All e-Services users must have an account secured by the identity proofing process called Secure Access. If you are new to e-Services, you must register using the online authentication process before you can access the e-Services suite of tools.
Here’s how Secure Access helps –
- First, it strengthens the initial identity proofing process to make sure the person registering is who they say they
- Second, it strengthens security through a two-factor authentication process for returning users that helps prevent account takeover by cybercriminals. Two-factor authentication means you must have your credentials (username and password) plus a security code sent to your mobile phone or generated by your IRS2Go app each time you log
This is a one-time process. Once you have authenticated your identity and established a Secure Access account for e-Services, there is no further action required.
IRS Adds Student Loans to Verification Options
Before starting the identity proofing process, you should review Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools to learn what you will need to complete the process and how the process will work. You should also review FAQs: e-Services and Secure Access.
You will need to pass various identity proofing stages, including questions to confirm your email, tax return information, financial account information and mobile phone confirmation.
The IRS now has added student loans to the list of financial account data that it will accept for verification. Student loans will be one of several alternatives that include credit card, home mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan. Users need provide only one of the accepted items for verification.
If you have a mobile phone associated with your name and the other required information, you may complete the Secure Access process in one session within 15 minutes. If you do not have a mobile phone associated with your name, you may request an activation code by mail, which will be delivered within five to 10 days. By using the activation code by mail feature, you also may return to register your IRS2Go App or any text-enabled mobile phone, including a business phone in a company name.
Alternative steps for new e-Services users
The IRS has created a new exception process for first-time e-Services users who lack all the required information to complete the process online or who are unsuccessful. Because new users do not have a history with the IRS e-Services program, they must verify their identities in person at a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC).
New users who cannot pass Secure Access should call the e-help Desk at 888-841-4648 for a referral to make an appointment at the TAC. Users should inform the IRS assistor that they are unable to verify their identity for Secure Access authentication for e-Services.
For the TAC appointment, the user must bring a government-issued picture ID and Social Security Card or an original or certified embossed birth certificate.
TAC personnel will make note of the authentication, the date and the documents used. TAC personnel will direct users to call the e-help desk (888-841-4648) for assistance in completing the e- Services registration.
Alternative steps for existing e-Services users
If you are an existing e-Services user and you cannot successfully authenticate online, you have an option called exception processing by phone. You may call the IRS and a customer service representative will ask a series of questions related to your current and prior year tax return information including income information documents. For exception processing, call the e-Help desk at 1-888-841-4648 (select your language, then prompt 1 and remain on the line until an assistor picks up) 7:30 a.m. Eastern to 7 p.m. Eastern.
If you accurately answer all questions, an assistor will create a Secure Access account and issue a temporary password and an activation code by mail. This will allow you to return to e-Services registration and complete the process.
If you are unable to accurately answer the questions related to your tax information, you must make an appointment and visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify your identity in person with two forms of government-issued identification. Once your identity is verified, you must again call the e- Help Desk, an account will be established and an activation code by mail issued to allow you to complete the process.
How to use the IRS2Go App
The IRS2Go app has a new “security” feature that will allow e-Services users to generate the second-factor security code to access accounts. The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon. It can be installed on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, such as iPads, Samsung or Amazon Fire.
If your mobile apps do not update automatically, you may have to download IRS2Go again before you can see the “security” tab. The IRS2Go app option will assist those e-Services users who cannot use mobile phones in work areas or who may not have internet access.
Again, see Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools for more details on the IRS2Go app.