Whether or not you’ve filed your 2021 tax return, an online IRS account can give valuable information and resources.
It’s only a few weeks until April 18, 2022, the tax deadline, and it’s time to file your taxes (or a tax extension). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already awarded nearly 58 million tax refunds worth an average of $3,263. Direct deposit allows you to receive your tax refund in roughly 21 days, but you must first submit your tax form.
Although no extensions have been granted as a result of COVID-19, the epidemic has resulted in several tax reforms that will make filing taxes in 2021 more onerous. You’ll need some specific letters to reconcile any stimulus checks and child tax credit payments from the previous year on your tax return.
Don’t worry if you can’t find those IRS notices or if you misplaced your 2020 AGI. You can still use an online IRS account to get all of the information you need to file your taxes this year. The account requires ID.me, a third-party identity verification service, but once you’re in, you’ll have access to the IRS’s crucial tax data and tools.
Learn why you should create an IRS account online, what you can do with one once you’ve registered, and how the registration process works by continuing reading.
Learn about the best tax software for 2022, how to submit your taxes for free, and 13 tax credits and deductions you shouldn’t overlook for additional information on paying taxes.
Why should I register for an IRS account online?
The most obvious reason to open an IRS account is to access your personal tax information quickly. Once you’ve enrolled, you’ll have access to a variety of tax-related information, including:
- Your gross revenue has been changed.
- Information from your most recent tax return
- Payment history during the previous five years
- Taxes that are currently owing
- Payment amounts with an economic impact
- Amounts of child tax credit payments made in advance
- Some IRS notices are available in digital format.
- Authorizations from tax professionals
With an IRS online account, you can make payments, go paperless for some IRS notices, and approve authorization requests from your tax expert in addition to accessing your personal tax information.
Instant copies of tax records, such as transcripts of previous tax returns and pay and income statements, are available. You can also request an Identity Protection PIN through your online account to add an extra layer of security to your tax data.
Experts recommend having an IRS online account simply in case you have a future tax issue or concern. It’s preferable to have an account already set up than to be compelled to register online when already dealing with a tax problem.
What do I need to create an IRS account online?
If everything goes perfectly, setting up an IRS account online should take roughly 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll need to gather a few documents and information before you begin the procedure. Here’s what you’ll require:
- A valid email address is required.
- Your postal address
- A passport, passport card, or state driver’s license from the United States
- Your SSN (Social Security Number) or TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number)
- You have a phone that is registered to you.
You can request an activation code by mail if you don’t have a mobile phone or don’t wish to connect your number to your IRS account online. It will take roughly ten days for the code to arrive, and it will be valid for 30 days.
What are the procedures for creating an IRS online account?
The IRS provides several options for registering. The simplest method is to go to the IRS website’s Your Account Online page. Click the blue “Sign in to your online account” button to begin the registration procedure.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has just implemented an interstitial page for online accounts. We had to wait about 2 minutes for the sign-up form to be redirected from a temporary loading page. As the April 18 tax deadline approaches, the wait time may become longer. Again, we encourage making an online account now so you don’t have to wait until April to register.
You’ll be sent to a page requesting you to join up for an ID.me account after the waiting page redirects. All new IRS accounts are now required to use ID.me, a third-party identity provider.
ID.me enrollment takes about 15 minutes and involves images or scans of your ID document — click the ID.me logo to get started. To continue, click the green Create an Account button.
Please review our extensive ID.me walkthrough for a complete explanation of the ID.me registration process. The basic steps are as follows:
1. Fill in your email address and choose a password on the ID.me page where you create your account.
2. Confirm your email address next.
3. Use your phone to enable multifactor authentication.
4. Select an ID verification method: Self-Service with “video selfie” or Video Chat with an ID.me representative.
5. Photographs of your ID should be uploaded.
6. Take a “video selfie” and post it, or schedule a video chat interview for an hour or two.
7. Type in your SS# (Social Security Number).
8. Finally, give IRS permission to use ID.me to verify your identity.
Your online IRS account should be up and running once you’ve permitted the IRS to use your ID.me information, and you should be able to access all of the IRS’s information and capabilities.
After registering for the IRS online account with ID.me, some users have received the following problem message: “A condition has been found that is prohibiting your access to this service.”
If you get this warning, the IRS advises you to wait and sign in later. If you keep getting the error notice, you’ll need to go to the error page and select “view your alternatives” to address your problem by phone or mail.
What exactly is ID.me?
ID.me is a third-party “identification verification” company that works with the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and 27 state governments, mostly to verify unemployment benefits.
In 2017, the IRS began using ID.me for identity verification as a trial program, and it has subsequently been expanded to include all new accounts. Users who created online accounts with the IRS before the deployment of ID.me can keep their accounts for the time being, but they must register with ID.me by the summer of 2022. The IRS has not yet set a deadline for when previous accounts must be converted to ID.me.
ID.me and the IRS have recently been under fire for requiring a mandatory video selfie as part of the registration process, which uses facial recognition technology. Politicians and advocacy groups were outspoken in their opposition to the practice, claiming that a private company should not be gathering biometric data on millions of Americans. They also mentioned that facial recognition software has been shown to have a greater probability of false positives for Black and Asian appearances.
The IRS announced on February 7 that it would “move away from using third-party verification involving facial recognition” and that it would develop a new identity verification process that did not require facial recognition.
Two weeks later, the IRS announced that taxpayers registering for IRS accounts would be able to choose between a “video chat interview” and the automated facial recognition step. The decision to use the video selfie or the video chat interview now comes early in the IRS account sign-up process (No. 4 in the listed steps above).
Learn more about ID.me and the possible risks and benefits of the identification service.
Can I create an online IRS account for my business?
The IRS has not yet enabled business accounts via its online portal. Its online account FAQ notes that the “IRS plans to develop an online account for business taxpayers in the future, enabling businesses to easily and securely manage their federal tax obligations.”
Business owners can currently make payments or schedule estimated payments online using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.