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Understanding Your CP01F Notice

This notice invites you to get an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) and explains its purpose and use.


What is an IP PIN?

An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to taxpayers to help prevent the misuse of their social security number (SSN) on fraudulent federal income tax returns. Once you get an IP PIN, you must use it to confirm your identity on your 2014 tax return and any delinquent returns filed during the calendar year. You’ll receive a new IP PIN each December by postal mail.

What does an IP PIN do?

An IP PIN helps us to verify your identity and accept your tax return whether it is submitted electronically or on paper. A missing or incorrect IP PIN prevents the electronic filing of a tax return with your SSN and personal information. Paper returns filed with a missing or incorrect IP PIN will be subject to additional review.

Who is eligible for an IP PIN?

Select individuals who were identified as possible identity theft victims have the opportunity to voluntarily opt in to receive an IP PIN to expand protection of their account from tax-related identity theft.

Participation in this program is strictly voluntary and if you choose not to participate, you may file your return as you would normally. At this time, if you choose to receive an IP PIN, you can’t opt out in future years.

Important: If you’re unable to verify your identity online, you won’t be able to get an IP PIN. You should file your return without an IP PIN.


What you need to do

If you received a CP01F notice, you have the option to create an online account, verify your identity and Get an IP PIN. If you choose to opt in to the IP PIN program, your tax account protection begins as soon as we issue your IP PIN.

When you receive your IP PIN, store it with your tax records. You will need it to file your tax return. Your IP PIN is only valid during the same calendar year in which it is issued and is to be used on any individual tax return filed within that calendar year.


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

Be sure to enter your six-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 six-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.


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-Dec-2014

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.