The IRS has relaunched the IRS Get Transcript online service with more a rigorous authentication process that will provide increased protection against identity thieves. The new process requires two-step authentication for all online tools and applications that require a high level of assurance. This enhanced authentication process will also provide a foundation for additional IRS self-help services in the future.
To access the enhanced Get Transcript online service, taxpayers must have an email address, a text-enabled mobile phone and specific financial account information, such as a credit card number or certain loan numbers. Taxpayers who registered using the older process will need to reregister and strengthen their authentication in order to access the tool. Once a taxpayer logs in, the IRS will send verification, activation or security codes via email and text. The IRS texts and emails will only contain one-time codes and users must always receive and enter a code each time they access the service.
The IRS will never initiate contact via text or email asking for log-in information or personal data.
“The IRS is committed to the protection of taxpayer information and the security of our systems,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and continue to gather vast amounts of personal information as the result of data breaches at sources outside the IRS. In the face of that threat, we must provide the strongest possible authentication processes, while trying to enhance the ability of taxpayers to legitimately access their data and use IRS services online. We recognize that enhanced security will increase the challenge for taxpayers accessing our on-line services.”
The new process may make it more difficult for some taxpayers to authenticate their identities, but the IRS provides other options for taxpayers who are unable to access online features or who prefer to obtain information offline. For example, transcripts may be ordered online or by phone and received by mail.
“The incident with Get Transcript Online illustrates a wider truth about identity theft in general, which is that there are no perfect systems,” Koskinen said. “No one, either in the public or private sector, can give an absolute guarantee that a system will never be compromised. For that reason, we continue our comprehensive efforts to update the security of our systems, protect taxpayers and their data and investigate crimes related to stolen identity refund fraud.”
IR-2016-85, 2016FED ¶46,340
FS-2016-20, 2016FED ¶46,341
Code Sec. 6103
CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶36,894.7708
Tax Research Consultant
CCH Reference – TRC IRS: 9,300