As the IRS increases its efforts to better serve taxpayers, the agency now has expanded the online tax account tool introduced last December.
New features include the ability to view payoff amounts, up to 18 months of tax payments, and tax balances due for each year.
Taxpayers also can get online transcripts of their Form 1040s through the IRS’s Get Transcript service, as well as leave feedback about the new system and make suggestions for improvements.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve taxpayers’ interactions with the IRS, and adding these new features to the taxpayer’s online account is an important step in that direction,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a prepared statement. “The IRS is committed to serving taxpayers in multiple ways, and now taxpayers who want to interact digitally with us in a secure environment have access to even more helpful features.”
When the online account tool was first rolled out at the end of last year, it allowed users to see their account balances, including what they owe for taxes, interest, and penalties.
Before accessing the tool, taxpayers must authenticate their identities through Secure Access – a two-step authentication process. Returning users must have their username and password, plus a security code that is sent as a text to their mobile phones.
First-time users must have their personal and financial information with them at time of registration, including:
• Social Security number
• Specific financial information, such as a credit card number or loan numbers
• Email address
• Text-enabled mobile phone in the user’s name
As part of the security process, the IRS will send verification, activation, or security codes via email and text. The IRS cautions that it does not initiate contact with taxpayers via texts or emails asking for login information. The agency’s texts or emails will only include codes that can be used one time.
About Terry Sheridan
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.