Monday, December 12, 2016

IRS E-Services Changes

E-Services is an opportunity for tax professionals and representatives to obtain information from IRS regarding taxpayers’ accounts, documents, tax returns, and other tax matters.  It has also been a place where limited questions can be asked of IRS and the reply sent to a secure email box inside E-Services.

Unfortunately the cybercriminals, including crooked tax professionals, have been able to get into E-Services and obtain information to use for ill gotten gain.  Many of these criminals have entered E-Services by using stolen ID information.   As a result of this, IRS is taking steps to try to limit E-Services to those who can verify they are indeed the tax professional or representative.

IRS is strengthening the identity authentication process for several self-help tools including E-Services.  The term given to these changes is Secure Access.  Letters have started going out from IRS to those that have used E-Services within the past year.  When you get your letter, you will have approximately 30 days to authenticate your true identity.  (The target date was originally October 24, 2016, but IRS had to finish working out the kinks and is now ready.)

An EXISTING user is directed to log in to E-Services update the account information through the Secure Access process which includes identity proofing, financial verification, and mobile phone verification.  Once the authentication process has been completed, an activation code will be generated and sent to the mobile phone via text. Don’t forget you only have 30 days to authenticate your identity.  If an existing user does not complete the authentication process within the required time frame, the user will be removed from E-services and will have to register as a new user.

NEW E-Service users will be required to have specific information in order to complete the Secure Access Authentication process.  More specific information can be found at by going to E-Services (found under the Tax Professionals tab in the top right hand corner of the page).

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