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Understanding Your CP01A Notice

This notice tells you about the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) we sent you.

Understanding your CP01A Notice

In mid-December, we issue CP01A notices containing a 6-digit IP PIN and instructions on how to use it. We send this notice to taxpayers meeting the following criteria:

  • You reported to us that you are a victim of identity theft,
  • We identified you as a victim of identity theft, or
  • You participated in our 2014 IP PIN pilot for residents of FL, GA or DC.

NOTE: IP PIN Users Still Awaiting Their IP PINs Should Use the Online Tool.

What you need to do when filing Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or 1040 PR/SS

Be sure to enter your 6-digit IP PIN in the correct place when you file your 2014 federal tax return:

  • Electronic Returns (Caution: See additional joint filing rules below)
    • Your tax software or practitioner will tell you where to enter the IP PIN.
    • Due to software variations, we don’t know the location of the IP PIN within each package. If you can’t find where to enter your IP PIN, search within your software for Identity Protection PIN or IP PIN or contact the software provider’s help desk.
    • The 6-digit IP PIN is sometimes confused with the 5-digit e-file PIN; they’re not interchangeable.
  • Paper Returns
    • Enter the IP PIN for the taxpayer listed first on the tax return in the gray box marked ‘Identity Protection PIN’ located to the right of Spouse’s signature and occupation.
  • Amended Returns, Extensions and Installment Agreements
    An IP PIN is not required to file:
    • Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return;
    • Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return; or
    • Form 433-D, Installment Agreement.

If you are filing a joint return using Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or 1040 PR/SS

  • Electronic Returns
    •  Each taxpayer who receives an IP PIN must enter it on their tax return when filing as the primary (first SSN on the tax form) or spouse.
      • If only one taxpayer receives an IP PIN, you must enter it with the taxpayer’s SSN to whom it belongs.
      • If both taxpayers receive an IP PIN, both taxpayers must enter the IP PIN that goes with their SSN.
  • Paper Returns
    • Only the taxpayer listed first on the tax return needs to enter their IP PIN.

Note: The spouse’s IP PIN still protects their account even though it’s not entered on a paper return.

Important things to remember about your IP PIN

  • Don’t reveal your IP PIN to anyone other than your tax preparer. Reveal it only when you are ready to sign and submit your federal income tax return.
  • You must use your IP PIN on your 2014 federal income tax return. A missing IP PIN will affect your tax return as follows.
    • Electronically filed returns will be rejected to the submitter.
    • Paper filed returns may result in a delay processing your return and issuing any refund you may be due.
  • If you received an IP PIN for one of your dependents, don’t enter that IP PIN on your return.
  • Your IP PIN isn’t valid for use on state income tax returns.
  • We’ll send you a new IP PIN each December by postal mail.
  • Store this letter with your tax records.

Use on prior year returns

You must use your latest IP PIN on any delinquent 2013, 2012 or 2011 Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or 1040PR/SS returns you may file in calendar year 2015.

If you misplaced your IP PIN

Visit the Lost or Misplaced IP PINs page for instructions on how to recover your original IP PIN or request a replacement.

Answers to Common Questions

We have complete answers to questions you might have about the IP PIN process on our Frequently Asked Questions about the IP PIN page.



Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 22-Jan-2015

How to get help

  • Call the 1-800, 1-866 or 1-888 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
  • Authorize someone (e.g., accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.