The IRS issues official message to tax professional community
We previously issued a tax alert about the recent changes in IRS procedures with regards to the new verification process when authenticating third party representatives who are contacting the IRS’ practitioner priority service (PPS) line on behalf of their clients. Our prior tax alert was based on our experiences when dealing with the PPS line. Recently, the IRS issued an official message to the tax professional community confirming the recent changes.
In its message, the IRS explains that the change to the authentication procedures is an important measure to combat identity theft. The IRS confirms that the new procedures will require IRS representatives to ask tax practitioners for additional information such as their social security number and date of birth. This information will be requested every time a tax practitioner calls the PPS line on behalf of a taxpayer.
In addition, the IRS has also updated Form 2848 – Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative and Form 8821 – Tax Information Authorization. The updates to the forms now require tax practitioners to inform their clients if they are using an Intermediate Service Provider to access client transcripts via the Transcript Delivery System. For this reason, both forms were updated to include this additional provision with a check box. The box needs to be checked if a tax practitioner is using a third party provider when requesting the client’s tax transcript.
The IRS defines an Intermediate Service Provider as any privately owned company that offers services or software that a tax practitioner may use to access a client’s tax return information. This change in procedures does not apply to those tax practitioners who contact the IRS directly to obtain the client’s tax return information.
In the official message, the IRS also notified e-Service account holders to update their accounts through a two-factor identity verification process. E-Service users will be asked to also sign a new user agreement that will ensure that all the tax professionals understand their security obligations. Because updates to e-Service accounts may take up to 10 days, the IRS urges holders of e-Service tax accounts to initiate updates sooner rather than later to be prepared for the upcoming filing season.