As data protection grabs center stage in our increasingly digital world, the IRS has taken steps to enhance its own digital regulation policies. One such measure is the implementation of the Secure Access Program, a new “identity proofing system” for the agency’s e-Service users.
Prior to the new Secure Access system, e-Service authentication was relatively simple. At initial registration, users were asked to input basic tax account profile information (name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, adjusted gross income, filing status, etc.). But based on the increase in cyberattacks aimed at stealing taxpayer information, the agency grew concerned that its current identity verification processes didn’t do enough to protect sensitive data.
As of December 10, 2017, the IRS now requires any taxpayer or practitioner using its e-Service platform to establish an account on Secure Access through the agency’s online “Get Transcripts,” IP PIN tool, or View Balance functions.
Secure Access aims to fortify the e-Service identification process and ensure that anyone using the platform “is who they say they are.” The program uses a two-step verification process; first it requires users to login with a user name and password, then asks the user to input a unique security code sent directly to their registered mobile phone number or through their IRS2Go App.
The IRS has made it abundantly clear that participation in the Secure Access Program is mandatory. For more information on the components of the Secure Access Program and how you may register, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/secure-access-how-to-register-for-certain-online-self-help-tools. We also invite you to contact our offices personally if you have any questions.