The Internal Revenue Service has added several new features to their website. If you go to www.irs.gov, you will be pleased to find that if you need information about your tax liabilities or your refund, or general tax related questions, you will find the tools to provide the information. So much nicer than sitting on hold for two hours, am I right?
According to the IRS, “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:
“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.
Some of these tools include: tracking your refund, prequalifying for an offer in compromise, preparing and electronically filing your income tax return for free (must be a simple return), setting up an installment agreement, etc.
Check it out. Technology is making our financial lives so much easier to navigate.