of retrieving your IP PIN.

Retrieving a PIN is a straightforward process if you already have an IRS online account. Setting up a new account takes a few minutes and includes quick identity verification.

Hence, all you need to do if you misplace your current IP PIN is go to the IP PIN page on the IRS website, log in to your account, and retrieve the number.

Optionally, you can retrieve your IP PIN by calling 800-908-4490. The IRS agent will verify your identity and reissue an IP PIN.

However, you cannot use this option after October 14 if you didn’t file taxes for the current or previous tax years. Using Form 15227 to apply for a new IP PIN also isn’t an option because only taxpayers who want to opt into the program can use the form to obtain a new IP PIN.

The best course of action is to submit a paper return without an IP PIN if you cannot retrieve this number online or during a phone call. Doing so will delay your refund because the IRS needs around four weeks to process a paper return and additional time to verify your identity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Enter My Spouse’s and Dependent’s IP PIN on a Tax Return?

Besides your own, your electronic tax return should contain your spouse’s and your dependent’s IP PIN. But it would help if you only used the primary taxpayer’s IP PIN on a paper return. 

What to Do if I Don’t Receive Notice CP01A By the End of a Calendar Year?

The IRS will send you a Notice CP01A with a new IP PIN every year, but you must call the number on the last notice you received if you don’t get this notice by the end of January

Does Receiving Notice CP01A Mean I Don’t Have to File Form 14039?

You don’t have to submit an identity theft affidavit if you already have an IP PIN unless an identity theft incident occurs after the IRS assigned this number to this account. 

Can I Use My IP PIN For Purposes Other Than Filing a Tax Return?

This six-digit number is used to verify a taxpayer’s identity when filing a tax return. However, if the IRS assigns an IP PIN to your dependent, you must provide this number when e-filing Form 2441 and Schedule EIC (Form 1040)

Protecting the Privacy of Your Data with IRS Notice CP01A

The steps you should take after receiving IRS Notice CP01A are easy to follow. The notice contains your IP PIN for the current year, and you must enter this number in the appropriate field on all returns you e-file or submit on paper during a calendar year.

You can e-file a tax return with this number after the IRS assigns it to your accounts, so you must keep the notice safe to avoid potential complications during the filing season.

Using this number will increase your account’s security and ensure that no one can use your SSN to file Form 1040 for you. That’s why you shouldn’t share the information from Notice CP01A with anyone except your tax preparer and immediate family.


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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