IRS ALERT – IRS Continues to Expand Taxpayer Services; Adds New Features to Taxpayers Online Account
The Internal Revenue Service announced this week the addition of several new features to the online account tool first introduced late last year as part of the IRS’s commitment to improve and expand taxpayer services.
The “Online Account” allows individual taxpayers to access the latest information available about their federal tax account through a secure and convenient tool on IRS.gov. When it first launched in December, 2016, the tool assisted taxpayers with basic account inquiries such as information about their balance due and access to the various IRS payment options. Since then, the IRS has added new features allowing taxpayers to:
- View up to 18 months of tax payment history
- View payoff amounts and tax balance due for each tax year
- Obtain online transcripts of various Form 1040-series through “Get Transcript”
- Give feedback on their experience with their online account and make suggestions for improvements
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve taxpayers’ interactions with the IRS and adding these new features to the taxpayer’s online account is an important step in that direction,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS is committed to serving taxpayers in multiple ways and now taxpayers who want to interact digitally with us in a secure environment have access to even more helpful features.”
Before accessing the tool, taxpayers must authenticate their identities through the rigorous “Secure Access” process. This is a “Two-step authentication process”, which means returning users must have their credentials (username and password) plus a security code sent as a text to their mobile phones.
Taxpayers who have registered using “Secure Access for Get Transcript Online” or “Get an IP PIN” may use their same username and password. To register for the first time, taxpayers must have their personal and financial information including: Social Security number, specific financial information, such as a credit card number or loan numbers, email address and a text-enabled mobile phone in the user’s name. Taxpayers may review the “Secure Access” process prior to starting registration.
As part of the security process to authenticate taxpayers, the IRS will send verification, activation or security codes via email and text. The IRS warns taxpayers that it will not initiate contact via text or email asking for log-in information or personal data. The IRS texts and emails will only contain one-time codes.
In addition to the online account, the IRS continues to provide several self-service “Tools” and helpful resources available on IRS.gov for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.