Worried about an identity thief filing a tax return in your name? The Internal Revenue Service can help protect you. It's called the IRS Identity Protection Pin or IP PIN opt-in program. The IP PIN is a six-digit number known only to you and the IRS. An IP PIN helps the IRS verify your identity and accept your electronic or paper tax return. It prevents a thief from filing a tax return with your Social Security number. In the past, the IP PIN was reserved mainly for confirmed identity theft victims. But now, you too can opt into the IP PIN program. Here are the basics: this is voluntary. You must pass a rigorous process to verify your identity. We have an online tool you can use to get your IP PIN. You must get a new IP PIN each year. And never share your IP PIN with anyone but your trusted tax professional. To learn more about the IP PIN opt-in program, go to IRS.gov/ippin.