The Internal Revenue Service has announced a couple of big changes they have planned for the e-Services system in the coming months.
The first is the transfer of the e-Services system to a new platform, completing a multi-year upgrade effort. The changeover is slated for Thursday, September 7. Some products will be unavailable during the transition period. The IRS tells us the outage on September 7 should go like this:
- 6 a.m. EDT, Thursday, September 7: E-Services registration and the ability to apply for ACA, e-file, TIN Matching and IVES, will be unavailable. A redesigned e-Services landing page will launch. If you go to the old landing page, you will be automatically redirected to the new page.
- 10 p.m. EDT Friday, September 8: Transcript Delivery System and TIN Matching will go offline.
- 6 a.m. EDT Monday, September 11: Transcript Delivery System and TIN Matching will be back online.
- 6 a.m. EDT Tuesday, September 12: Applications for ACA, e-File, TIN Matching and IVES will be available, including ACA Information Return users filing applications for Transmitter Control Codes.
- State users only will not be able to submit new or change existing e-File/TDS applications from September 7 through late October.
Please note that this event should not be confused with the routine Labor Day holiday outage.
New e-Services User Agreement and Registration
In late October, the IRS expects to roll out a new user agreement for e-Services. All registered users must accept the terms of the agreement in order to get access to the service or any of its products. When the agreement comes out be sure to read it carefully and sign it.
The user agreement also covers a new “emerging industry” called “Intermediate Service Providers,” that are privately owned companies offering software or services to e-Services users. These services can include helping tax pros access taxpayer transcripts.
The updated agreement requires tax professionals who use Intermediate Service Providers to ensure the company isn’t storing clients’ usernames, passwords, or PINs; they must also notify their clients an Intermediate Service Provider is being used to access their tax information.
Also in late October, all e-Services users will have to register using Secure Access, the IRS’ new authentication process. This ensures their identity is validated and that their login meets a new two-factor authentication requirement. It’s called two-factor authentication because all returning users must first enter their credentials (username and password) and then enter a security code sent to the user via text or email, using the contact number or address stored in the account.
If a user cannot use a cell phone or doesn’t have one, the IRS has a new feature that’s been added to its IRS2Go app, which can be used on many kinds of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.
For existing e-Services users who cannot authenticate through Secure Access, the IRS will have an exception process through its help desk. However, even if you validate your identity through the help desk, you will still need a mobile phone or the IRS2Go app to obtain a security code each time you login to e-Services.
You can read more about these changes at Important Information about Your e-Services Account. Read about the current Secure Access process at www.irs.gov/secureaccess. The page will update with new information about the IRS2Go app when it becomes available.
The IRS will be scheduling webinars demonstrating the registration process with on-hand experts to answer technical questions. Those will be posted online as they are scheduled.