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Protect yourself from tax-related identity theft using an Identity Protection PIN

Tax-related identity theft happens when someone files a tax return requesting a fraudulent refund using your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number.

You may not discover that you are a victim of this crime until you are notified by the IRS of a potential problem with your federal tax return. The criminal who filed the return using your personal information may still have your data and you could remain a target for other identity-related crimes.

Signs of tax-related identity theft

You may be a victim of tax-related identity fraud if:

  • Your e-filed tax form is rejected.

  • The IRS or your tax preparer informs you that more than one tax return has been filed using your Social Security number.

  • The IRS mails you a letter informing that a suspicious return has been filed using your Social Security number.

  • Your IRS record shows that you were paid by an employer you don't know. Why? Someone may have used your Social Security number to get employment. The employer reported subsequent income to the IRS.

  • The IRS mails you a notice that you owe additional tax for a year you didn't file a tax return.

Recommended actions

If you think you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, you should reach out and report this to the IRS.

You can be proactive in protecting yourself from tax-related identity theft by opting for an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN).

An IP PIN is a 6-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent a fraud from filing a tax return using your Social Security number. Once you make this request, you will always need the IP PIN each time you file your federal taxes. You will need a new IP PIN every year to file. Keep your IP PIN in a safe place. For more information, read Get An Identity Protection PIN.

How do I get an IP PIN?

To get an IP PIN, sign in to your IRS account. If you don't already have an account on IRS.gov, you must register to validate your identity. Please have the following information and materials to complete the registration:

  • Full name

  • Email

  • Date of birth

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

  • Tax filing status

  • Current address

If you have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and can verify your identity, you are eligible to enroll in the IP PIN program.

If you have any questions, you can refer to the IRS FAQ page about the IP PIN.

Disclaimer:

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DOCID: v138027988
Operating System: Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS
Last modified: 03/02/2021