3.42.8 E-Services Procedures for Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS)

Manual Transmittal

September 18, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 3.42.8, Electronic Tax Administration, E-Services Procedures for Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS).

Material Changes

(1) IRM 3.42.8.4 Disclosure - Updated to include disclosure contact link and remove phone number.

(2) IPU 18U0745 issued 05-01-2018 IRM 3.42.8.4.1.1 Caller Authentication - Added IRM reference for Authentication and Authorization Guidelines.

(3) IRM 3.42.8.5.1 Employee User Portal (EUP) - Updated 5081 information.

(4) IRM 3.42.8.6 E-Services Secure Access Registration - In (5), added note for foreign address system limitations. In (6), added student loan to list.

(5) IPU 18U1040 issued 07-11-2018 IRM 3.42.8.6.2 Exception Processing - Updated to include new users.

(6) IPU 18U0745 issued 05-01-2018 IRM 3.42.8.6.2.1 Existing E-Services Users - In (3), added TIN Matching to table Figure 3.42.8-1.

(7) IRM 3.42.8.6.2.2 New E-Services Users - Updated exception processing instructions.

(8) IPU 18U1040 issued 07-11-2018 IRM 3.42.8.6.2.2 New E-Services Users - Added exception process for new e-Services users.

(9) IPU 18U0964 issued 06-19-2018 IRM 3.42.8.6.3 E-Services Secure Access Registration issues - In (5) and (7), updated timeframes to 15 business days. In (9), updated lockout timeframes.

(10) IPU 18U1040 issued 07-11-2018 IRM 3.42.8.6.3 E-Services Secure Access Registration Issues - Added note, lockout times apply to all Online Services Accounts.

(11) IPU 18U0964 issued 06-19-2018 IRM 3.42.8.6.3.1 New User Unable to Create a SAA Account - In (1), updated irs.gov reference title.

(12) IRM 3.42.8.6.5 Modify an Existing Password - Updated to include modify password instructions.

(13) IRM 3.42.8.6.6 Update Registration Profile - Updated to include phone number.

(14) IRM 3.42.8.7 IRS e-file Application - In (2), updated zip code.

(15) IRM 3.42.8.7.2 Deleting a location - Updated instructions to close office or request EFIN be dropped.

(16) IRM 3.42.8.7.3 IRS e-file Application Status - In (6), updated instructions on dropped EFIN.

(17) IRM 3.42.8.9.7 In (1) changed title of Form 13803.

(18) IPU 18U0745 issued 05-01-2018 IRM 3.42.8.10.2 Secure Mailbox - Added Business Rule Changes timeframes.

(19) IPU 18U1040 issued 07-11-2018 Various sections, Internet Explorer references updated to version 9.0 or above throughout IRM.

(20) Various sections, minor grammatical and editorial changes throughout the IRM.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 3.42.8 dated 02/27/2018, (effective 03/01/2018) is superseded. This IRM also incorporates the following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) - 18U0745 (issued 05/01/2018), 18U0964 (issued 06/19/2018) and 18U1040 (issued 7/11/2018).

Audience

These procedures will be used by e-help Desk assistors and Technical Services Operation (TSO) employees. Also intended for managers, analysts, business owners, and others who provide support to users of IRS electronic products and services.

Effective Date

(10-01-2018)

Patricia LaPosta
Director, Electronic Products and Services Support
Wage and Investment Division

Programs Scope and Objectives

  1. This Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) provides the basis for e-Services Procedures For Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS) assistors to respond to external customers needing assistance or information when using e-Services web based products.

  2. EPSS phone assistors work in Andover MA, Atlanta GA, Austin TX, Cincinnati OH and Ogden UT.

  3. EPSS provides support for the programs listed in 3.42.8.2 E-Services Overview:

Background

  1. EPSS provides electronic products and services support to individuals, businesses and e-file providers.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. All employees will complete duties in accordance with Policy Statement 1-236, Fairness and Integrity in Enforcement Selection; see IRM 1.2.10.37.

  2. All duties will be done in accordance with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights as listed in IRC 7803 (a)(3). Additional information may be found on the irs.gov website at www.irs.gov/taxpayer-bill-of-rights.

  3. Director of Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS) is responsible for the development and delivery of policy and guidance that impacts assistors.

Acronyms and Terms

  1. For a list of acronyms used in EPSS, see Exhibit 3.42.8-1.

E-Services Overview

  1. E-Services is a suite of web-based products that provides customers with electronic options for interacting with the IRS. Customers include tax professionals, financial institutions, state agencies, IRS employees, certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) providers, Health Insurance Providers, Drug Manufacturers/Importers, and other qualified business partners. These services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any computer with an Internet connection. The e-help Desk assistors are responsible for providing quality service to external customers who may encounter problems or need information about e-Services.

  2. The e-help Desk assistors provide support for the following e-Services products:

    • IRS e-file Application - permits users to submit a new or revised IRS e-file Application to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider and to update their application as needed.

    • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching Application - allows payers of income subject to backup withholding to apply for the TIN Matching Program.

    • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching Program - allows authorized users to match TINs and names directly against IRS records.

    • Transcript Delivery System (TDS) - allows users to electronically request and receive transcripts, wage and income documents for a taxpayer's account, and verification of non-filing. Tax preparers using TDS must have an unmodified Power of Attorney (POA) on file.

    Note:

    Registration is no longer an e-Services product. E-Services users must register using Secure Access Authentication.

  3. Products and Services Support (PSS) is responsible for the e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group and works e-Services issues that the e-help Desk cannot resolve on first contact.

    Reminder:

    Document the Interaction per IRM 3.42.7.6.8.1, Writing Descriptions for E-Services Level 2, when escalating to e-Services Technical Level 2. Escalate the Interaction to obtain an Incident Management (IM) case number and provide the IM case number to the customer.

Taxpayer Advocate Service

  1. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS. TAS provides assistance to taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help resolving tax problems that the IRS has not resolved through normal channels, or who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should be.

  2. In general, the e-help Desk does not answer account-specific questions (e.g., calls received regarding individual tax accounts). If the e-help Desk assistor cannot resolve an inquiry, referring the issue to TAS may be appropriate. Refer taxpayers to TAS (see IRM Part 13, Taxpayer Advocate Service) when the contact meets TAS criteria (see IRM 13.1.7, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Case Criteria) and you cannot resolve the taxpayers issue the same day. The definition of "same day" is within 24 hours. "Same day" cases include cases you can completely resolve in 24 hours, as well as cases in which you have taken steps within 24 hours to begin resolving the taxpayer's issue. Do not refer these cases to TAS unless they meet TAS criteria and the taxpayer asks to be transferred to TAS. Refer to IRM 13.1.7.4, Same Day Resolution by Operations. When referring cases to TAS, use Form 911, Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance (and Application for Taxpayer Assistance Order), and forward to TAS in accordance with your local procedures.

  3. There is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between TAS and the Commissioner, Wage and Investment (W&I) Division, as well as SLAs between TAS and the other Operating Divisions. These agreements outline the procedures and responsibilities for the processing of TAS casework when either the statutory or delegated authority to complete the case transactions rests outside of TAS. The W&I SLA is available at http://tas.web.irs.gov/policy/sla/default.aspx.

  4. TAS emphasizes the polite and respectful treatment of taxpayers and practitioners by IRS employees. See IRM 3.42.7.14.2, Telephone Etiquette, for e-help Desk policies.

  5. Congressional inquiries are referred to TAS.

Disclosure

  1. The Office of Disclosure administers the provisions of IRC Section 6103, "Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information." All IRS employees are responsible for ensuring that taxpayer confidentiality is protected and tax records are properly safeguarded and disclosed only as provided by law.

  2. E-help Desk assistors must prevent unauthorized disclosure of prohibited information when providing support to e-Services users. When giving information, confirm the identity of the person you are speaking to on the telephone. Verify that the caller is authorized to receive the information. Disclose only what is necessary when giving information to third parties.

  3. See IRM 3.42.7.3.1, Office of Disclosure, for additional information on e-help Desk disclosure procedures. In addition, see IRM 3.42.7.14.5, Authentication and Authorization Guidelines. This section and the subsections that follow provide specific guidance for authenticating customers calling the e-help Desk including e-Services users.

  4. Complete information on Disclosure, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Privacy Act, may be found in IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information. For questions or additional information use the Disclosure Contacts Link https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/vl003/Lists/DBasicsContacts/LandingView.aspx. The Disclosure Help Desk number and email address are for internal use only.

Authorized Users

  1. E-Services products can be accessed by five categories of authorized users:

    • Principal - a sole proprietor, a partner who has a 5 percent or more interest in a partnership, or a corporate officer (e.g., a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer). A Principal for an entity that is not a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation is an individual authorized to act for the entity in legal and/or tax matters.

    • Responsible Official - an individual designated by a Principal to perform specific duties of a Principal. In TIN Matching, this includes modifying an existing TIN Matching Application.

    • Delegated User - an individual authorized by a Principal or Responsible Official to perform duties for which they have been granted authority. Delegated Users with Principal Consent authority may add and delete other users on the e-file application. In TIN Matching, they are authorized to utilize the product on behalf of the firm; however, they cannot access the TIN Matching Application.

    • Authorized Agent - an individual that, with a payer's written authorization, matches name and TIN combinations on behalf of a payer.

    • Reporting Agent - an accounting service, franchiser, bank, service bureau or other entity that complies with Rev. Proc. 2012-32 and is authorized to prepare electronically Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return; Form 940-PR, Planilla para la Declaracion Anual del Patrono de la Contribucion Federal para el Desempleo (FUTA); Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return; Form 941-PR, Planilla para la Declaracion Federal TRIMESTRAL del Patrono; Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return - American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees; Form 943-PR, Planilla para la Declaracion Anual de la Contribucion Federal del Patrono de Empleados Agricolas; Form 944, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return; and Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax, for a taxpayer. Reporting Agents sign all the electronic returns that they file with a single personal identification number (PIN) signature.

Caller Authentication
  1. IRM 3.42.7.14.5, Authentication and Authorization Guidelines, gives procedures for authentication and authorization for different types of e-Services customers.

Compromised Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)
  1. An electronic filing Identification number (EFIN) is considered to be compromised when it is being used by an unauthorized user who is not listed on the application. If you identify a compromised EFIN through research or through customer contact, create an Interaction, document it with pertinent data, and do the following:

    1. Inactivate the EFIN [and electronic transmitter identification number (ETIN), if applicable] and assign a new one if needed. If the inactivated EFIN was entitled to e-Services products, the assistor will need to manually activate them. See IRM 3.42.10.14.15, Compromised Electronic Filing Identification Number, for more details.

Compromised Secure Access Account
  1. Users cannot log in to an e-Services application (i.e., IRS e-file application, TIN Matching, TDS, etc.) using another person's username and password. If it is determined that the caller has accessed the system using another user's login credentials, do the following:

    • Advise the caller that this is a security violation and that the login ID is a personal login, not a company login.

    • Ask to speak to the person who owns the login credentials. Advise owner of the security violation and advise them to change their password. Only after properly authenticating the caller, may you proceed with the call.

    • Owner of the credentials does not come to the phone, advise caller that the call must be terminated. Request that the owner of the login credentials call the e-help Desk. Determine what application the caller has accessed and inactivate the use of the application. Do not disable the Secure Access Authentication registration account. Escalate to an incident and assign to e-Services Technical Level 2 provider group.

  2. If the caller believes, or the assistor discovers through discussion and/or research that their account has been compromised, advise the caller to re-register and suggest using IRS2Go. Suggest their account be disabled. If the caller needs time to obtain a new mobile device (i.e., phone or tablet), they will need to call back to reactivate the account before they begin the re-registration process. If caller would like their account disabled, follow steps in IRM 3.42.7.15.4.5 (4), Disable Account.

Identity Theft (IDT) Research - Refund Integrity & Compliance Services (RICS)/Criminal Investigation (CI) Referrals - ERO
  1. If you have an original or follow-up inquiry from an Electronic Return Originator (ERO) who states they have a large e-file reject rate, several duplicate returns or other suspicious activity, and fraudulent filing or potential ID theft may be involved:

    1. Create an Interaction and document contact name, contact number, username, and specific detailed information.

    2. Resolve the caller's issue (e.g., reject).

    3. Inform the caller they may file Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer, if it appears the preparer tax identification number (PTIN) has been impacted.

    4. Escalate the Interaction to the IDT Research Provider Group. The IDT Research Provider Group will research the issue/accounts and if appropriate, will refer cases to RICS/CI.

  2. If the ERO states their clients’ database has been breached (client data stolen, computer theft, computer system/network attack, account takeover, etc.), their first point of contact should be their local Stakeholder Liaison. The Stakeholder Liaison will provide the ERO with the steps they need to take and notify the proper areas within IRS of the breach. Inform the ERO that speed is critical, if reported quickly steps can be taken to block fraudulent returns filed in their clients’ names.

Accessing E-Services

  1. The e-Services system is fully compatible with Internet Explorer versions 9.0 and above. Users may experience problems with pages not populating correctly when using other browsers.

  2. Employees access e-Services via the Employee User Portal (EUP).

  3. Customers access e-Services via the Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP). Access e-Services applications by one of the following:

    • www.irs.gov > "Tax Pros" Tab > "Access e-Services" button > select application

    • www.irs.gov > Keyword search "e-Services" > "e-Services - online Tools for Tax Practitioners" or "e-Services - Online Tools for Tax Professionals" > select application

Employee User Portal (EUP)

  1. The Employee User Portal (EUP) is a Web hosting infrastructure. It supports an Intranet portal that allows IRS employees to access business applications and data [e.g., e-Services and Modernized e-file (MeF)]. The EUP communicates with MeF via Application Message and Data Access Service (AMDAS). The EUP infrastructure is located on the IRS Intranet.

  2. Employee registration and authentication is required for the EUP. An OL5081 is not required for EUP access but is required for access to individual applications within EUP. To access the EUP, you will need the following information:

    • Standard employee identifier (SEID). If you do not know your SEID, locate it using the Discovery Directory at http://discovery.directory.enterprise.irs.gov/discovery/.

    • Appropriate e-Services roles. Obtain these from your manager. Request the roles through the Online 5081 at https://ol5081.enterprise.irs.gov/.

Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP)

  1. The IRS Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP) (previously referred to as "Registered User Portal (RUP)" ) allows registered individuals, third party users and self authenticated individual taxpayers access to selected specific tax information and other sensitive applications and data. User interactions are encrypted from the user's workstation or system to the portal. The IEP also supports the exchange of bulk files of information with the IRS. The IEP communicates with the backend modernization application system.

Clear Cache

  1. Customers may receive an error such as "URL not found" , "Target not found" or "Response empty" when accessing and using e-Services because they need to clear their cache. Recommend the customer do the following:

    • completely close their Web Browser, clear the cache, and sign in again

    • set www.irs.gov as their only shortcut/favorite

    • get to login page by clicking on Tax Professionals and then e-Services for Tax Pros or searching using "e-Services" to get to the e-Services for Tax Pros link

  2. If the customer does not know how to clear the cache, determine which version of Internet Explorer (IE) the customer is using and provide the following assistance. E-Services will only support Internet Explorer (IE) 9.0 and above.

  3. For Internet Explorer (IE) 9.0 or above:

    • Go to Tools

    • Select Internet Options

    • Under Browsing History, select Delete. Make sure the Preserve Favorites Web site data check box is not checked, and the Temporary Internet Files and Cookies check boxes are both checked.

    • Click OK

    • Close and reopen the browser

E-Services Secure Access Registration

  1. Registration is the first step in using e-Services that allows users to create an online account using personal information in order to have access to e-Services products. To register, users must first select the e-Services application they want to access from the e-Services landing page on irs.gov.

    Note:

    E-Services Registration migrated behind Secure Access Authentication in December, 2017. New and existing e-Services users will be required to complete this new registration process before they can access e-Services products.

  2. The following alternatives are available when a new user cannot pass authentication:

    1. Paper returns may be filed. EROs required to file electronically must attach Form 8948, Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically, to paper filed return. Form 8944, Preparer e-file Hardship Waiver Request, is not required. This qualifies as an administrative exemption; therefore, Form 8944 should not filed. Large Taxpayers mandated to electronically file must file the appropriate e-file waiver.

    2. For Transcript alternatives, refer caller to irs.gov, search "transcripts" .

  3. Existing e-Services users (users with active registration accounts or inactive registration accounts and associated to an active application) will use their existing username to login as a returning user. Users will be required to:

    • Re-register by completing the new registration process and pass basic ID proofing, financial verification, and cell phone validation.

    • Change their password. Users must keep their existing username.

    • Create a site image and phrase.

    Existing e-Services users who have not completed the new registration process in eAuthentication cannot recover their username. If they do not remember the username they created prior to the migration, their username will be pre-populated when they create their user profile. Existing e-Services users are not required to create a new PIN or modify their existing PIN. Existing e-Services customers who cannot pass the new registration process may qualify for an exception process, see IRM 3.42.8.6.2, Exception Processing.

  4. To become a registered user, the customer must provide personal information to establish their identity. The user must pass:

    • Basic Identity (ID) Proofing

    • Financial Verification

    • Mobile Phone Validation including Activation Code by mail

    The user will finish by creating a profile by selecting the following:

    • Username

    • Password

    • Site Phrase

    • Site Image

    Note:

    Some users may be prompted to update their username if it does not meet Secure Access username validation criteria.

  5. To successfully authenticate their identity, first time users will need the following:

    • Readily available email address

    • Legal Name**

    • Taxpayer Identification Number (social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN))**, taxpayers on a joint account should use their own SSN and financial information.

    • Date of Birth (DOB)**

    • Filing status and address (from their most recently filed tax return, unless a non-filer then they should enter their current address) and or

    • Active account number from one of the financial services listed in (6) below.

    • U.S. based text enabled mobile phone

    **Verified using Social Security Administration (SSA) and/or IRS records

    Note:

    Due to system limitations, customers with a foreign address may be unable to successfully register online and should be instructed to use the alternative options.

  6. An acceptable financial service account number includes one of the following:

    • last 8 digits from a credit card

    • auto loan account number

    • mortgage or home equity account number

    • home equity line of credit (HELOC) account number

    • student loan account number

  7. A foreign individual with a SSN or ITIN may not meet all the registration requirements; and therefore, may not be able to complete the registration process. If they are unable to pass Secure Access Authentication (SAA), inform the caller they can use a third party to process returns electronically. Advise them to check the e-Services landing page for updates.

  8. If user calls and requests their registration be disabled follow steps in IRM 3.42.7.15.4.5 (4), Disable Account.

    Note:

    Once the account is disabled, the user will not be able to access e-Services.

Two Year Recertification

  1. Users are required to recertify every two years. To recertify, the user will be required to pass authentication (basic ID proofing, financial validation and cell phone validation). The user will not need to update their user profile or change their password.

Exception Processing

  1. An exception process is available for new and existing e-Services users who cannot pass Secure Access Authentication. This exception process allows these users to be manually authenticated when they are unable to pass the online registration requirements (financial verification or cell phone validation).

  2. Assistors should determine the point of failure for the customer and always try and resolve the issue before completing the exception process. For example: If the customer is unable to pass the phone validation, advise the caller to request the activation code by mail.

Existing E-Services Users
  1. This exception process provides existing Users an alternative path to pass the authentication process and continue to use e-Services products. Once authenticated, in order to pass the exception process, they must meet the trusted customer criteria and pass high risk authentication (HRA).

    Note:

    You are required to use the EPSS Authentication and Authorization Job Aid prior to determining trusted customer criteria.

  2. After authenticating the caller you must complete two required steps before you can manually complete the caller’s registration process.

  3. The first step is Determine if the caller is a trusted customer by verifying the caller is listed on an e-Services Application in an authorized role of Principal, Responsible Official, Delegated User or ACA Contact or ACA Responsible Official.

    Figure 3.42.8-1

    If caller is ... Then ...
    ERO, Transmitter, Large Taxpayer or Software Developer
    • Research the e-file application to determine the Provider Status is accepted for one of more years and EFIN status is active.

    • Research EFIN status page to determine if at least one accepted IMF or BMF return was filed.

    ACA IPF/BPD report filer
    • Research the e-file application to determine the Provider Status is accepted for one of more years and EFIN status is active.

    • Research e-file application comment page to verify a report was filed. Comments will show “Per LB&I IPF/BPD reports filed” when reports were filed.

    Circular 230 Participant
    • Research the e-file application to determine the Provider Status is accepted for one of more years and EFIN status is active.

    • Verify credentials for Circular 230 Participants:

      1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) search: CPA Verifyhttps://www.cpaverify.org/

      2. Attorney search: PublicRecordCenter.com http://www.publicrecordcenter.com/lawyers.htm

      3. Enrolled Agent (EA): Return Preparer Office http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/rpo/default.aspx

    ACA filer requiring a Transmitter Control Code (TCC)
    • Research the ACA Application for TCC to determine the TCC is active.

    • Research the Affordable Care Act Information Returns (AIR) Management Console (AMC) to determine if at least one AIR transmission has been accepted, accepted with errors, or partially accepted.

    State TDS user
    • Verify the caller has an application on file.

      Note:

      These users are credentialed by the state and covered by Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

    Income Verification Express (IVES) user
    • Research IVES application to verify participant number.

    TIN Matching User
    • Verify the caller is listed as a Principal, Responsible Official, Delegated user or Authorized Agent on the TIN Matching Application by researching TIN Matching Application (EUP>eserv-ESAM-Applications> Search TIN Matching Application.)

    1. If the caller meets Trusted Customer Criteria, continue to High Risk Authentication.

    2. If the caller does not meet Trusted Customer Criteria, refer to the Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) appointment line to make an appointment to visit a TAC for in-person identity proofing. Refer to TAC referral procedures in KM003708.

  4. The second step is "Use the EPSS Authentication and Authorization Job Aid to perform High Risk Authentication (HRA)" .

    Note:

    The caller must pass the trusted customer criteria before HRA is performed.

    1. Follow the guidance in the table below:

      If HRA is Then ...
      "Met" Create the user’s profile by entering the following information in the eAuthentication module:
      • TIN

      • Name

      • Address

      • Filing Status

      • Date of Birth

      • Email address - User will receive a temporary password via email.

      • Temporary Site Image/Name

      Mail activation code to caller.
      Add comment in the applicable application indicating the caller’s name who passed exception processing.
      "Not Met" Refer caller to the Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) appointment line to make an appointment to visit a TAC for in-person identity proofing. Refer to TAC referral procedures in KM003708.
      Add comment in the applicable application indicating the caller’s name and reason for not passing the exception process and referred to the TAC.
  5. If the caller does not qualify for exception processing, for example a foreign user, advise the caller of the following:

    • They cannot have access to e-Services.

    • They can use a third party to transmit returns electronically.

    • Paper returns may be filed.

      Note:

      EROs required to file electronically must attach Form 8948, Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically, to paper filed return. Form 8944, Preparer e-file Hardship Waiver Request, is not required and should not be filed as this qualifies as an administrative exemption.

    • Large Taxpayers or ACA filers mandated to file electronically must file their return(s) using an approved e-file provider. Refer to the solution for the current mandates.

    • For transcript alternatives, refer caller to irs.gov search "transcripts" .

New E-Services Users
  1. The new user exception process allows individuals to be authenticated at a TAC when they are unable to pass the online SAA process (ID proofing, Financial Verification or Mobile Phone Validation).

  2. Assistors should determine the SAA point of failure for the customer and always try and resolve the issue before completing the exception process. For example, if the customer is unable to pass the phone validation, advise the caller to request the activation code by mail.

  3. Determine if the customer is an existing e-Services user before completing the new user exception process.

    • Ensure the caller has access to their email while they are on the phone and has their return information to complete HRA. If they do not have that information advise them to call back. Do not refer them to the TAC or update ENMOD.

    • Ensure caller’s address matches IDRS. If the address is different, the caller must complete Form 8822, Change of Address, and wait for the change to take place (up to six weeks) before they can complete the exception process.

    Note:

    If the caller files a joint return and that address is not reflected on the secondary taxpayer’s account on CC INOLES, refer the caller to Accounts Management (800-829-1040) to have the secondary taxpayer’s address corrected.

  4. Complete the following steps if the new user needs to be exception processed:

    1. Research Online Services Account (OSA) to determine if the caller already has an existing e-Services flag (eSvc) in OSA. If the caller has an existing e-Services flag, refer to Secure Access Authentication Tax Pros Existing e-Services User Solution KM003708.

    2. Use the EPSS Authentication and Authorization Job Aid to perform High Risk Authentication (HRA). If caller does not pass HRA advise the caller of alternatives, otherwise continue.

    3. Refer the caller to complete ID proofing at a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). Follow TAC referral Procedures in Solution KM003709. Do not continue to the next step until caller has completed ID proofing.

    4. Access OSA to complete their SAA profile. See instructions in Solution KM003709.

  5. Once the caller has completed the TAC process and called back, complete the following:

    • Access OSA to complete their SAA profile:

      1. Click on System

      2. Manage Users

      3. eAuth Send Confirmation for e-Services (new user)

      • Ask the caller for his/her First Name, Last Name, SSN/ITIN, and Email Address, and enter it into the fields. SSN/ITIN (no hyphens) and Email Address will need to be entered twice to confirm they are entered accurately

      • Click submit to email the confirmation code to the address provided

      • If an error is returned because the user has already attempted an account under the SSN, then send the confirmation code using: eAuth Send Confirmation Code for eServices.

        Click on EAuth Create User for eServices:

        • Search by TIN without hyphens and click select

        • Have the caller read the confirmation code from their email and verify this against the email confirmation code field

        • Once the confirmation code has been verified, complete all the necessary fields. If the caller previously completed some of the SAA process some fields may be pre-populated

        1. Login ID - A username must be created. Ask the user to create one according to the rules (between 8-10 characters long; it cannot be an email address, SSN, or contain a space or special character); you may then enter it into the Login ID field. Upon successful submission, it becomes their permanent Login ID. If the username is already in use the system will return an error message and the user will need to select another username

        2. Username - If the username pre-populates, you may need to remove unneeded spaces at the end of the username or retype the username before the system will accept the username

        3. Password and Password Confirm - This is only a temporary password, examples: Password1!, Abcd123!, Greatday17!

        4. First and Last Name - As it is on their last tax return.

        5. Date of Birth -must be in yyyymmdd format

        6. Address - The address must match what is on IDRS INOLES. If it does not, the caller must complete Form 8822 and wait for it to process up to 6 weeks before they can exception process.

        7. Level of Assurance -Select F from the drop down

          Reminder:

          This step is very important and can cause the user to need to re-register if the field is not updated to F.

        8. Email Address -This field should pre-populate but if it does not the assistor will need to complete

        9. Mobile Phone - Should be left blank

        10. Site Phrase - 5 character minimum, the assistor will request this information from the caller

        Click submit. A CP 301 with an activation code should arrive within 15 business days. The caller will need to enter this code in the system to complete their profile.

  6. Advise caller of the following:

    • Sign in to SAA and change the temporary password. Assistor should attempt to have the caller change the password during the call. If the user is unable to change the password and locks the account or is unable to update the password, advise the caller to wait 24 hours to update the password.

    • Once the Activation Code is received, the caller will need to sign in to complete the Secure Access Process. This includes registering the mobile phone or downloading the IRS2Go app to receive their recurring security code.

    • Advise the caller that they need to wait 15 business days before contacting us if they did not receive their Activation Code by mail.

E-Services Secure Access Registration Issues

  1. Some e-Services customers request assistance with Registration because they have been unsuccessful completing the process on their own. Be aware of lockout conditions and associated timeframes when assisting customers with registration issues, see Figure 3.42.8-1 below.

  2. If the customer is having difficulty passing basic ID proofing, verify the customers SSN/ITIN, name, and DOB using command code INOLES. If the SSN, name, and/or the DOB of the customer do NOT match the information the customer provides, advise the customer to contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to resolve the discrepancy.

    Note:

    Do NOT tell them what information is showing on the system.

    The filing status and address must match their most recent tax return. If their tax return was recently filed:

    • For e-filed returns: The caller should wait at least two weeks after they have received acknowledgement of an Accepted Return.

    • For paper filed returns: The caller should wait at least six weeks after they have mailed their return.

      Note:

      If the system doesn't match the address they entered, advise the user to try using their old or new address instead.

  3. If the customer does not receive their email confirmation, advise the customer to check their spam or junk folder. If needed, provide the caller with the email address IRS.online.services@irs.gov so they can have it removed as spam. The caller may need to contact their service provider or use an alternate email address. The confirmation code is only valid for 15 minutes. If the 15 minute timeframe elapses, advise the user to click on the link try resending the email. Remind the caller that they should not close the browser window. If needed, they should open their browser page, or tab to receive email. If they closed their browser, they will need to start the process over.

  4. The caller may have trouble passing financial verification because their credit report contains little or no information about them. If they have one of the required pieces of financial information and they are unable to pass validation, advise them to try a different account number if they have one. If they continue to experience difficulty, advise the caller to contact the credit bureau referenced in the solution to correct the information. If the caller has a credit freeze on their credit report, advise them to contact the credit bureau listed in the solution to temporarily lift their credit freeze so they can continue to register. They can resume the freeze on their account after they have finished registering. If the caller is using a debit card, corporate card, or American Express card, advise the caller to use another financial account; the IRS is currently unable to verify these types of cards.

  5. The caller may have trouble validating their mobile phone. Advise the caller that a text enabled U.S. based mobile phone is required for the SAA process. Their name must be associated with the mobile phone account. Landlines, Pay As You Go plans, Skype, Google Voice, or similar virtual phones will not work. Participating carriers include AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Boost, U.S. Cellular, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, and Cricket. During initial registration, the six digit activation code is received by text and is only valid for 15 minutes. If the code was not received or the 15 minute timeframe has elapsed, advise the customer to click the "Try Again" link to resend a new activation code. Callers cannot copy and paste activation codes into the system. If caller does not receive the activation code by text it may be because the mobile phone could not be verified with the caller’s name. After two attempts of requesting the activation code, the user will be prompted to request the activation code by mail. If unable to complete in a one-time session or caller does not have a text enable mobile phone in their name:

    • The caller may choose the alternative verification option of "activation code by mail" . The code can take 15 business days to arrive. The activation code is valid for 30 days.

    • A text enabled mobile phone or the IRS2Go app will still be needed for the recurring security code. This security code is needed for the login process.

  6. To receive the recurring security code, users will choose one of the following:

    • Mobile phone - The caller may register a mobile phone (not in their name) so they can receive the recurring security code. The number must be a U.S. based phone that is text enabled. Users who have successfully registered for e-Services will receive a six digit security code via text message each time they log into e-Services. The code is only valid for 15 minutes. If the code was not received or the 15 minute timeframe has elapsed, advise the customer to click the "Try Again" link to resend a new security code. Requesting the security code multiple times may cause a lockout.

    • IRS2Go Application - The caller must select "Set up a security code using IRS2Go mobile app instead" on the "Add your mobile phone number" screen in Secure Access and download the IRS2Go mobile app. In the App, have user click on the "Security Option" and enter their username and Key from the SAA page and click "Add" . A Security Code will be generated every 60 seconds and the caller will need to enter the code into the Secure Access Screen. This will sync the Mobile App and system together. Once IRS2Go is configured, the mobile device does not require data or an internet connection. Only one user per device is allowed.

  7. If the customer requested but did not receive their activation code by mail and it has been more than 15 business days since they created their account, advise the caller the activation code is mailed to their address of record. If the user has moved and has not notified the IRS of their address change, they can submit Form 8822, Address Change; however, they will need to wait until the address change has been updated (up to six weeks) before they request a new activation code. If the customer’s address has not changed, advise the user to request a new activation code. The old activation code will be disabled when the user clicks the link to request a new activation code. The user will need to create their user profile after entering the 6-digit activation code by text or after they request the activation code to be mailed. Failure to create their user profile will result in the customer not being able to login when the activation code arrives by mail.

  8. Multiple attempts to complete the steps above may cause the user to lock their registration account, see Figure 3.42.8-1 for lockout conditions and timeframes.

    Figure 3.42.8-2

    Step Attempts Lockout Period System
    Unsuccessful Login Attempts 3 24 hours eAuth
    Text Activation Code 3 24 hours eAuth
    Request Activation Code by Mail 5 Rolling 12 months (12 months from last attempt) eAuth
    Basic ID Proofing (ICCE) 3 24 hours eAuth
    Financial Verification Lockout 3 24 hours eAuth

    Note:

    Lockout Periods apply to all OSA accounts.

Invalid Username or Password

  1. The customer may have trouble selecting a username or password and receive a message that states, The Username or Password is not valid.

    Note:

    Existing e-Services users who have a registration account and have not completed the new registration process in Secure Access Authentication cannot recover their username. If they do not remember the username they created prior to the migration, their username will be pre-populated when they create their user profile.

  2. See IRM 3.42.8.6.8 , Username Rules/Inquiries, and IRM 3.42.8.6.7 , Password Rules/Inquiries, for username and password rules.

Modify an existing Password

  1. The caller must login with their username and password as an existing user, then click on the “Profile” link. The caller will then need to do the following:

    • They are required to provide their current password

    • They will be prompted to enter a new password and re-enter their new password

    • After completing the password fields, they will need to click on the update button to save changes

Update Registration Profile

  1. The user can update the following profile settings:

    • email address

    • mobile phone number

    • site image

    • site phrase

    • password

    The user will receive an email notifying them of the profile change.

    Note:

    Only the user can make changes to the Registration account.

Password Rules/Inquiries

  1. The password must meet the following requirements:

    • Must be between 8 and 20 characters

    • Is case sensitive

    • Must contain at least one numeric and one special character (excluded characters are the colon, semi colon, single quote, quotations, less than, greater than, period, question mark, parenthesis, slash and brackets)

    • Must have at least one uppercase and at least one lowercase letter

    • Must enter password twice

  2. Assistors cannot obtain the caller’s password. The user will need to click the forgot password link. The user will be required to provide their date of birth. A temporary password will be sent to their email address. The user will be required to change the password at login. If the customer cannot access the email account they used to register, they will be required to register as a new user and complete the registration process again. The user will receive an email notifying them of the password change. If the customer fails three times, their account is locked for 24 hours. For additional lockout conditions, see Figure 3.42.8-1 in IRM 3.42.8.6.3, E-Services Secure Access Registration Issues.

    Note:

    There are no limitations to using previous passwords.

Username Rules/Inquiries

  1. The username must meet the following requirements:

    • Must be between 8 and 10 characters

      Note:

      E-Services users will be limited to 8-10 characters while other SAA applications can use between 8-24 characters. If caller has an existing SAA profile for another product and the username is over 10 characters, they will be prompted to change their username.

    • Cannot be an email address

    • Cannot be the user’s SSN

    • Cannot contain a space or a special character (!@#$%"&")

    • Must be a unique username; it cannot be the same as another user’s username.

  2. Assistors will not provide the customer’s username. The user will need to click the forgot username link. The user will only be able to recover their username if they completed the registration process. The user will be required to provide:

    • Their email address as listed on their registration account

    • Their last four digits of their SSN

  3. The username will be sent to their email address. If the customer cannot remember or access the email account they used to register, they must click on the re-register link and complete the registration process again.

Registration Error Codes

  1. Error Code 8 or 9 - The customer may receive a Registration Login error message when logging into the IEP. Follow the steps below to resolve this condition:

    1. Clear cache and delete cookies

    2. Verify Internet Explorer is version 9 or above.

    3. Attempt to log in again

    4. Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group if error persists

  2. Error Code 485 - Document issue, contact name, contact number, and username in description, escalate interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

  3. Error Codes 9601, 9603 or 9607 - The customer will not be able to access e-Services. Document contact name, contact number, and username in description, and escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Exception Processing Support

  1. Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) employees provide in person identity proofing for individuals registering or re-registering for e-Services. TAC employees assist individuals referred by EPSS who:

    • cannot be revalidated by EPSS personnel.

    • cannot successfully register for Secure Access online (for example through Get Transcripts, IP PIN).

  2. Upon successfully identity proofing a customer for e-Services, TAC personnel will document the action in Accounts Management Services (AMS) as a history item with the following information:

    • E-Services Identity Proofed

    • The type of identification presented and the last 4 digits of the ID # from one form of identification.

    • Date the identity proofing was completed

    The TAC will then advise the customer to contact the e-help Desk toll free at 888-841-4648 for assistance in establishing their Secure Access account.

IRS e-file Application

  1. The IRS e-file Application is submitted through, or revised, through e-Services. For full details on the IRS e-file program, see IRM 3.42.10, Authorized IRS e-file Providers and Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation.

  2. When a customer is creating a new application, updating an existing application, adding a new location, or deleting a location, the following guidelines apply:

    1. The customer must complete their registration in Secure Access Authentication in order to submit the application.

    2. All pages must be complete for a new application. Update information for a revised application.

    3. Each Principal and Responsible Official must sign their Terms of Agreement (TOA), enter professional status information or submit fingerprint cards (FPC), and have the appropriate roles to submit an application or make changes to an application.

    4. Fingerprint cards (FPC) or Proof of Professional Status, as needed must be mailed to the Andover Campus at 310 Lowell Street, Stop 983, Andover, MA 01812. The tracking number must be written on the back of the FPCs in pencil. Requested Proof of Professional Status can be faxed to Andover at 877-477-0567. Include the tracking number.

    5. The Principal must be the one to initiate and submit the new application (Firm EIN or SSN not on another application). A tracking number will appear when the application is successfully submitted.

      Note:

      Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites and Large Taxpayers do not have Principals, therefore a Responsible Official will submit the application.

    6. Any Principal, Responsible Official or Delegated User with authority may revise an application that has already been submitted.

    7. The Principal or Delegated User with Principal Consent is the only one who can submit the application to add a new location.

  3. Authenticate the caller using the appropriate authentication matrix.

    Note:

    Remember to check the Application Summary page to view all persons associated with the IRS e-file Application. Delegated Users are not listed on the Application Summary page; access the Delegated User Page to view any Delegated Users.

  4. If a customer calls requesting a change to their IRS e-file Application, they must make the change via e-Services. If they are not registered, assist them with the Registration process. Assistors will not add or remove Principals, Responsible Officials, or Delegated Users, or submit an application based on a phone call, even if speaking to an authorized person. These changes require a signature of the authorized person.

    Note:

    When adding delegated users, the update takes place immediately when saved; there is no need to submit the application.

    See IRM 3.42.10.12, Updating the Tax Payer Data Store for Previously Accepted Applicants. If a letter needs to be issued, update the Interaction and escalate to the Andover Leads Provider Group. Andover will issue the appropriate letter and close the Incident.

    Note:

    Exceptions that require a new application (e.g., change in structure, change in EIN, etc.) are outlined in IRM 3.42.10, Authorized IRS e-file Providers.

  5. A suitability check is conducted on new IRS e-file Applications and any revised applications adding an EIN, Principal or Responsible Official. Once all required documentation is received, a full suitability check is completed to determine if the requirements to participate as an Authorized IRS e-file Provider have been met. CPAs, Attorneys, Enrolled Agents, Bank Officials, and Officers of Publicly Owned Corporations are not subject to the criminal background check.

    Note:

    Not for profit applications will not undergo the suitability process (i.e., Large Taxpayers, VITA, TCE). Insurance Providers and Pharmaceutical Companies do not have Principals on their application and will not undergo the suitability process; however Third Party Providers will undergo a Suitability check.

Adding a New Location

  1. If a customer needs assistance with adding a new location, do the following:

    1. Ask the caller if they will be e-filing from only the current location.

    2. If they answer "Yes," inform them that they do not need an additional EFIN. Only one EFIN per location from which the Electronic Return Originator (ERO) e-files is needed.

    3. If they answer "No," and they are currently an IEP user, ask them to log in and open their current IRS e-file Application. (If they are not currently an IEP user, assist them with the Registration process.)

    4. Have them choose the "Add New Location" link.

    5. Inform them to complete all needed pages, remembering to Save and Submit the application. Advise caller to submit FPCs for any new Responsible Official without professional credentials.

Close Office or Request EFIN Be Dropped

  1. If an EFIN is no longer needed the customer must submit a request on a company letter head and include the following:

    • EFIN

    • Company name

    • Principal’s name, phone number and signature

    Note:

    Requests can be mailed to Internal Revenue Service STOP 983, 310 Lowell St. Andover, MA 01810 or faxed to 877-477-0567.

IRS e-file Application Status

  1. If a caller is inquiring about the status of their IRS e-file Application, advise them that they can check the status themselves online by doing the following:

    1. Log in, select the appropriate organization, go to Application > e-file Application.

    2. Select the appropriate application link and go to Summary page.

    3. Check Application Status field.

  2. Application Status Definitions are as follows:

    1. Completed - information is available, all research has been completed and entered into the system.

    2. Deleted - application has been in the system for 90 days without having been submitted, or has been in submitted pending documents status for 45 days but no fingerprint cards or requested Proof of Professional Status was received or input.

    3. Saved - application has been initiated/changed and saved, but has not been submitted.

    4. Submitted in Review - IRS is reviewing the application and research is being conducted.

    5. Submitted New - initial submission of an application that does not have documents pending.

    6. Submitted Pending Documents - application requires credential verification, fingerprint cards or other information.

    7. Submitted Reapply - the customer is reapplying after being out of the program for a period of time.

    8. Submitted Revised - the customer is adding/deleting a Principal or Responsible Official or adding a provider option.

  3. For new applications that have not completed the suitability process after 45 days, check application comments to determine if an interim letter was sent.

    Note:

    The 45 day period begins when all information (fingerprint cards, Proof of Professional Status, etc.) referenced in the application have been received or verified.

    1. If a letter was sent, advise the customer they will receive a response within 30 days from the date of the letter.

    2. If 30 days from the date of the letter has passed or no letter was sent, escalate Interaction to Andover Leads Provider Group.

  4. If customer wants to know how many returns have been filed, accepted or rejected, do the following:

    1. Inform customer that these statistics are available by logging in to e-Services and selecting Application > e-file Application > EFIN Status.

    2. If customer needs assistance, access IRS e-file Application on EUP > select EFIN Status > select Show History, to review the number of returns filed, accepted or rejected.

  5. An assistor may have to manually put the application in Deleted status. See Comments page for details. If the customer does not see their application on the IEP, check the status. If Deleted, change the application status to Saved. They will then be able to see their application. Ask them to submit it again.

  6. When the EFIN shows Dropped, the customer will need to access the existing IRS e-file Application and click on the Reapply link from the Applications details link. The application must be reviewed and updated before submitting. See IRM 3.42.10.5, When to Submit a New IRS e-file Application and IRM 3.42.10.6.6, Reapply Applications for additional information.

Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching

  1. The e-Services TIN Matching Program is intended to assist those members of the Third Party Payer community, and their authorized agents, with meeting their obligation for filing accurate and complete annual information return documents. In addition to financial institutions, other eligible entities are credit card companies, state agencies, third party settlement organizations, and third party network transaction companies. The system allows authorized users to match TINs and names directly against IRS records. The TIN Matching system allows for a proximal match for SSN’s, meaning the first letter of the name control must match, the second and third letters can be swapped, the third and fourth letters can be swapped, and any valid character in the second, third, or fourth position will create a proximal match (example: AXCD, ABXD, and ABCX would all be valid proximal matches for name control ABCD).

  2. TIN Matching does not divulge a taxpayer’s SSN or a business’s EIN. It only verifies whether or not the TIN and name combination which the user submitted matches IRS records. To participate in this program, authorized users must complete a TIN Matching Application through e-Services and meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • Applicant must be a payer of income subject to backup withholding submitted on Form 1099-B, Form 1099-DIV, Form 1099-INT, Form 1099-K, Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-OID or Form 1099-PATR.

    • Payer must have filed Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, reporting income paid on Form 1099, or use the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system to submit information returns electronically, in one of the last two years.

  3. Use IDRS CC PMFOL to research Payer Master File and verify payer is eligible to participate in TIN Matching.

  4. TIN Matching Roles:

    1. Principal - a partner or an individual who owns at least five percent of the firm that is applying to participate in the TIN Matching Program. The "Principal" may also be a corporate officer of a publicly traded firm, such as President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer. The "Principal" must be the person who can legally bind the firm in matters before the IRS and must complete the original application to TIN Match on behalf of the firm. Principals may modify any section of the application. They may add and/or remove locations and authorized users and change the firm/organization information.

    2. Responsible Official - an individual who holds a supervisory position within the firm. A "Responsible Official" has the authority to update an application on behalf of their listed firm and firm "Principal" . The "Responsible Official" may change the firm/organization information, assign/disable "authorized agent" and "delegated user" roles, add and/or remove locations and perform TIN Matching. Responsible Officials may modify any section of the application.

      Note:

      Only a Principal or Responsible Official can add another Principal or Responsible Official. It is a good practice to list a second person. The Responsible Official can be a different individual from the Principal. More than one Principal and/or Responsible Official can be listed.

    3. Authorized Agent - a person or firm that, with the payer’s authorization, transmits specific information return documents to the IRS on behalf of the firm and may match name/TIN combinations on behalf of the payer. An "Authorized Agent" may assign/disable user access within their assigned location, update their location address information and perform TIN Matching.

    4. Delegated User - an individual who will utilize the TIN Matching session options on behalf of the firm. A "Delegated User" may not assign or disable users or update applications on behalf of their assigned firm. A "Delegated User" may only perform TIN Matching on behalf of their assigned firm.

  5. Many users forget to resubmit the application after making additions or changes. Unlike an IRS e-file Application, the TIN Matching Application requires a PIN entry only at the initiation of the application, not after each subsequent change. If the authorized user (as outlined in paragraph 3 above) fails to submit the application, the assistor will submit the application in the interest of good customer service. Remind the caller that the application must be resubmitted after any changes to avoid future problems.

  6. Guidelines for the TIN Matching Program can be found in Publication 2108A, On-Line Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching Program.

TIN Matching Access Inquiries

  1. When the customer (payer) indicates that they cannot access TIN Matching even though their employer has named them as an authorized user, take the following steps:

    1. Verify the customer is registered.

    2. If the customer is NOT registered, tell them that they will not have access to TIN Matching until after they register.

    3. To search for a TIN Matching Application in the EUP, select e-Services > Application > TIN Matching Application.

    4. Search by either the business legal name or the company's EIN. Verify the company has submitted a TIN Matching Application and has included the customer as an authorized user.

    5. Check the Last Modified date and Application Submitted date. If they are different - resubmit the application. Advise the caller that whenever changes are made to a TIN Matching Application, the application must be resubmitted.

    6. Ask the customer to log out of their e-Services account and then log back in. The customer will see the company name and have access to the TIN Matching program.

    7. If the customer is still unable to see the TIN Matching link, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

Delete/Revoke/Restore a TIN Matching Application

  1. If the customer inquires about the ability to remove a firm's TIN Matching Application from the system, or is requesting that a previously deleted application be restored, determine their role on the application. If they are not the Principal, advise the caller that only Principals can make such a request.

  2. If the caller is the Principal and still needs assistance with revoking/deleting, or would like to restore a previously deleted TIN Matching Application, advise the customer that their request will be referred to the e-Services technical staff for resolution. Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Document Interaction with the following information:

    • Name of Principal

    • Username of Principal

    • Telephone number (with time zone) of Principal

    • Position in the company (president, vice president, owner, etc.)

    • Company name as shown on the TIN Matching Application

    • Company TIN as shown on the TIN Matching Application

    • Reason for revoking, deleting or restoring the application

Replace a Principal

  1. If there is only one Principal or Responsible Official on the application and they are being removed, advise the caller that only an owner, officer, or partner of the company can replace the existing Principal. If the caller qualifies as a Principal, escalate Interaction to the e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Document Interaction with the following information:

    • Name, username, and phone number of employee needing to be added

    • Position in the company

    • Company name as shown on the TIN Matching Application

    • Company TIN as shown on the TIN Matching Application

    • Name of former employee who needs to be replaced

Bulk TIN - Valid Response

  1. When submitting a Bulk TIN Request (up to 100,000 TIN and name combinations), as well as an Interactive TIN Request (up to 25 TIN and name combinations), there are nine possible result codes. If the customer calls in for an explanation of these codes, offer the following definitions:

    1. 0 - Name/TIN combination matches IRS records

    2. 1 - Missing TIN or TIN not a nine digit number

    3. 2 - TIN not currently issued

    4. 3 - Name/TIN combination does NOT match IRS records

    5. 4 - Invalid request (e.g., contains alphas, special characters). Must have TIN Type, TIN, Name (Name field is limited to 50 characters).

    6. 5 - Duplicate request

    7. 6 - Matched on SSN, when the TIN type is (3), Unknown

    8. 7 - Matched on EIN, when the TIN type is (3), Unknown

    9. 8 - Matched on SSN and EIN, when the TIN type is (3), Unknown

  2. If customer does not see the result code they were expecting, and asks for the correct TIN, explain we are not authorized to disclose that information and they will need to verify with their client.

Bulk TIN - No Response

  1. When a customer submits a Bulk TIN request, they will receive an acknowledgement page with tracking number. The customer will receive a response within 24 hours. If a customer calls because a response has not been received, or the results are illegible, ask the customer to resubmit their Bulk TIN request. Have them record the tracking number and the date/time stamp of their submission. If they still have not received a response after an additional 24 hours have passed, they should call the e-help Desk again.

  2. When the customer calls back because they still have not received a response, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Include tracking number and date/time stamp provided by customer, username, and company EIN in Interaction documentation.

TIN Matching Suspended and/or Locked Out

  1. When the customer is suspended and/or locked out while performing Interactive TIN matching, they will receive a pop-up message indicating that they are locked and the reason (e.g., Results Code 5 - Duplicate). Inform customer:

    1. The TIN Matching program contains a built-in security feature that detects when a taxpayer EIN, SSN or ITIN is being researched using different names.

    2. Account access is blocked for four days (96 hours).

    3. They will have to wait for the system to unlock them.

  2. When the customer is locked out while performing Bulk TIN Matching, the system will generate a tracking number for the submission and a message referencing this tracking number is sent immediately to their Secure Mailbox. The bulk lockout does not return result codes.

  3. General Services Administration (GSA) is the organization responsible for the System for Award Management (SAM) Web site. If a GSA customer is locked out:

    1. Verify customer information (customer name, telephone number, firm name and EIN) in e-help Support System (EHSS). If not correct, document correct information in Interaction description along with the username and EIN.

    2. Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

TIN Matching Error Messages

  1. Sometimes the customer will receive an error message when attempting to use TIN Matching. The two most common errors are:

    • Line %1 contains invalid data or has more or less semicolons

    • 96 Hour Lockout

  2. If the customer receives "Line %1 contains invalid data or has more or less semicolons" error message, they must correct and resubmit file.

  3. If the customer receives "96 Hour Lockout" error message, they must wait for the system to unlock them.

Transcript Delivery System (TDS)

  1. Transcript Delivery System (TDS) allows specific tax professionals, Reporting Agents, Low Income Tax Clinics (LITC), state and local governmental agencies, and internal IRS users to request and receive transcripts electronically. Large Taxpayers are not entitled to use TDS even though they may have submitted five or more accepted returns electronically. Tax professionals and LITC representatives must have a Form 2848 or Form 8821 on file to access client transcripts. Reporting Agents need a valid Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization.

  2. The following Individual Transcripts are available through TDS:

    • Account Transcripts show the information posted on the account, including payments, adjustments, etc., and are available for any account that is active on the IRS Master File.

    • Return Transcripts include most lines from the original return, including attached forms and schedules, and are available for returns filed during the current and three prior years.

    • Record of Account Transcripts are a combination of the account and return transcripts, and are available for returns filed during the current and three prior years.

    • Wage and Income Documents show income reported by payers on forms such as Form W-2 and Form 1099. Wage and income information may be available for a period up to ten years.

    • Verification of Non-Filing generates a letter when a taxpayer needs verification that a tax return was not filed, and is available for the current and three prior tax years.

  3. The following Business Transcripts are available through TDS:

    • Account Transcripts are available for any account that is active on the IRS Master File.

    • Return Transcripts are available for a limited amount of business forms filed during the current year and returns processed during the prior three processing years.

    • Record of Account Transcripts are a combination of the account and return transcripts, and are available for returns filed during the current and three prior years.

      Note:

      Wage and Income Documents are NOT available for Business.

  4. The customer may voluntarily change their PIN by logging in and selecting the "Modify PIN" link. The customer will:

    • enter a new five digit numeric PIN and re-enter the PIN

      Note:

      The PIN cannot be all the same number and cannot be the same as the last PIN.

    • click the "submit" button to save the changes

Access to Client Information

  1. Client information via e-Services cannot be accessed without a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization (TIA), on file. This authorization can be viewed on IDRS using CC CFINK and the taxpayer's TIN. Review the CC CFINK response screen for the following:

    • The Powers field must contain a "U" for Unmodified.

    • The information must be complete. If the information is not complete, the customer must mail or fax the Form 2848 or Form 8821 to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) Unit.

  2. If the customer is using TDS and receives a CAF Failure error, research and provide the CAF number as follows:

    1. Request his/her name and address to research CC RPINK or CC CFINK.

    2. Confirm there is an existing CAF number(s) for the caller.

    3. Authenticate the caller's identity by following probes found in IRM 21.1.3.3, Third Party (POA/TIA/F706) Authentication.

    4. If the caller is using the wrong CAF number, you may provide the correct CAF number ONLY after verifying the practitioner's name and address match what is shown on the CAF database.

    5. If they DO NOT match and the practitioner is actively working with their client to resolve a tax account issue as outlined in IRM 21.3.10.2 (2)Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) Overview, they may call the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) at 866-860-4259 to secure transcripts. PPS is a nationwide toll-free, account related service for all practitioners and serves as the first point of contact for assistance regarding their clients' account related issues. A practitioner who is not actively working to resolve a tax account issue may request transcripts using Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript, Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) or the Income Verification Express System (IVES).

    Note:

    Assistors will only look up and provide the correct CAF number when providing support for TDS rejects. All other requests are unsupported and will be referred to PPS.

Centralized Authorization File (CAF)
  1. The following forms must be mailed or faxed to the CAF Unit.

    • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (POA) - A taxpayer can grant authority to representatives to receive tax data and represent them before the IRS. Form 2848 covers specific tax forms and tax periods.

    • Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization (TIA) - A taxpayer can grant authority to any individual or organization to inspect or receive the taxpayer's confidential tax information. Form 8821 covers specific tax forms and tax periods.

      Note:

      A signed copy of Form 2848 or Form 8821 must be retained in the authorized representative's files.

  2. The authorization must post to the CAF database prior to them submitting a TDS request for transcripts through e-Services.

  3. Direct customer inquiries regarding multiple CAF numbers, name change requests, etc. to CAF. Assistors will direct callers to the appropriate CAF unit for their state. CAF Unit mailing addresses and fax numbers are located on the CAF Unit Addresses, Fax Numbers, and State Mapping page of irs.gov, form instructions, and IRM 21.3.7.1.3, Processing Sites (CAF Function).

Rejected TDS

  1. TDS will reject requests for transcripts if any one of the following conditions is present on the taxpayer's CAF record:

    • Designation level under the column LV shows "X" .

    • Powers Code under the column AUTHS shows anything other than "U" (Unmodified).

    • Column RCTS shows "R" (authority to receive a refund), this is considered to be a modification for e-Services purposes.

  2. TDS will reject requests for transcripts if any one of the following conditions is present on the representative's CAF record in the CAF STATUS or STATUS field:

    • Undeliverable

    • Deceased

    • Disbarred

    • Suspended

    • Resigned

    • Ineligible

    • Inactive

  3. Programming changes were made to allow transcripts for tax years not impacted by identity theft. TDS does not generate transcripts for any tax year where there is an Identity Theft Indicator on the account. Programming changes in January 2017 stopped letters from going to clients when a transcript is requested by the POA and the account has been affected by identity theft for that year. The letter to the practitioner will direct them to call the Practitioner Priority Service at 866-860-4259 for assistance in obtaining a transcript for years affected by identity theft.

  4. A practitioner who is not actively working to resolve a tax account issue may request transcripts using Form 4506-T , Form 4506T-EZ , Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) or the Income Verification Express System (IVES).

Married Taxpayers

  1. A valid POA or TIA is required for at least one of the joint filers for the following transcripts: Account Transcript, Tax Return Transcript, and Record of Account Transcript. However, a representative is only entitled to Verification of Non-Filing and Wage and Income Transcripts for the joint filer for which they have a valid POA or TIA.

IRS Employees

  1. Advise IRS employees who experience problems using TDS to contact the Information Technology Support Desk at 866-743-5748, to open a KISAM ticket.

State Users

  1. Advise state users to contact the Disclosure Manager for their state to apply for the TDS product. IRS Disclosure offices may be found at the Disclosure Contacts Link https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/vl003/Lists/DBasicsContacts/LandingView.aspx. The Disclosure Help Desk number and email address are for internal use only.

Common TDS Problems

  1. Sometimes the user has problems transmitting and receiving their TDS information. The following subsections may help to resolve those issues. If the problem is still not resolved, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Always include the username in the write-up when elevating to Level 2.

Bulk Request Upload Error Message
  1. When the customer is sending a bulk file, it should not contain more than one megabyte (MB) of information. If the customer calls because of the "Bulk file contains errors" message, follow the chart below:

    Figure 3.42.8-3

    If ... Then ...
    The file name is not lowercase and the extension is not .txt Advise the customer that their file name must be lowercase and the extension on the file must be .txt regardless of what software (Word, Excel, Notepad, etc.) was used to create the file. Save the file in Plain text using Notepad and the extension .txt. Then try to upload the file again.
    The file is larger than 1 MB of information Advise the customer to lower the size of the file and try to upload the file again.
Unable to Receive Business Master File (BMF) Return Transcripts
  1. Sometimes the customer will request BMF return transcripts that are currently not available through TDS. A limited number of BMF return transcripts are available through TDS. If the forms the customer is requesting appear to be available, look up the authorities in IDRS using CC CFINK. If the customer's POA is not posted for the year(s) and form(s), advise them to submit a POA in order to update the CAF authorities.

  2. For state users: if the product, form number, and tax period (year and month) are available on TDS, the product is within the years available through TDS, and the customer still cannot get the product, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

TDS Letters Cut Off or Cannot Print
  1. Customers may experience problems with printing transcripts. If the transcript is cut off in part, or will not print at all, assist the customer based on the type of browser the customer is using.

  2. For the Internet Explorer (IE) browser:

    1. Determine the version of Internet Explorer.

    2. Select Help in the Web Browser.

    3. Select About Internet Explorer (the version number of the browser software will be listed in the window that appears).

    4. Determine which version is listed.

    5. If lower than 9.0, update Explorer; download a new version of Internet Explorer from the Web site at http://www.microsoft.com. If the printout drops off of the right side of the page, even though the browser window shows everything and the version is 9.0, change the margins by clicking on File, Page Setup, change the left margin to .25, then print.

  3. If another browser is used, advise the customer that e-Services is designed to work in Internet Explorer version 9.0 or above.

Income Verification Express Service (IVES) Users

  1. IVES is a partially automated service that provides two-business day processing and delivery of transcripts to participants who pay a fee for this service. Each company must complete Form 13803, Application to participate in the Income Verification Express Service (IVES) Program, which is entered into the EUP by IVES Coordinators in the Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) unit. IVES customers request transcripts by faxing Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ, to the appropriate RAIVS unit. Once an IVES Application has been established for them by the RAIVS unit, and they are given a Participants/Consolidator Number, they are treated the same as any other customer. Transcripts are delivered to the customer's e-Services Secure Mailbox.

  2. The Principal, Responsible Official and Delegated User assigned to use e-Services products must register individually to create and have access to a Secure Mailbox. Only the Principal can access the IVES Detail and Summary Reports.

  3. IVES users may maintain and revise their application by logging into e-Services and clicking on the IVES Consolidator Application link, which will bring up the Main screen showing all links within the application.

    1. Principals can make changes to the following screens: Firm/Organization Information, Firm/Organization Address, Business Point of Contact, Establish Location(s), and Authorized User(s).

    2. Responsible Officials can only update authorized user(s).

    3. Delegated Users cannot make changes to the application but can retrieve transcripts.

    4. All other application changes (including Principal Information changes) must be submitted on a revised Form 13803, Income Verification Express Service (IVES) Application, and faxed to the RAIVS unit.

      Note:

      Even though the "IVES Consolidator Application: Principal Information" page shows an edit button, changes to Principal Information will not be made using e-Services. These changes must be completed by submitting a revised Form 13803 to RAIVS.

    .

  4. Refer customers with the following issues to the RAIVS Unit where their request was faxed:

    1. No response from application that has been faxed.

      Note:

      Verify the application was faxed to the correct number. If application was previously faxed to incorrect number, provide correct fax number and ask customer to fax again.

    2. Charged for more transcripts than delivered.

    3. Trouble accessing reports (transcripts).

    4. Received transcripts without approved Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ.

  5. If the customer previously contacted the RAIVS Unit and did not receive a response, refer caller to IVES program office at 816-499-4542, 816-499-4532, or 801-620-6750.

  6. Refer customers with questions about IVES participation suspension or unresolved unpaid bills sent to treasury offset to the IRS Beckley Finance Center at 304-254-3327 or 304-254-3321.

  7. RAIVS Unit contact information:

    • Austin, fax number: 877-477-9603 and phone number: 512-460-2966

    • Cincinnati, fax number: 877-477-0578 and phone number: 859-669-5278

    • Fresno, fax number: 877-477-0576 and phone number: 559-456-5897

    • Kansas City, fax number: 877-477-9601 and phone number: 816-499-5816

    • Ogden, fax number: 877-477-0580 and phone number: 801-620-7329

Miscellaneous E-Services

  1. The following sections provide general information related to e-Services.

PIN Rules/Inquiries

  1. Once the caller has completed the SAA process, the new e-Services user will be prompted to create a PIN. This PIN will be used to electronically sign their e-Services applications.

  2. If a user already has a PIN, it does not need to be changed. After e-Services Registration migration, the system will prompt the user to create a PIN if one is needed.

  3. The PIN entered must match the PIN created when the customer registered for e-Services or when they last changed it.

  4. Once the PIN is affixed to an electronic document, it indicates that the person making any changes is authorized to do so.

  5. The customer may voluntarily change their PIN by logging in and selecting the "Modify PIN" link. The customer will:

    • Be prompted to enter a new five digit numeric PIN and re-enter the PIN.

      Note:

      The PIN cannot be all the same number and cannot be the same as the last PIN.

    • Click the "submit" button to save the changes

Secure Mailbox

  1. Each registered user has a Secure Mailbox where data is placed or deposited. They access this data by clicking the Mailbox link found in the navigation tool bar along the top of each e-Services page. For most of the products, an email is sent to the user alerting them data has been placed in their Secure Mailbox. Depending on the type of data, and whether or not it has been Read or left Unread, the system will automatically delete the files. The delete time frames are as follows:

    Figure 3.42.8-4

    Product Read Unread
    TDS 3 business days 30 business days
    TIN Matching 3 business days 30 business days
    Business Rule Changes 3 business days 30 business days

Missing Links

  1. If customer does not see the TDS product at the Welcome page, ask what company they chose at the Select Organization page. Whichever one they selected, suggest they select the other company link. For example, if they initially chose their Responsible Official link (DBA name with address), ask them to log out and log in again. This time suggest they select their Principal link (legal name with no address). Sometimes, the TDS product will be found on one of the company links but not both.

    Note:

    If a customer is not seeing all of their company links at the Select Organization page, inform them that they will only be able to see the first 14 links. They can access the IRS e-file Applications they are associated with by going to Application > e-file Application and doing a search by the EFIN or location address.

  2. If a caller still does not see their TDS link, verify the following:

    1. Five or more accepted returns were filed in the current or prior year.

    2. Caller is a Principal/Responsible Official and passed suitability or a delegated user with delegated authorities.

    3. Provider Option of the Electronic Return Originator (ERO) is in Accepted status.

  3. If all criteria is met, go to the "Services Authorized For" page and manually check the Transcript Delivery System box if it is not already checked. Save the application and insert comments. Ask the customer to sign out, log in again and check for the link.

  4. If the link is still not showing, do the work-around of toggling the address, as follows:

    1. Access the IRS e-file Application.

    2. Go to the Business Address page.

    3. Make a change to the business address (spell out or add Street, Drive, etc.).

    4. Save application and enter a comment such as, "Toggled Address to Get Business Link or TDS Product Link" .

    5. Ask customer to log in and check for links.

    6. Undo your previous Address Change.

    7. Save the application again and enter another comment such as, "See Comment Below" .

    8. Ask the customer to log out, log in again and check for the link.

    Note:

    If the customer is still unable to see the links after trying all of the above, escalate interaction to e-Services Technical L2 provider group.

Acronyms

ACRONYM MEANING
AC Area Code
ACKS Acknowledgement
ADD Address
ALT CONT Alternate Contact
AM Accounts Management
AP Automatic Pass
APPL Application
A2A Application to Application
BAL DUE Balance Due
BBS Bulletin Board System
BKPT Bankruptcy
CHNG Change
CIV PEN Civil Penalty
COMP Compare/Miscompare
CONT Contact
CPEO Certification of Professional Employer Organization
CR Credit
CYC Cycle
DB Debt
DD Direct Deposit
ERC Error Reject Code
ERO Electronic Return Originator
F# Form Number
FIRE Filing Information Returns Electronically
FPC Fingerprint Card
HQ Headquarters
HRA High Risk Authentication
ICMM International Compliance Management Module
IFA Internet Filing Application
ILO In Lieu Of
INFO Information
LMTCBW/ Left Message to Call Back With
LTR Letter
MGMT REV Management Review
MLT LTR Multiple Issue Letter
NEG PEN Negligence Penalty
NLW/CO No Longer with Company
OC Owner Control
OPR Office of Personal Responsibility
PC Phone Call
POPS Proof of Professional Status
PROB Problem
PUB Publication
PW Password
PYMT Payment
RECD Received
REF Refer
RFINQ Refund Inquiry
RO Responsible Official
S/B Should Be
SC Service Center
SD Software Developer
SDC Scheme Development Center
SIG Signature
SPK W/ERO Spoke to Electronic Return Originator
STRUC Structure
SUIT Suitability
SUSP Suspended
TCB Transmitter Control Base
TCC Transmitter Control Code
TP Taxpayer
TRANS Transmitter
TST Testing
UPD Update/Updated
UTC Unable to Contact
UTL Unable to Locate File Folder
W/O Without
XFER Transfer
XMIT Transmit/Transmission