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

Manual Transmittal

September 15, 2017

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 3.42.8.1 Programs, Scope and Objectives - Added Background, Roles and Responsibilities and Acronyms as outlined in The Heightened Awareness, Sensitivity and Understanding of Internal Controls Memo dated September 14, 2016. Subsequent sections renumbered.

(2) IPU 17U0346 issued 02-22-2017 IRM 3.42.8.3.1.4 Identity Theft (IDT) Research - E-Services Technical Level 2 (Registration on Related) Referrals - In (2) removed reference to call transfer.

(3) IRM 3.42.8.4.1.2 Compromised Accounts - In (1) added former employees and account information in response to phishing emails to the description and a note clarifying AGI and SSN must also be compromised if escalating to Level 2.

(4) IRM 3.42.8.4.1.3 Identity Theft (IDT) Research - Refund Integrity & Compliance Services (RICS)/Criminal Investigation (CI) Referrals - ERO - Added (2) Information for ERO’s to report a data base breach to the Stakeholder Liaison.

(5) IPU 16U1703 issued 11-25-2016 IRM 3.42.8.5 Registration - In (1) added note describing temporary Revalidation process. This interim process will be discontinued when e-Services Registration migrates behind Secure Access Authentication.

(6) IPU 16U1714 issued 12-01-2016 IRM 3.42.8.5 Registration - In (1) revised Revalidation process note to reflect change in interim process.

(7) IRM 3.42.8.6 Registration - In (2) added case sensitive.

(8) IPU 17U0346 issued 02-22-2017 IRM 3.42.8.5.2 Failed Attempts - In Figure 3.42.8-3, revised table to remove references to giving out Adjusted Gross Income amount over the phone.

(9) IRM 3.42.8.6.2 Failed Attempts - In (3) added IRM reference for authenticating the caller.

(10) IPU 17U0346 issued 02-22-2017 IRM 3.42.8.5.8 Forgotten Password for IRS Employees Logging in Through IEP - Removed instruction to transfer call to Level 2.

(11) IRM 3.42.8.6.8 Forgotten Password for Employees Logging In To IEP - In (1) and (2) added e-Services Technical Level 2.

(12) IPU 17U0346 issued 02-22-2017 IRM 3.42.8.7 IRS e-file Application - In (2) d) Revised Andover MA zip code.

(13) IRM 3.42.8.9.2 Missing Links - In (4) added (e), ask customer to log in and check links.

(14) IRM 3.42.8.9.4.1 Rejected TDS - In (3) Transcripts can now be generated for tax years not impacted by identity theft.

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

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 3.42.8 dated 09/22/2016, (effective 10/01/2016) is superseded. This IRM also incorporates the following IRM Procedural Updates (IPU) - 16U1703 (issued 11/25/2016), 16U1714 (issued 12/01/2016) and 17U0346 (issued 02/22/2017).

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

(10-01-2017)

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:

    • e-Services registration

    • e-file Application

    • Transcript Delivery System (TDS)

    • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching

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:

    • Registration – allows users to create an online account using personal information and is required to access other 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.

  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 and potential e-Services related Identity Theft (IDT) issues.

    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 taxpayer’s 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 3.42.7.14.4, 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. You may contact the Disclosure Help Desk at 866-591-0860 or contact the Disclosure Office via email at Disclosure@irs.gov. 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 Declaración Anual del Patrono de la Contribución Federal para el Desempleo (FUTA); Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return; Form 941-PR, Planilla para la Declaración 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 Declaración Anual de la Contribución Federal del Patrono de Empleados Agrícolas; 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 3.42.7.14.4.3, Authentication/Authorization for E-Services (Other Than e-file Application), gives procedures for authentication and authorization of e-Services customers.

  2. Occasionally, a caller may contact the e-help Desk using the login credentials (user name and password) of someone else in the company. If you determine that a caller has accessed the system using another user's login credentials, take the following actions:

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

    2. Ask to speak to the person who owns the login credentials. If the owner of the credentials comes to the phone, advise owner of the security violation. Authenticate the caller and proceed with call.

    3. If the owner of the credentials does not come to the phone, advise the caller that you must terminate the call. Ask them to have the owner of the login credentials call the e-help Desk.

    4. Document the name of the caller and a brief description of the call and escalate the Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group for registration revocation.

Compromised Account
  1. A compromised e-Services account means that information [e.g., username with password, or electronic filing Identification number (EFIN)] may have been obtained by an unauthorized user, including former employees no longer authorized or account information disclosed through response to phishing emails. If you identify a compromised e-Services username with password, or EFIN through research or through customer contact, create an Interaction, document it with pertinent data, and do the following:

    Note:

    Only escalate interactions where the SSN and AGI were also compromised with the username and password.

    1. E-Services username with password – In the comments box of the Registration Record, include the date, your standard employee identifier (SEID), the Interaction or Incident number and customer’s concerns. Escalate ONLY the Interaction to the e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Do not transfer the call. If caller requests an explanation for the referral to Level 2, advise additional research is required before a response can be given.

      Note:

      If the comments in maintain registration show revoked status, do not provide the reason why the registration was revoked.

    2. EFIN – 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 EFIN, for more details.

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.

    Note:

    Do not escalate e-Services Registration Interactions involving potential ID theft to the IDT Research Provider Group; continue to escalate these Interactions to the e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

Identity Theft (IDT) Research - E-Services Technical Level 2 (Registration Related) Referrals
  1. When assisting a caller with a registration issue, you may become aware of a potential ID theft issue. Potential ID theft may have occurred when the customer:

    • filed a paper registration form

    • is having difficulty registering for e-Services due to an incorrect AGI

    • receives a letter from the IRS regarding an address change they did not make

    • indicates their e-Services password was changed but they did not take this action

    • is unable to use the Registration Services "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" link due to an incorrect AGI

    • receives a confirmation code letter or change of address notification but they never registered for e-Services

  2. If you suspect or become aware of a potential ID theft Registration related issue:

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

    2. Escalate the Interaction to the e-Sservices Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Level 2 will perform high risk disclosure and will research the issue/accounts and if appropriate, will advise customer to submit additional documentation to the IRS.

Accessing E-Services

  1. The e-Services system is fully compatible with Internet Explorer. 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).

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 and a 5081 is required for each role. 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.

Lock Out Conditions
  1. A customer is considered to be registered after submitting their registration even if they have not yet confirmed their registration. There are six instances when the customer will be locked out of e-Services (IEP).

    1. Unregistered customer attempts to register and fails (incorrect name, date of birth (DOB) or adjusted gross Income (AGI)) too many times. Advise customer to wait two days before attempting to register again.

      Note:

      The customer will generally receive the same error repeatedly. This is a clear indicator they are locked out.

    2. Registered customer attempts "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" procedure and fails too many times. Advise customer to wait two days before attempting to repeat the procedure.

      Note:

      Review Registration Record for statement above the first name line which indicates: "The user's Taxpayer Identification Number is currently locked out" .

    3. Registered customer attempts to log in with their username and uses the wrong password too many times. User will be presented with two challenge questions (chosen randomly) to unlock their account. See the figure below for steps to take based on answers provided. See IRM 3.42.8.6, Registration, for more information.

      Note:

      There is no way for the employee to verify this lock out, however, the customer should have received the "Login Error" banner. After the 15 minute lockout, customers can attempt to login to e-Services again if they have the correct username and password.

      Figure 3.42.8-1

      Challenge Questions ... And ...
      answered correctly User remembers password, direct them to the e-Services login page where they can enter the correct password. After they login, they will be prompted to change their password.
      User has forgotten their password, have them select "Registration Services" and complete the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" process.
      answered incorrectly User never confirmed registration, they will receive Error Code 338. The User must complete the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" process.
      User confirmed registration, they will continue to receive the challenge questions until they either answer correctly or they exit e-Services. The User must complete the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" process.
    4. Registered customer attempts to unlock expired password too many times using an incorrect AGI and/or AGI year, and/or PIN. Advise customer to allow 60 minutes for the system to unlock before attempting to unlock their expired password again.

      Note:

      The customer should have received a message that their account is locked. In addition, you will see "lockout" as the Registration Status on their Registration Record. This status indicator will remain until they have successfully unlocked their expired password.

    5. Customer registers and never confirms, after two years they are locked out. Have customer attempt the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" procedure and if that does not work, the assistor may reset the password on the Registration Record if ALL of the following conditions exist: initial Registered Date and Registration Record Last Changed Date are exactly the same, Must Confirm By Date is exactly 28 days later, AND Current Registration Status is new. If all of these conditions have NOT been met, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

    6. Customer encounters Error Code 118 Reset Password, the assistor will reset password if clearing cache and deleting cookies does not resolve error. If the customer receives an Error Code 118 after password reset, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

    7. See IRM 3.42.8.6.9 (2), Password/PIN Reset, for steps to reset a password/PIN.

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.

  3. For Internet Explorer (IE) 6.0:

    • Go to Tools

    • Select Internet Options

    • Under Temporary Internet Files, select Delete Cookies and Delete Files

    • Delete History

    • Close and reopen the browser

  4. For Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0:

    • Go to Tools

    • Select Internet Options

    • Under Browsing History, select Delete

    • Select Delete Files, Delete Cookies and Delete History

    • Close and reopen the browser

  5. For Internet Explorer (IE) 8.0 through 11.0:

    • 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

Registration

  1. Registration is the first step in using e-Services and is a one time process that allows users to create an online account using personal information in order to have access to e-Services products. This personal information is also known as "shared secrets" . The secrets are matched against IRS records, and gives the IRS a level of assurance that the registrant is who they say they are. To become a registered user, the customer must provide the following:

    • Legal Name

    • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) – This may be a social security number (SSN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) in the following format XXXXXXXXX (no dashes). An employer identification number (EIN) cannot be used.

    • Their AGI and AGI year from either of the last two years' tax return (Form 1040, Form 1040A, etc.). The AGI must match the amount entered on the taxpayer's original return prior to any amendments and/or adjustments.

      Note:

      Negative amounts can be used by putting a minus [ - ] sign before the dollar amount.

    • Date of Birth (DOB) - format is MM/DD/YYYY.

      Note:

      To enhance security for e-Services to protect access to sensitive taxpayer and tax preparer data, the IRS began revalidating active e-Services users in November, 2016. This is a temporary process which will be discontinued when e-Services Registration migrates behind Secure Access Authentication. As part of this interim Revalidation process, the IRS will issue letters to all active e-Services users and those individuals will be instructed to contact the e-help Desk for assistance. Employees must follow guidance in Solution KM003819, Revalidating Identity (Letter 5903), when assisting these callers. Individuals who cannot be revalidated by the e-help Desk will be required to register through Get Transcripts or identity proof in person at their local TAC office. Individuals who do not respond to the letter will have their registration account revoked. The customer’s EFIN, ETIN or Transmitter Control Code (TCC) will not be inactivated at this time.

  2. During the registration process, the customer must create the following:

    • Username - Must be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 characters long, and is not case sensitive.

    • Password - (case Sensitive, see (3) below)

    • Five-digit numeric PIN - cannot contain all of the same number (e.g., 55555)

    • Three challenge questions (e.g., What was the last name of your first grade teacher? What was your first phone number?, etc.) to be used for unlocking an account after three unsuccessful login attempts. Although the answer field for the challenge questions is not case sensitive, the user must provide an exact answer to unlock the account.

      Note:

      The user may change their challenge questions and answers via the Revise Registration page.

    • A private, personal fact (shared secret)

      Note:

      Assistor will ask caller for personal fact (shared secret) to recover a forgotten username.

  3. When assisting the customer with a password issue, keep the following password rules in mind.

    • Must be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 32 characters long.

    • Must contain one of each of the following: lower case letter, upper case letter, number, special character (e.g., !, %). The system will not accept ^, < or > as special characters.

    • Must not contain username, first name, last name or SSN.

    • Must not match any of the last 24 passwords used or any password chosen in the last 180 days.

    • Cannot contain strings of 3 or more consecutive characters (aaa, 333).

    • Must change at least 20 percent of the password without regard to sequence.

    • Must be changed every 180 days or they will expire.

    Note:

    Existing users whose password does not meet these requirements will be prompted to change their password the next time they logon.

  4. An on-screen acknowledgement confirms that the customer has successfully completed the initial registration process. For security purposes, a confirmation code is mailed to the user's home address and should be received within 14 days. This Code must be used to complete the registration process.

    Note:

    If customer receives a confirmation code letter or change of address notification but indicates they did not register for e-Services, create an Interaction and document contact name, contact number, and username in the description. Escalate the Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. DO NOT TRANSFER THE CALL.

  5. Escalate all e-Services Registration related Interactions involving potential ID theft to the e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Level 2 will perform high risk disclosure for all possible ID theft incidents, and may complete additional research. Level 2 will advise customer if additional documentation must be submitted to the IRS.

  6. Occasionally a caller may ask you to change the registration record for them. Encourage the user to make the changes themselves online (see Online Tutorial located on the Registration Services web page at https://la1.www4.irs.gov/e-services/Registration/index.htm). You will only make changes when absolutely necessary while assisting the user with another issue. Do not change the record if the sole reason for the call is a request for you to change the registration record as this may be a fraudulent request. When revising a registration record for the user, always enter the current date, your standard employee identifier (SEID), the action taken, and reason for action (examples: 3/01/15 Changed middle initial per call, 96RBB; 03/25/15 Added ‘JR’ to name-line to match TPDS, 96RBB) in the comments box. If comments block is full, delete the comment with the earliest date to make room for the update.

    Note:

    Any revisions made to Maintain Registration will update the “last changed date” field.

  7. If a caller requests their e-Services registration be deactivated, the assistor will select "Revoke Registration" under User Account Status Change (Required) on the Registration Record. In the comments box, enter the current date, Interaction number, your SEID and the following comment "Revoke Registration per customer request" .

  8. If a previous ITIN registrant now has an SSN, their e-Services registration will be converted to their SSN. Verify the customer has an existing e-Services registration with an ITIN and now has a SSN. Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Level 2 will open a Knowledge, Incident/Problem, Service, Asset Management (KISAM) ticket to convert the registration. Although there is no set time frame for completed conversions as these are completed during scheduled builds, generally the conversion will take up to 3 months to complete.

Confirmation Code Inquiries

  1. The registrant must return to the e-Services system and enter the confirmation code to complete the registration process within 28 days after initial registration. After confirming the registration, ask the customer to log out and then log back in. This will allow the system to recognize the customer is now confirmed.

  2. If registration is not completed within 28 days, the user must create a new password through the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" link. This will generate a new confirmation code and restart the 28 day time frame. See the figure below for confirmation code scenarios:

    Figure 3.42.8-2

    If ... Then ...
    The customer did not receive the confirmation code Verify the correct mailing address is on file by checking their Registration Record. If the address is incorrect, assist the customer with the address change. Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Level 2 will provide the customer with the confirmation code.

    Note:

    An address change will change the address of record, as well as generate a change of address letter to the user.

    The address is correct Ask the customer how long ago they completed the online registration process.
    It has been less than 14 days since registration Inform customer they will receive a confirmation code via U.S. mail.
    14 days have passed since registration and the 28 days have not expired Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group for resolution.
    The confirmation code is invalid and the 28 days have not expired Look up Registration Record on “EUP < esrv-REG < Maintain Registration”.
    • Make sure registration is still in "New" status.

    • Compare the date on the Confirmation Letter against the Record Last Changed Date. If the dates are the same, and it appears the customer used the Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN link more than once on the same date, escalate interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 provider group. If dates do not match, the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" procedure may have been used again which generated a new confirmation code. Explain to the customer that they will receive a new confirmation code in the mail within 14 days.

    • Verify that the confirmation code is being typed exactly as it is in the letter.

    If unable to resolve, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. Level 2 will provide confirmation code to customer.
    The 28 days have already expired Walk the customer through the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" process.
    1. Verify the username on Maintain Registration before going through the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" process.

    2. Refer the customer to Registration Services < Expired, Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN.

    3. Explain to the customer that they will receive a new confirmation code in the mail within 14 days.

Failed Attempts

  1. Some customers request assistance with Registration because they have been unsuccessful completing the process on their own. Search the Registration Record to see if the customer has already registered using these steps:

    1. Log on to the EUP

    2. Click on esrv-REG role

    3. Click on Maintain Registration

    4. Enter SSN or ITIN

    5. Click Submit

  2. If you find that the customer is already registered, confirm the username. If the customer has forgotten their username, see IRM 3.42.8.6.10, Usernames, then help the customer use the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" procedure.

  3. If a previous registration is not found, compare the information the customer is using with the Social Security record by using Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Command Code (CC) INOLE. See IRM 3.42.7.14.4.4 Authentication for SAM EFTPS and Business Online e-file (e.g., Large Taxpayers) for steps to authenticate the caller.

    Figure 3.42.8-3

    If ... Then ...
    The Social Security name control and DOB of the customer matches the information that the customer gives Determine if the customer has filed a return in the last two years by using CC IMFOL. Check their AGI using CC RTVUE or CC TRDBV and compare it against what they are using in Registration. Negative amounts can be used by putting a minus [ - ] sign before the dollar amount.
    The Social Security name control and DOB of the customer does NOT match the information that the customer gives Advise the customer to contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 to resolve the discrepancy.
    The customer has not filed a tax return in the last two years and has been a resident in a U.S. territory (American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands) for which they had no filing requirement The customer may register through an exception process (paper Form 13350, Registration for e-Services), if they do not have an AGI and all of the following apply:
    • They are a non U.S. citizen or non Resident Alien

    • They have no income subject to U.S. tax

    • They are living and working in another country

    • They e-file tax returns for clients

    • They have a valid ITIN

    If the caller meets the above requirements, create an Interaction and document contact name, contact number, fax number and/or email address, and description of the issue "Form 13350" . Escalate the interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

    Note:

    Refer all other inquiries about paper registrations including concerns about identity theft (ID Theft) to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. DO NOT TRANSFER THE CALL.

    The customer has not filed a tax return in the last two years and has not been a resident in a U.S. territory for which they had no filing requirements Advise the customer that they must file a return to be eligible to use e-Services even if they do not have a filing requirement because of disability, income level, or other lawful reasons.
    The customer is using an incorrect AGI Advise the customer they can request a transcript to obtain their AGI using irs.gov <Key Word "Get Transcript" using one of the following options:
    • Get Transcript Online

    • Get Transcript by Mail

    Note:

    AGI can not be given out over the phone.

    Verify current or prior year AGI. Research IMFOLE for possible IDT indicator. If IMFOLE shows:
    • IDT indicator = anything other than “0”, or

    • IDT indicator = 0 and there is some other indication the AGI discrepancy is due to IDT

    Document “possible ID theft” in the description and escalate interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 provider group. Level 2 will advise the caller how to proceed including which areas to call and what forms to file

    Note:

    If the caller requests explanation, indicate additional research must be completed before a response can be provided to an authorized user.

    The customer is using a correct AGI The recently filed and/or posted return may not have fully processed. Explain it may take 6 - 8 weeks for the return information to be available for use on the e-Services system (IEP). The customer should use a different AGI year/AGI if available.

    Note:

    If the user filed an amended return advise the customer to use the original AGI.

    All of the information matches, but the registration continues to fail
    • Ensure the customer is putting their SSN or ITIN into the SSN/ITIN field.

    • The customer may be "locked out" of the system, if they attempted and failed registration three times within a 24 hour period. Advise customer to wait two days (48 hours) before trying again.

    • Escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group for assistance if you are unable to assist customer. Document the Description with the exact error message.

Invalid Username, Password or PIN

  1. If the customer is having trouble selecting a username, password, or PIN, advise the customer the username must be 8 - 10 characters long (must not contain their SSN/ITIN), the password must be 8 - 32 characters long (must not contain their SSN/ITIN), and the PIN must be 5 numeric digits.

  2. See IRM 3.42.8.6, Registration, paragraphs (3) and (4) for password/PIN rules.

    Caution:

    The username cannot be changed once created. Advise the customer to choose carefully.

  3. If the customer continues to receive "The Username/Password/PIN you entered is not valid, review the rules and try again" message, you will ask what password and PIN they are trying. This will help you determine why it keeps failing. Then help them select one that is valid and meets the rules.

Password Notifications

  1. Passwords for e-Services must be changed every 180 days or they will expire. Upon logging into e-Services, users will begin receiving a password expiration warning fifteen days prior to expiration. The system will prompt users to change their password. In addition, thirty, twenty, and ten days prior to expiration an email (if email address was provided) will be sent alerting them that their password is about to expire. If the customer states they never received the email notification:

    • Verify the email address on their Registration Record. (If it is not correct, update the email address.)

    • Advise the customer to check their "Junk Mail" folder for the IRS email.

    • Advise the customer to add the "irs.gov" domain to their safe list.

Unlocking an Expired Password

  1. If the customer did not change their password prior to the expiration date, and they remember their old password and PIN, the system will allow them to unlock their expired password. Advise them to do the following:

    1. Login to e-Services with their username and old password.

    2. Input their AGI, AGI year and existing PIN.

    3. Re-enter old password and create a new password.

    4. Click the "Submit" button and access e-Services. No confirmation code will be mailed.

    Reminder:

    If they have forgotten their password or PIN, they must use the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" link and wait for a confirmation code to come in the mail. If customer is unable to use this link due to no AGI/filing requirement see IRM 3.42.8.6.7 (2), Forgotten Password, for a possible temporary fix.

  2. If a U.S. territory resident previously registered via paper registration process and their password expired, they will have to re-register via Form 13350,Registration for e-Services. These users will check the box labeled “Check here if you are re-applying because of a forgotten, lost or expired password” on the top of the form.

    Note:

    Escalate all inquiries about paper registrations to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group for assistance.

Change Password/PIN Feature

  1. The "Change Password/PIN" feature will be used when the customer wants to voluntarily change their password or when a customer wants to voluntarily change their PIN. Also, this feature is used when a customer receives an email notifying them their password is about to expire.

    Note:

    Users do not have to reconfirm their registration if they change their password prior to the expiration date. In addition, they do not have to change their PIN when changing their password.

  2. The most common problem a customer will have using the change password feature is the "invalid password" message. Users must change their current password by at least 20 percent and follow all of the other password rules. See IRM 3.42.8.6, Registration, paragraphs (3) and (4) for password/PIN rules.

Forgotten Password

  1. If the customer does not know or is having difficulty changing their password and/or PIN Authenticate the customer as an Individual from INOLES:

    1. Authenticate the customer as an Individual from INOLES.

    use the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" feature when they do not remember their password, or when they fail to confirm their registration within the allotted time frame. Verify the customer’s mailing address is correct on the Maintain Registration page. If the address is not correct, assist with the address update..

    Note:

    If after using the “Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN” link, the address is discovered to be incorrect, escalate to e-Services Technical Level 2 provider group for assistance.

    If the address is correct, make sure the customer is using their correct username before directing them to the Registration Services "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" link. To use this feature, the user will need their username, TIN, DOB and AGI. A confirmation code will be mailed to the user within 14 days. The user must log back into e-Services within 28 days of completing the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" process and enter the confirmation code to complete the registration process.

    Note:

    If their password has expired and they remember the password, see IRM 3.42.8.6.5, Unlocking an Expired Password.

  2. If customer is unable to use the Registration Services "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" link due to no AGI/filing requirement, verify the customer is on Maintain Registration and:

    1. As a temporary measure, assistor can reset the password but this may not resolve the issue.

    2. If password reset resolved the issue, remind customer of 180 day change password policy and to update their information as needed in Registration Services.

    3. If password reset did not resolve issue, customer will need to establish AGI.

      Note:

      If customer is a U.S. territory resident, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group.

    4. If customer indicates the password was changed but they did not take this action, document contact name, contact number, and username in description, escalate Interaction to e-Services Technical Level 2 Provider Group. DO NOT TRANSFER THE CALL.

Forgotten Password for IRS Employees Logging in Through IEP

  1. IRS employees may be registered in e-Services for various purposes. EPSS has designated Products and Services Support (PSS), e- Services Technical Level 2 to handle all requests from employees who need this type of support.

  2. The e-help Desk assistor will notate the Interaction number and "IRS employee" in the Registration comments and escalate the Interaction to obtain an Incident number and escalate to the e-Services Technical Level 2 provider group.

Password/PIN Reset

  1. Sometimes customers have difficulty in changing their password even with the assistor giving step-by-step instructions. If the customer has been unable to successfully change their password, ask what they are attempting to enter. This will help you determine why it keeps failing. If the password appears to meet the rules, it might be too close to a previous password. If after probing to determine the reason for the failure, you cannot successfully walk them through the process, reset their password.

  2. Complete the following steps to reset the password (or PIN):

    1. Logon to the EUP.

    2. Select "esrv-REG" role.

    3. Go to "Maintain Registration" .

    4. Retrieve their Registration Record by their TIN or username.

    5. Authenticate the customer as an Individual using INOLES. See IRM 3.42.7.14.4.3, Authentication/Authorization for E-Services (Other Than e-file Application).

    6. Click the "Reset Password" (or "Reset PIN" ) button. If unable to reset password, escalate to an incident, provide incident number to the customer and assign to e-services Technical Level 2 provider group.

    7. Enter a new password in the Password and Confirm Password fields.

      Note:

      Make it simple (e.g., October1!).

    8. Document actions taken in the comments box, include date, and SEID.

    9. Click “Submit”.

    10. Ask the customer to log into e-Services and use the startup password that you provided.

    11. The system will prompt them to create a new password.

    12. Verify customer was able to log in and create new password (or PIN). Assist as needed.

    Note:

    If the customer receives the Expired Password page, they must populate the required fields before they complete the password reset.

  3. The system will not automatically prompt the user to create a new PIN when they log back into e-Services. See IRM 3.42.8.6.11, PIN Inquiries, for additional information regarding PINs.

Usernames

  1. If the customer has forgotten their username, verify their identity by doing the following:

    1. Click on the EUP "Maintain Registration" link.

    2. Using their TIN, pull up the Registration Record.

    3. Go to "Question to Recover Lost Username" .

    4. Ask the question.

    Figure 3.42.8-4

    If ... Then ...
    Customer answers correctly provide the username.
    Customer answers incorrectly two additional authentication probes are required [see Additional Items list (Figure 3.42.7-23), IRM 3.42.7.14.4.4, Authentication for SAM, EFTPS and Business Online e-file (e.g., Large Taxpayers)].

    Note:

    If the customer cannot provide the correct additional authentication information, terminate the call explaining disclosure guidelines have not been met.

  2. Provide the Recover Lost Username (shared secret) question or answer as it was originally input after properly authenticating the caller as an individual using the authentication probes found in the Authentication Matrix for SAM, EFTPS and Business On line Filers (Figure 3.42.7-23), in IRM 3.42.7.14.4.4, Authentication for SAM, EFTPS and Business Online e-file (e.g., Large Taxpayers).

PIN Inquiries

  1. The PIN is used as an electronic signature and does not expire.

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

  3. When the PIN is reset (on Maintain Registration page), it will reset to the first 5 digits of the user's SSN.

  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 using the "Registration Services < Change Password/PIN" link. The password does not need to be changed when changing a PIN.

  6. If the customer cannot remember their PIN, the "Forgotten or Lost Password or PIN" procedure must be used. Explain to the customer that they will receive a new confirmation code in the mail within 14 days.

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 6.0 - 11.0.

    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.

Undeliverable Correspondence

  1. The following instructions apply when an e-Services Confirmation Code letter or e-Services Address Change letter are returned to IRS as undeliverable.

  2. Destroy undeliverable e-Services Confirmation Code letters (Letter 3563) and undeliverable e-Services Address Change letters (Letter 1310) as classified waste upon receipt.

  3. Forward any undeliverable mail belonging to another function to the respective area for action.

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. Customer must be registered and confirmed in e-Services in order to submit the application.

      Note:

      Customer can start the IRS e-file Application after registering for e-Services, but must be confirmed prior to submitting 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 01810. 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 TPDS 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:

    All 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 to e-Services 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.

Deleting a Location

  1. If an EFIN is no longer needed or has already been dropped, authorized IEP users can delete the location by doing the following:

    1. Log in to e-Services

    2. Choose Application < e-file Application from the Welcome page

    3. Choose the "Close Office" link

    4. Select "Delete" for the application they want to delete from the table

    Note:

    If someone wants to remove themselves from an IRS e-file Application, they can pick Remove Affiliation from the Welcome page. However they will not be able to do this if they are the only Principal, Responsible Official and/or primary contact on the IRS e-file Application.

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 to e-Services, 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 on the Programs Applying For page. 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 and has confirmed.

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

    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

    Note:

    A Responsible Official can add a Principal to the TIN Matching Application but cannot remove a Principal.

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.

E-Services Products

  1. In September 2013, the IRS retired the Disclosure Authorization (DA) and Electronic Account Resolution (EAR) products. Transcript Delivery System (TDS) is the remaining e-Services (previously referred to as "incentive" ) product available to external customers.

  2. Tax professionals (Principals and Responsible Officials) with an EFIN are automatically granted access to the TDS product link once they e-file five or more accepted individual and/or business returns. There are four exceptions to this rule, whose access has to be manually activated:

    • Reporting Agents

    • Low Income Tax Clinics

    • Circular 230 Practitioners

    • State and local governments (e.g., through the state TDS Application)

    Note:

    Primary contacts, alternate contacts, and employees of the company do not have this privilege. They must be a Delegated User and be given access authority by a Principal or Responsible Official. The Delegated User must be registered on the IEP and confirm their registration before they will have access to the TDS product link.

  3. If a customer contacts you requesting access to TDS and they do not meet the criteria for access to this product, explain the rule to them.

    Note:

    Low Income Tax Clinics have been granted access to the TDS product and they may also contact the e-help Desk for technical assistance. Treat these users as regular e-Services customers. They DO NOT have to meet the five accepted tax returns threshold to gain access to TDS.

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 3.42.8-5

    Product Read Unread
    TDS 3 business days 30 business days
    TIN Matching 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. Status is confirmed on their Registration Record.

    2. Five or more accepted returns were filed in the current or prior year. (See IRM 3.42.8.9, E-Services Products, paragraph (2) for exceptions).

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

    4. 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.

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.

    Note:

    State users do not need a POA as their authority for access is Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 (d). Income Verification Express Service (IVES) users access TDS transcripts placed into their Secure Mailbox based upon IRS employees processing taxpayers' signed Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return or Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript.

  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 disclosure 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 21.3.10.1 (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).

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 current year and returns processed during the three prior 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 tax 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 the current and nine prior tax 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.

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 http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Disclosure-Offices.

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, Income Verification Express Service (IVES) Application, 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. The Principal and Responsible Official must be confirmed in order to see their IVES Consolidator Application link. 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 816-499-4532, 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

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 3.42.8-6

    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 6.0, 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 6.0, 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 6.0 - 11.0.

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