Understanding your CP01E notice

What this notice is about

We believe another person may have used your Social Security number (SSN) to obtain employment. There is no known impact to your tax return or refund related to the potential misuse of your SSN. Because of the potential risks associated with identity theft, we are notifying you and providing you with proactive steps to protect your financial and credit accounts.

If there’s more than one name on the notice, this notice is related to the first person named. The person named may be a minor child, dependent, or other non-filer. However, because someone potentially used that person’s SSN for employment, there’s still a risk of identity theft.

What you need to do about your taxes

You don’t need to take any action for your taxes at this time. Please continue to file all applicable tax returns timely.

Steps you may want to take to protect your financial and credit information

We issued this notice without regard to age or other factors. Due to a lack of credit or other financial history, minor children, dependents, and some non-filers may not be able to use the protections below.

  • Review your earnings with the Social Security Administration
    Ensure their records are correct. You can create an account on their website which can assist you if an unauthorized person used your SSN.

  • Monitor your credit reports and all financial accounts
    Review their accounts for signs of misuse of your personal information.
  • Place a one-year fraud alert on your credit accounts
    Contact one of the following three credit bureaus listed below. That bureau must tell the other two.
  • Consider filing a report with law enforcement such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    The FTC can also provide information on how to file reports with other law enforcement agencies. Contact the FTC at identitytheft.gov or by calling them at 877-438-4338; TTY 866-653-4261.

    If law enforcement requires personal tax information regarding their investigation, complete and return Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization PDF, to us.
  • Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
    An IP PIN is a six-digit number you include on your personal tax return to help us verify your identity and prevent identity theft related to your personal tax return. A missing or incorrect IP PIN prevents the electronic filing of a tax return, and a paper return filed without the IP PIN or an incorrect IP PIN will be subject to additional review and delay any refund due. You can get an IP PIN by creating an account at Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)

Frequently asked questions

Although there is no current impact to your tax account, both your notice and this web page explain steps you should consider taking to protect your financial and credit accounts. You can also find more information at the following sources:

The SSN used for employment belongs to the first name on the notice. If the person hasn’t filed a tax return, the notice was sent in care of the second name.

Employment-related identity theft has no connection to the filing of a tax return but is based on the use of an SSN for employment. Minor children, dependents and other non-filers can also be victims.

If you do not currently have an IP PIN, you may apply for one using our online “Secure Access” portal at  Get an IP PIN.

No. We know that someone used your SSN on a Form W-2 while filing a federal return. Federal disclosure laws prevent us from disclosing any taxpayer information to you.

No. The identification of potential employment-related identity theft doesn’t impact your current or future tax return or any refund you may be expecting. Continue to file and pay your taxes as you normally would.

Although there is currently no impact to your tax account, IRS offers the option of obtaining an IP PIN if you want to further protect your tax account. The IP PIN authenticates you as the valid filer of the return. If you don’t currently have an IP PIN, you can apply for one. For more information, review the IP PIN FAQ page.

Our programming systemically identified that your SSN was used on a Form W-2 that doesn’t belong to you. We don’t know if the use of your SSN was intentional or accidental. We’re notifying you so you can take appropriate steps to protect your financial and credit accounts, if you wish.

Identity thieves can obtain personal information through a variety of methods including data breaches, telephone scams, phishing, or stealing things from mailboxes.

No, the identification of the misuse of our SSN is not related to any changes or errors on your part.

Although IRS is limited to protecting your tax account, it’s possible that the misuse of your SSN for employment purposes may affect your Social Security, Medicare, VA, or other benefits that are based on your income. For this reason, we recommend taking steps identified on your notice and this web page to protect your credit and financial accounts.

No. We placed an identity theft indicator on your account. This will allow us to take additional precautions to protect you from future tax related identity theft.  

If you can’t find an answer on IRS.gov or one of the links on this page, you can contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at the telephone number on the upper right corner of your notice.

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