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New IRS Identity Protection PIN

December 7, 2010

Beginning this January, the IRS will be sending a letter (CP01A) to taxpayers who have contacted and been validated by the IRS as being a victim of identity theft.  Included in this letter will be a
6-digit “Identity Protection PIN” which the taxpayer should include on their 2010 individual Federal income tax return in order to avoid a delay in the processing of their return.

If you learn that one of your customers has been a victim of identity theft, you should ask them if they received this letter from the IRS.  If they have, ask them to bring it with them when they come in to have you prepare their 2010 Federal return.

Other key facts to know about the new Identity Protection PIN:
  • An affected taxpayer will receive a letter and unique 6-digit PIN each year for 3 years following the last validated identity theft incident.
  • The Identity Protection PIN should not be confused with the 5-digit taxpayer/spouse electronic signature self select PIN.
  • The PIN received this January will only be valid for filing their 2010 return. 
  • If the taxpayer misplaces their letter and cannot remember their Identity Protection PIN, they cannot obtain a new one from the IRS. In this case, they would file their return without the PIN and the processing of their return may be delayed while the IRS validates that the return filed is the taxpayer’s.
  • For an affected taxpayer, if the Identity Protection PIN is not present on their return or it is incorrect, the processing of their Federal return will be delayed.
  • Only one Identity Protection PIN may be included on the Federal income tax return. If a joint return is being filed and both the taxpayer and spouse receive a PIN, the taxpayer’s PIN should be used.
  • If the Identity Protection PIN is entered in the Crosslink program, the PIN will be transmitted to the IRS as part of Form 1040. It will also be printed on Form 1040 in the grey area at the end of the Spouse’s signature line.

Finally, if one of your customers calls you and informs you they have been a victim of identity theft you should do one of the following:

  • See the IRS Identity Theft website at:,,id=186436,00.html.
    This site contains information such as what documents the IRS requires the taxpayer to submit for the IRS to validate their claim, where to send the information, and how the taxpayer can contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit, or
  • Have the taxpayer contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-4490. Their hours of operation are
    Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm your local time. 

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