Updated Information for e-Services Users 12/08/17
Starting Dec. 10, 2017, all e-Services users must register through a new, more rigorous identity proofing process called Secure Access.
This new process is not optional, on the part of the IRS or its online users. The IRS must make this change to meet federal information system standards. Additionally, cybercriminals increasingly are targeting tax professionals to steal e-Services usernames and passwords, putting taxpayer data at risk.
In recent years, we authenticated each e-Services user individually. When you registered for e-Services, you were asked for your name, address, social security number, your date of birth, adjusted gross income and filing status. That limited amount of information no longer is enough to meet federal information system standards. Users will continue to be authenticated as individuals.
Here’s how Secure Access helps –
- First, it strengthens the initial identity proofing process to make sure the person registering is who they say they are.
- Second, it strengthens security through a two-factor authentication process for returning users that helps prevent account takeover by cybercriminals. Two-factor authentication means you must have your credentials (username and password) plus a security code sent to your mobile phone or generated by your IRS2Go app each time you log in.
This is a one-time process. Once you have authenticated your identity and established a Secure Access account for e-Services, there is no further action required.
Steps You Must Take to Register
Any e-Services user who has not previously created a Secure Access account for Get Transcript Online, Get an IP PIN, online tax account, or through recent exception processing must validate their identity through this more rigorous process. This also includes all TIN Matching users and users who received Letter 5903 last December and authenticated by telephone.
Before starting the identity proofing process, you should review Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools to learn what you will need to complete the process and how the process will work. You should also review FAQs: e-Services and Secure Access.
You will need to pass various identity proofing stages, including questions to confirm your email, tax return information, financial account information and mobile phone confirmation.
If you have a mobile phone associated with your name, you may complete the Secure Access process in one session. If you have all the available information, you can complete this process within 15 minutes. If you do not have a mobile phone associated with your name, you may request an activation code by mail, which will be delivered within five to 10 days. By using the activation code by mail feature, you also may return to register your IRS2Go App or any text-enabled mobile phone, including a business phone in a company name.
Alternative steps if you cannot authenticate online
If you are an existing e-Services user and you cannot successfully authenticate online, you have an option called exception processing by phone. You may call the IRS and a customer service representative will ask a series of questions related to your current and prior year tax return information including income information documents. For exception processing, call the e-Help desk at 1-888-841-4648 (select your language, then prompt 1 and remain on the line until an assistor picks up) 7:30 a.m. Eastern to 7 p.m. Eastern.
If you accurately answer all questions, an assistor will create a Secure Access account and issue a temporary password and an activation code by mail. This will allow you to return to e-Services registration and complete the process.
If you are unable to accurately answer the questions related to your tax information, you must make an appointment and visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify your identity in person with two forms of government-issued identification. Once your identity is verified, you must again call the e-Help Desk, an account will be established and an activation code by mail issued to allow you to complete the process.
How to use the IRS2Go App
The IRS2Go app has a new “security” feature that will allow e-Services users to generate the second-factor security code to access accounts. The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon. It can be installed on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, such as iPads, Samsung or Amazon Fire.
If your mobile apps do not update automatically, you may have to download IRS2Go again before you can see the “security” tab. The IRS2Go app option will assist those e-Services users who cannot use mobile phones in work areas or who may not have internet access.
Again, see Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools for more details on the IRS2Go app.
UPDATE - New e-Services platform and landing page
The move to a new e-Services platform and a new landing page has been completed. All applications and tools for all users, including state users, are now available. During this transition period, there may be some performance issues. Additionally, you can no longer script the login process when accessing e-Services applications.
UPDATE - New e-Services User Agreement
As we make these changes to e-Services, we also will make changes to the e-Services User Agreement. We will notify you in advance when this user agreement is available.