Updates and guidance on key IRS practice developments.

Date01 October 2022
AuthorFreeman-Williams, Uzell T.

How to submit third-party authorization forms online (and use ID.me)

As if contacting the IRS by telephone for assistance was not already difficult enough, the recent pandemic shutdowns made it almost impossible to accomplish any basic task that required IRS assistance. Well aware of this problem, the government, to its credit, has been making more and more services available online so that a practitioner need not sit on the telephone on hold for hours waiting for the inevitable recorded message to "try again later." Allowing online access to taxpayers' confidential information through new online services, of course, must be balanced against the fear of hackers and identity theft. With this concern in mind, the IRS in November 2021 announced the launch of an improved identity verification and sign-in process to obtain secure access to the IRS's online tools. The Service announced that for this purpose it would be using a third-party technology provider, ID.me.

The new, mobile-friendly verification procedure through ID.me was designed to allow taxpayers and their representatives easy access to valuable online services, including the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, Online Account, Get Transcript Online, Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN), and Apply Online for a Payment Plan. The IRS also created a portal for tax professionals who want to submit a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, online, rather than using the traditional methods of mailing or faxing in such forms.

This column first discusses ID.me and then describes how practitioners can use the "Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online" portal to send clients' third-party authorization forms to the IRS. The Service also has created a separate, all-digital, non-form-based method, through Tax Pro Account, for tax professionals to initiate a request for a third-party authorization from their account that is then sent to the client's online account for an electronic signature. This column, however, focuses on how to upload the forms themselves using the "Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online" portal.

ID.me

The IRS's initial intention was that by the summer of 2022, ID.me would replace the old system and usernames currently in place to log in to IRS online services. The old system was going to remain available as a parallel access method until then, after which everyone would be forced to create an ID.me account in order to...

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