IRS e-Services is a suite of web-based tools that allow eligible tax professionals to perform certain transactions online.
E-Services transitioned to a sign-in system that requires new users to register or sign in with ID.me, the current IRS credential service provider. Existing e-Services users may continue to sign in with an active IRS username and don’t need to take any action at this time. E-Services applications will prompt all users to accept the terms of agreement the first time signing in after July 24, 2022.
ID.me historically incorporated facial-recognition technology; this led to some privacy concerns. The IRS announced it will move away from mandating the use of third-party facial-recognition technology to authenticate the identities of people creating new online accounts and offer an alternative option for taxpayers to verify their identity in a live, virtual interview with an IRS agent. Taxpayers can still verify their identity through biometric verification using ID.me, and the IRS has stated that it is committed to ensuring that images provided by taxpayers are subsequently deleted for the accounts being created. Going forward, the IRS will use Login.gov and work with the U.S. General Services Administration to implement after the 2022 filing deadline.
The e-Services tools include:
One of the most useful tools available to tax practitioners is TDS. It allows Circular 230 practitioners, Electronic Return Originators (EROs) and Reporting Agents (RAs) to request and receive the following transcripts electronically via a secure network if a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, is on file with the Centralized Authorization File (CAF). For electronic submissions of these forms to the CAF, use the Tax Pro Account or Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online (note that Reporting Agents must have a Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, on file in lieu of Form 2848 or Form 8821):
Account transcript — Shows adjustments either the taxpayer or the IRS made after the return was filed; also show basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income
Tax return transcript — Shows most return line items as originally filed, including accompanying forms and schedules (does not reflect any changes made after the original return was filed — see Account transcript)
Record of account transcript — Combination of the return transcript and account transcript
Wage and income transcript — Shows data from information returns, such as Forms W-2, 1099 and 1098
Verification of non-filing letter — Proof from the IRS that a taxpayer did not file a return for a particular tax year
Note that the IRS provides a transcript format with redacted information and creates a new customer file number to use as an identifier. However, practitioners who use e-Services can still get unredacted wage and income transcripts deposited into their e-Services Secure Object Repository (SOR) mailbox. The IRS masks sensitive data on business tax transcripts.
For a guide to using TDS, access the AICPA’s IRS E-Services TDS Quick Reference Chart. This chart highlights what TDS is, who can use it, how to use it, what is available and tips.
Circular 230 Practitioner e-Services Transcript Delivery System Access — Provides information on how to utilize TDS (step-by-step application instructions)
e-Services — Provides high-level guidance on the various e-Services tools and links to log in to your account or register for a new account
IRS E-Help Desk for Tax Professionals — Provides the applicable number to call, time of day to call, etc., to get help on e-Services issues
Understanding the e-Services Transcript Delivery System — IRS webinar that provides an overview of ensuring access to TDS using e-Services
IRS online tools guidance — Summation of handy IRS tools available to both tax professionals (e.g., Modernized e-File (MeF) Program Information) as well as taxpayers (e.g., Online Payment Agreement)