It is much easier and more convenient to file taxes online. Not only can you do it from the comfort of your home or office, but you can also get feedback within minutes, thus enabling you to make necessary amendments quickly. Therefore, if you want to meet the April 18 deadline that applies to most people, it would be best if you filed taxes electronically.
However, to successfully file your taxes online, you must get the IRS PIN number. If you have no idea what it is, you must perform an IRS PIN retrieval. But if you did not file taxes in 2020, you need an alternative to the IRS PIN code.
IP PIN: An Extra Protection Layer
These days, the IRS offers taxpayers what is known as an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). The six-digit number is known only to the taxpayer and the IRS and is useful for reducing cases of identity theft. And a new one is generated each year.
Once you have your IP PIN, you must submit it when filing tax returns to verify your Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) listed on your tax return. Should you use the wrong number, the IRS will reject your return and you will be required to e-file your taxes again.
Read More: What Is the IRS Identity Protection Pin?
How to Get an IP PIN
It is worth noting that if the IRS has resolved any tax-related identity theft issues affecting you, they will issue you a CP01A Notice each year that indicates your new IP PIN. However, if one has not been issued to you, you must undergo a stringent verification process after filing an application via Form 15227 and mailing it, or using the IRS’s Get an IP PIN tool.
Alternatively, you can appear in person at your local Taxpayer Assistance Center carrying government-issued identification documents and pictures to verify your identity.
Retrieving Your IP PIN
If you misplace or lose your IP PIN information, you can retrieve it using various methods. Below are some of these ways.
- You can use the IRS Get an IP PIN Online tool to validate your identity again and obtain the current IP PIN.
- You can contact the IRS support representatives at 800-908-4490 from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. your local time (the Pacific Time applies to Alaska & Hawaii). Once your identity is verified, your IP PIN will be resent to your current address within 21 days.
The Self-Select PIN
The IRS self-select PIN is the more traditional PIN version. It consists of five random digits, except all zeros. And you should use it when filing Form 1040 or Form 4868.
You can use the self-select PIN option if you are 16 years or older. If you are below the age threshold, you must file paper returns.
The self-select PIN is required when e-filing taxes using a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) or electronic return originator (ERO) tax preparation software. You must include your date of birth as well as your previous year’s adjusted gross income (AGI) or self-select PIN to file current tax year returns.
What If You Did Not File Returns Previously?
You cannot get the previous year’s PIN if you did not file a return for that period. In that case, you must include zero in the AGI field or leave the field blank for the PIN section.
How to Get the IRS PIN
To retrieve your self-select IRS PIN, you can also call IRS representatives by phone and request help. The number to use is 1-800-829-1040, and it is toll-free.
- IRS.Gov: 2022 tax filing season begins Jan. 24; IRS outlines refund timing and what to expect in advance of April 18 tax deadline
- IRS.Gov: Get An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
- IRS.Gov: Retrieve Your Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
- IRS.Gov: Self-Select PIN Method for Forms 1040 and 4868 Modernized e-File (MeF)
- TaxAct: AGI, Self-Select PIN, and Electronic Authentication
- OLT: OLT TAX CORNER ~ Self-select PIN Program
I hold a BS in Computer Science and have been a freelance writer since 2011. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, watching cooking and lifestyle shows, and fantasizing about world travels.