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Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools

To better protect taxpayers, the IRS recently upgraded its identity verification process for certain online self-help tools.  The purpose is to prevent taxpayer impersonations and account takeovers by identity thieves. Because the Secure Access Authentication platform is more rigorous, it helps if you prepare to register in advance.

Currently, the Secure Access Authentication process applies to the Get Transcript Online and Get an IP PIN tools.

Here’s what new users need to get started:

  •  A readily available email address;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • Your filing status and address from your last-filed tax return;
  • Your personal account number from a:
    • credit card, or
    • home mortgage loan, or
    • home equity (second mortgage) loan, or
    • home equity line of credit (HELOC), or
    • car loan
      (The IRS does not retain this data)
  • A readily available mobile phone. Only U.S-based mobile phones may be used. Your name must be associated with the mobile phone account. Landlines, Skype, Google Voice or similar virtual phones as well as phones associated with pay-as-you-go plans cannot be used;
  • If you have a “credit freeze” on your credit records through Equifax, it must be temporarily lifted before you can successfully complete this process.

The card cannot be American Express, a debit card or a corporate card issued in your name by your company or organization.

Because this process involves verification using financial records, there may be a “soft inquiry” placed on your credit report. This notice does not affect your credit score. The IRS does not retain your financial account information.

Note: If you have a pay-as-you-go mobile phone or a business/family plan mobile phone not associated with your name, you may request that we mail an activation code to the address we have on file for you. You still must have a text-enabled, U.S.-based phone to receive a security code text that completes the validation process and allows returning users to access their accounts.

First-time users of any Secure Access-supported tool must:

  • Submit name and email address to receive a confirmation code;
  • Enter the emailed confirmation code;
  • Provide SSN, date of birth, filing status and address on the last filed tax return;
  • Provide some financial account information for verification such as the last eight digits of their credit card number or car loan number or home mortgage account number or home equity (second mortgage) loan number or home equity line of credit;
  • Enter a mobile phone number to receive a six-digit activation code via text message OR request an activation code by mail (see below);
  • Enter the activation code sent to mobile phone;
  • Create username and password, create a site phrase and select a site image.

Tips for Successfully Authenticating Your Identity Through Secure Access

First-time users who opt for an Activation Code by Mail must:

  • Select Activation Code by Mail when prompted;
  • Create username and password, create a site phrase and select a site image;
  • Allow 5 to 10 days for mail delivery of the activation code;
  • Return to the self-help tool and enter your username and password;
  • Enter the activation code at the prompt;
  • Enter number for any type of text-enabled phone at the prompt; this may include a pay-as-you-go mobile phone or a business/family plan mobile phone not associated with your name;
  • Check phone for a security code text;
  • Enter the security code text at the prompt to complete the Secure Access validation process.

Returning users with existing credentials but new to Secure Access must:

  • Log in with an existing username and password;
  • Submit financial account information for verification, for example, the last eight digits of a credit card number or car loan number or home mortgage account number or home equity (second mortgage) loan account number;
  • Submit a mobile phone number to receive an activation code via text OR request an activation code by mail (see above);
  • Enter the activation code.

Returning users who previously completed the Secure Access process must:

  • Log in with an existing username and password;
  • Receive a security code text via mobile phone provided during account set up;
  • Enter the security code into secure access.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 01-Dec-2016