The Internal Revenue Service is well aware that cybercriminals are trying to steal your identity. All a hacker needs to file a fraudulent claim on your account is your name and Social Security number.
Think about that for a moment. Only two things separate you from a hacker getting your tax refund, which is why the IRS created the Identity Protection PIN for some taxpayers.
The IP PIN is a six-digit personal identification number that prevents someone from using your Social Security number on federal tax returns, not state tax returns. If the IRS assigns you an IP PIN, you can't opt out of using it. The IRS will issue you a unique IP PIN each year. Note: The six-digit IP PIN is different from your five-digit eFile PIN.
The IRS will assign you an IP PIN, for example, if you were the victim of identity theft. You will typically receive a letter from the IRS in the mail in December or January. If you have an IP PIN, you use it when filing federal taxes, if you're using forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040PR, or 1040SS.
You're required to get an IP PIN if at least one of the following occurred:
- The IRS mailed you a CP01A Notice with your new IP PIN and you lost it
- The IRS assigned you an IP PIN in the past, but you have not received one for 2016
- The IRS rejected your e-Filed tax return for a missing or incorrect IP PIN