You may have heard over the past few years about how slow the IRS can be - and we can only confirm that this is true. And although I can’t be too overly optimistic that things are about to get better, the agency is at least making a concerted effort to improve. Part of this push involves making more services and information available online.
I can appreciate the thinking that bringing more of your tax information online feels dangerous and opens you up to having that information stolen. If you are taking good common-sense measures to ensure that your computer usage and internet browsing is safe, however, there is no reason to think this is going to be any worse than making banking transactions or credit card purchases.
So as the IRS starts to let you do more online, this could be a good time to get an online account with the agency. It is not the simplest sign-up you will ever do online (it even says it is fast while then saying it will take about 15 minutes) but doing it now before you have a reason to will feel easier than waiting until you have the weight of need also weighing on you.
Consider this then our slight push to urge you to do this, along with some pointers of what to expect and/or do during the process.
First, you can start the process by clicking through to this website and selecting ‘create or view your account.’ To begin the sign-up, you will need your full name, email, birthdate, social security or individual tax identification number, tax filing status, and current address.
Second, though, comes the first bit where this does start to feel like a bigger process than you expected. To verify your identity, the IRS is going to ask for the last eight digits of a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover credit card, OR student loan account number, OR mortgage or home equity loan account number, OR home equity line of credit account number, OR auto loan account number. You can use this along with receiving a text message to verify your identity.
Once you have that information, the steps become a little more familiar, even if more numerous than usual. You will enter much of this information and then need to confirm access codes sent both to your email and your phone. From there, you will pick username and password information, and then ta-da, you have established your IRS online account.
The fact that I am even writing a blog about these steps tip off that this may not be the smoothest process. It is not THAT difficult, however, and can be worth going through to give you increased access to information and ability to determine where you stand with the tax agency.
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