Oh, how "Happy New Year!" turns into "Do your taxes early!" so quickly. The start of income tax season is nearly upon us, as the IRS prepares to start accepting 2023 tax returns on Jan. 29. Before you grab your W-2 form and start filing with your favorite tax software, take a few minutes to create an online account at the IRS website.
Registering online with the IRS takes a little time, but it's well worth it. Once you've accessed the IRS system, you can get the info you need to file electronically this year -- like your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from last year's taxes -- as well as full transcripts from previous tax years.
Learn more about the benefits of creating an IRS account online and how the registration process works. For additional tax info, here's everything you need to know about 2024's tax season.
Why should I create an online account with the IRS?
The biggest reason to create an IRS account is to quickly look up your personal tax data. Once registered, you can access a wide array of your tax information, including:
- Your adjusted gross income.
- Details of your latest tax return.
- Payment history for the past five years.
- Amount of taxes currently owed.
- Digital versions of some IRS notices.
- Tax professional authorizations.
Along with viewing your personal tax information, with an IRS online account, you can make payments online, go paperless for certain IRS notices and approve authorization requests from your tax professional.
You can get instant copies of tax records like transcripts of past tax returns and wage and income statements. With an online account, you can also request an Identity Protection PIN to add an extra layer of security to your tax records.
Tax experts advise creating an IRS online account just in case you run into a tax issue or problem in the future. It's better to have an account already created than be forced to register online during the stress of a tax difficulty already in progress.
What info do I need to create an online IRS account?
Creating an IRS account online takes about 15 to 30 minutes, if everything goes smoothly. Before you start the process, you'll need to collect a few documents and information. Here's what you will need:
- A valid email address.
- Your mailing address.
- A US passport, passport card or state driver's license.
- Your Social Security number or tax identification number.
- A mobile phone registered to you.
How do I register with IRS.gov?
The IRS offers a number of routes to access a new registration. The easiest way is to visit the Your Account Online page of the IRS website. To start the signup process, click the blue "Sign in to your online account" button.
Once the waiting page redirects, you'll be taken to a page asking you to log in to an existing ID.me account or IRS account, or to sign up for a new ID.me account. ID.me is a third-party identification service that is now required for all IRS accounts.
The ID.me registration should take about five minutes and requires photos or scans of your ID document. Click the ID.me Create an accountbutton outlined in green to proceed.
Here are the basic steps:
1. On the ID.me page where you create your account, enter your email address and pick a password.
2. Next, confirm your email address.
3. Now enable multifactor authentication with your phone.
4. Choose ID verification: Self-Service with "video selfie" or Video Chat with ID.me agent.
5. Upload pictures of your ID.
6. Take and upload a "video selfie" or wait an hour or two for a video chat interview.
7. Enter your Social Security number.
8. Finally, authorize IRS access to ID.me verification.
Once you have authorized the IRS to access your ID.me information, your online IRS account should be up and running, and you should be able to access all the information and functionality provided by the IRS.
How does ID.me verify identity for the IRS?
ID.me is a third-party identity verification company that works with the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and 31 state governments, primarily for unemployment benefits. The company uses a technology partner called Paravision to manage the facial recognition aspect of their identity verification process.
The IRS started using ID.me for identity verification as a pilot program in 2017 and has expanded it since then to encompass all new accounts. Legacy IRS users who created online accounts before the implementation of ID.me will now need to register with ID.me to use IRS services online.
In early 2022, ID.me and the IRS received criticism for the mandatory video selfie -- a required registration step that involves facial recognition technology. Politicians and advocacy groups argued strongly against the practice, saying a private business should not be collecting biometric data on millions of Americans.
The agency followed up in February 2022 with the news that taxpayers registering for IRS accounts would have the option of a "video chat interview" instead of 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.
Can I make an online IRS account for my business?
In October 2023, the IRS launched the first phase of its business accounts via its online portal. Initially, business accounts were available to sole proprietors who file taxes with employer identification numbers and partners or shareholders who have schedule K-1 from the years of 2019-2022. In December, the agency expanded business accounts to include "individual partners of partnerships and individual shareholders of S corporation businesses."
Business accounts with the IRS provide many of the same services as personal accounts, such as view tax history, make payments and authorize tax preparers. However, all of the specifics of your business tax account depend on which type of business you are running, and what your role in that business is.
Business owners can also make payments or schedule estimated payments online using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.
As an expert in tax-related matters and IRS procedures, I understand the intricacies of the tax season and the importance of staying informed about the latest updates. My extensive knowledge stems from both professional experience and a deep passion for understanding the ever-evolving landscape of tax regulations.
In the provided article, the focus is on the upcoming tax season in 2024 and the significance of creating an online account with the IRS. Let's break down the key concepts discussed in the article:
Tax Season and IRS Acceptance Date:
- The IRS is set to start accepting 2023 tax returns on Jan. 29, marking the beginning of the income tax season.
Benefits of Creating an IRS Online Account:
- Creating an online account with the IRS allows individuals to quickly access personal tax data, including adjusted gross income (AGI), payment history, amount of taxes owed, digital versions of IRS notices, tax professional authorizations, and more.
- The online account enables users to file taxes electronically, make payments online, go paperless for certain notices, and approve authorization requests from tax professionals.
- Additional benefits include obtaining instant copies of tax records, such as transcripts of past tax returns and wage and income statements.
Registration Process and Required Information:
- The article provides information on the steps to register with IRS.gov. It emphasizes the importance of having a valid email address, mailing address, identification documents (passport, passport card, or state driver's license), Social Security number or tax identification number, and a registered mobile phone.
ID.me and Identity Verification:
- ID.me is a third-party identity verification service required for all IRS accounts. The registration process with ID.me involves creating an account, confirming email address, enabling multifactor authentication, choosing ID verification options (self-service with "video selfie" or video chat with an ID.me agent), uploading pictures of ID, and entering the Social Security number.
- The article explains that ID.me uses facial recognition technology, managed by a technology partner called Paravision, for identity verification.
IRS's Use of ID.me:
- The IRS started using ID.me as a pilot program in 2017 for identity verification and expanded its use for all new accounts.
- Legacy IRS users who created accounts before the implementation of ID.me need to register with ID.me to continue using IRS services online.
- There was criticism in early 2022 for the mandatory video selfie, leading to the introduction of the option for a "video chat interview" during the registration process.
Business Accounts with the IRS:
- In October 2023, the IRS launched the first phase of its business accounts through its online portal.
- Initially available to sole proprietors and certain partners or shareholders, business accounts were expanded to include individual partners of partnerships and individual shareholders of S corporation businesses in December 2023.
- Business accounts offer services similar to personal accounts, such as viewing tax history, making payments, and authorizing tax preparers.
In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of preparing for the tax season by creating an online account with the IRS, provides details about the registration process, and highlights the inclusion of business accounts in the IRS's online services.