e-Services for Reporting Agents - Frequently Asked Questions
General e-Services Questions
1. How long can I remain logged in? Can I remain logged in all day?
A - If there is no activity on a page for 15 minutes, you will be logged out. Save periodically throughout the process to ensure you stay connected.
2. What is the policy for changing passwords?
A - Your password can be changed at any time but must be changed every 180 days, and if there is no activity for two years, access to e-services will be turned off and you will need to go through the Forgotten PIN/Password process to get reactivated.
3. When the Principle, Principle Consent, or Responsible Official authorizes someone in their firm to access e-services, does the designee receive their own log-in credentials?
A - Yes. All designees must register for e-services. They can do this before or after being authorized. When they sign on to use the e-services products, using their password and PIN, they will have links to the products authorized – (TDS & EAR).
4. If you apply for e-filing on line, how do you submit the finger printing card?
A - If you are applying for e-file on line, the fingerprint cards are unique and should be obtained by calling our toll-free number at 1-866-255-0654.
5. Do I have to set up the e-services mailbox or is that something that the IRS will do?
A - The e-services mailbox is established during the registration process. The e-services system automatically sets it up for you.
6. Do I have to e-file to get e-services?
A - Access to Reporting Agent e-services is limited to e-filers only.
Some e-services products are available to everyone:
TIN Matching if you are a Payer
7. Will you ever stop asking us to change our passwords and will you give us advance notice before our password expires?
A - Because of security issues, it is mandatory that passwords are changed every 180 days. You will receive an e-mail informing you your password is about to expire, 10 days prior to expiration. Click on the link below to access more information:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Forgotten Password or PIN.”
Note: If you’re not receiving e-mail from the e-services mailbox, you will need to unblock any e-mail coming from IRS so your internet service provider doesn’t put it in your SPAM folder.
Electronic Accounts Resolution
8. Is it possible to attach files to EAR inquiries?
A - No. This option is not available through e-services at this time.
9. How long will it take to receive a response back from IRS?
A -The IRS has a business requirement of three business days to respond to an EAR inquiry; however, responses are often quicker.
10. How do I access my e-services mailbox?
A - On the blue tool bar at the top of any e-services page, click on the “Mailbox” link.
11. How long will the EAR response stay in my e-services mailbox?
A - Unread responses will remain in the mailbox for 30 days. Read responses are only there for three days.
12. What types of inquiries can I submit through EAR?
A - Following are the inquiry types available through e-services:
Misapplied Payment/Credit Transfers
Multiple inquiries for the same taxpayer
Follow-up inquiries on all previous EAR requests may be submitted through EAR.
Any issue that can be resolved on our Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) line can be submitted through EAR.
13. What if I submit an issue that PPS cannot resolve? What happens to my inquiry?
A - Inquiries that cannot be handled through EAR will be referred to the appropriate area. You will receive an e-mail stating which area your inquiry was referred to, including a phone number for contact.
14. Will the system ever be able to handle Compliance issues?
A - We currently have no plans of adding Compliance issues to EAR. The next generation of e-services may provide these services, but that has not been determined.
15. What does the term mixed entity mean?
A - Mixed Entity relates to inquiries that deal with more than one firm.
16. What does the term mixed period mean?
A - Mixed Period relates to inquiries that deal with the same firm, but different tax periods.
17. When submitting a request for a credit transfer which account should I include first?
A - You should input the firm for which you wish to transfer “from” first.
18. What account should I enter as the first taxpayer when submitting mixed entity requests?
A - You should input the account for which you wish to transfer “from” first.
Transcript Delivery System
19. Sometimes we receive different account information from different IRS offices. Will this still be the case when I request an account transcript?
A - No. When requesting transcripts, you will receive what is recorded to the IRS Master file.
Note: TDS transcripts do not provide pending transactions.
20. Using TDS, how far back can you get past year transcripts?
A - An account transcript will be available for any “active” account. Active is defined as any account that has had any activity on it, including filing of the return, within the last 3 years, no matter what tax year it relates to.
21. Will TDS transcripts include current year estimated tax payments?
A - Yes, as payments are posted to accounts, you will be able to see them using TDS.
22. Will Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) information be available on TDS?
A - There are no current plans; however, we are looking into enhancements to the e-services suite, and may include CAWR information on TDS in the future.
23. Can you get estimated (ES) tax payment information for delinquent returns through TDS?
A - Yes, TDS account transcript requests result in responses reflecting ES payments. Payments are posted to taxpayer’s accounts as they are received.
24. Will we be able to verify tax deposits for the coming tax season?
A - Yes
25. I have a new client. Will I be able to verify deposits they made before they were a client?
A - If a taxpayer has been making tax deposits (estimated tax payments) and the Reporting Agent qualifies for e-services and has obtained authorization using Form 8655, he /she can get the tax deposit information through the Transcript Delivery link in e-services via the TDS “account transcript” product. Note: You will only be able to obtain transcripts for tax periods for which you have a Form 8655 authorization on file.
Click on the link to view an example of an Account Transcript.
This transcript needs to point to a BMF transcript, not IMF.
26. What types of transcripts are available to me?
A - As a Reporting Agent you will be able to view Account Transcripts for all accounts for which you have a valid authorization on file. For Form 1120, you will also be able to receive Return Transcripts and Record of Account Transcripts.
27. What information is contained in an account transcript?
A -Tax Account Transcripts reflect changes made to the original return such as amendments and adjustments. Account Transcripts provide the following information:
Amount of estimated payments
Interest paid to the taxpayer by the Service
Balance due with accruals
Records of Account Transcripts are available for the current processing year and the three prior years.
28. What information is contained in a Return Transcript? How is this different from an account transcript?
A –Tax Return Transcripts have most of the line items from the tax return and it does not reflect changes after the return is processed. A return transcript is only available for the current year and three prior years.
Account transcripts do not contain information from the original return.
29. I was not able to obtain a return transcript for a 941 account. Why not?
A -The IRS does not currently have Return Transcripts available for any form other than Form 1120.
30. Will I be able to submit transcript requests on multiple taxpayers in the same session?
A - Yes. You can submit requests for multiple taxpayers in the same session.
31. Will I be able to type in a range of tax periods without having to add them separately?
A - Yes. The system was designed to allow a date range when requesting transcripts.
32. How can I request multiple transcripts as part of a single request?
A - Select your first transcript product then click the "Add" button. A table will appear, scroll to the top of the screen and select the next product, then select the "Add" button. After all the desired transcripts are selected, click on the next button.
33. What is the add button for on the Request Transcript page?
A - You must click on the “Add” button after each transcript request. The “Add” button has two functions:
It triggers the system to perform the RAF check for proper authority.
It builds a table that will be sent to the IRS’ database to retrieve the information for the transcript.
34. I requested more than one transcript. How can I view all of the transcripts I requested?
A - Once you click on “Get Product” and view the first transcript, you must click on the “Previous” button to view the rest of the transcripts. You will repeat these steps for multiple transcript requests.
35. I submitted my transcript request and selected online for the delivery method. How do I view my transcript?
A - By clicking on the “Get Products” link, the transcript will be displayed on your screen.
36. Is there a limit to the number of transcript requests I can submit as part of a single request?
A - An RA can request transcripts for up to 10 different taxpayers in a single submission but we recommend that the total number of all transcripts requested not exceed 50 to avoid a system timeout.
37. I requested my transcript through secure email. How do I access my transcript?
A - You will click on the “Mailbox” link in the blue toolbar. This toolbar displays on all e-services screens, so you can access it from anywhere in e-services.