Eric Sheldon CPA, PC

You should consider the IP PIN opt-in

Defense and PIN code entry panel abstract background.

It is a pointy situation, but you should consider the IP PIN opt-in program

Identity Protection PIN are not just for individuals who experienced identity theft. Starting in 2021, there is a volunteer program to opt into the IP PIN program to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft.
I encourage anyone to opt-in because there are huge benefits when it comes to filing your tax return.

  1. Your identity is verified every year as you will receive a new six-digit number at the beginning of each calendar year.
  2. It will help get your electronic/paper return be accepted more easily.
  3. This will prevent ID Theft and fraudulent claims of refund going to thieves. Submission of tax return will require a PIN number before a tax return can be accepted and issues a refund.

Here is a story discussing how having an IP PIN can be very beneficial.  I have a client who is retired and has a very simple tax return.  For tax year 2019, my client received a notice asking to verify their identity before IRS will accept the tax return.  The notice asked us to create an online account and provide certain information.  The process was a little bit of a headache but we got it down. 

The next year, my client was asked to verify their identity AGAIN for the tax year 2020 return.  IRS had no problems accepting payment due but would not officially accept the tax return until identity verified.  But this time, the notice 4883C said the only way we can verify client’s identity is call the 800-number.  Once you get a hold of a representative you will need to provide data from both current year tax return and prior year tax return. 

After a couple of months, I have yet to get a hold of an IRS representative.  Every time I call the 800-number, I listen to the welcome message and then get the “due to high volume of calls right now I am unable to take your call right now, goodbye.”  To alleviate the potential headache for tax year 2021 tax return, my client has opted in to the IP PIN program.  We will input the six digit PIN number at the time of e-filing the tax return and will no longer have to go through the process of receiving notices and verifying client’s identity.


  1. Go to IRS website at and click on Get an IP PIN
  2. Create account online and this will take about 15 minutes. Have this information ready:
    1. Email address
    2. Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
    3. Tax filing status and mailing address
    4. One financial account number linked to your name:
      1. Credit card –last 8 digits (no American Express, debit or corporate cards) or
      2. Student loan – (Enter the student loan account number provided on your statement. The account number may contain both numbers and letters. Do not include any symbols.) Additionally, we can’t verify student loans issued by Nelnet. or
      3. Mortgage or home equity loan or
      4. Home equity line of credit (HELOC) or
      5. Auto loan
    5. Mobile phone linked to your name (for faster registration) or ability to receive an activation code by mail
  3. You will also need to download to your phone IRS2Go mobile app. Here you will get your security code to access your account after you enter your email and password.

Please note: While the IRS says it will take 15 minutes to register, it will actually take a little longer.  Once you register, you will receive a verification code in the mail and then complete the registration.  It will not be done in one afternoon.

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About the Author

Eric Sheldon

Eric Sheldon

Eric Sheldon is a certified public accountant with more than 25 years of experience in a wide variety of industries. He's the owner/operator of Eric Sheldon CPA, PC, an accounting firm that specializes in providing tax strategy and preparation, accounting, and bookkeeping services to individuals and small business owners.

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