From the Pinnacle CPA Advisory Group, and Thomson Reuters — 

An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit number that prevents someone else from filing a tax return using your Social Security number. The IP PIN is known only to you and the Internal Revenue Service and helps the IRS verify your identity when you file your electronic or paper tax return.

Eligibility for an IP PIN

If you are a confirmed victim of identity theft and the IRS has resolved your tax account issues, the IRS will mail you a CP01A Notice with your IP PIN each year.

Starting this year. taxpayers also may voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program, as a proactive way to protect themselves against tax-related identity theft.

If you want to opt in, please note:

  • You must pass a rigorous identity verification process.
  • Spouses and dependents also are eligible for an IP PIN if they can pass the identity proofing process.

Complete the following steps to obtain your Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). The steps assume you don’t already have an online account with the IRS. If you do have an online account, see “Already Have an Online Account?” below.

Step 1: Go to and choose “Get an IP PIN.”

Registration is fast (taking about 15 minutes), secure, convenient, and free (message and data rates may apply to send a security code to a mobile phone). Note that the online tool is generally unavailable mid-November through mid-January each year.

Step 2: Create an account by using the “Create Account” link with your name and email address.

Step 3: A confirmation code will be sent to your email address. Enter the code as shown, including the hyphen.

Step 4: Provide the following information: (1) full name, (2) email address, (3) birthdate, (4) Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), (5) tax filing status, and (6) current address.

Step 5: Gather information on one of the following accounts (needed to verify your identity): (1) credit card, (2) student loan, (3) mortgage or home equity loan, (4) home equity line of credit, or (5) auto loan.

You will only need to provide the loan account number or eight digits from a credit card number. The IRS will only use this information to verify your identity. You will not be charged any money and are not sharing any account balances or other financial information with the IRS.

The IRS can’t verify debit cards, corporate cards, American Express, Barclays, or some cards issued by banks in U.S. territories. Additionally, the IRS can’t verify student loans issued by Nelnet.

A soft inquiry will show up on your credit report to let you know the IRS accessed your credit report information. This will not increase or decrease your credit score, and lenders will not be able to see the inquiry.

Step 6: Have a U.S.-based mobile phone number associated with your name. Use the phone number associated with the primary account owner. For example, even though both spouses have valid phone numbers, if only one is shown as the account owner by the mobile carrier, the IRS will not be able to verify the number of the other spouse. The device must be able to receive text messages (SMS). It may NOT be a landline, Skype, Google Voice, or a virtual number.

If you don’t have a mobile phone meeting those criteria, you can complete identity verification by receiving a letter in the mail. To complete registration, you will still need a U.S.-based mobile phone capable of receiving text messages, or an iPhone, iPad, or Android device to complete registration.

Step 7: Enter the activation code sent by text to your mobile phone.

Step 8: Create a username and password following the requirements, choose a phrase that you will recognize, and choose an image from the ones shown. After your account has been created, the IRS will issue you an IP PIN. Be sure to print the page displaying your IP PIN and secure it along with your tax records.

Already Have an Online Account?

If you already have an online account with the IRS, including an account through the “Get Transcript” or “Online Payment Agreement” tools, go to­theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin and log in with the same username and password. Follow the prompts to receive your IP PIN.

Contact Us for Help

f you have questions  about obtaining an IP PIN from the IRS, or want more information about any  personal, business or tax accounting, issue, contact the tax experts at Kleshinski, Morrison & Morris CPAs for help.  Call  (419) 756-3211email to kmm@kmmcpas.comor simply complete the Contact Us form at  Learn more about Pinnacle Wealth Planning Services at