IRS Implements Stricter Identity Proofing Process for E-Service Users

Cybersecurity|Internal Revenue Service|Tax

By Nneoma Njubigbo

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. 

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at contactSD@schneiderdowns.com.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

© 2019 Schneider Downs. All rights-reserved. All content on this site is property of Schneider Downs unless otherwise noted and should not be used without written permission.