The IRS had recently announced that steps are being taken to strengthen the protections for the e-Services suite of tools used by tax professionals. The e-Services program allows tax professionals, states and others access to sensitive data in order to complete a return, resolve a tax issue, verify income for a mortgage and file electronically, among other activities. The planned Secure Access authentication process is a two-factor or two-step authentication process, meaning returning users must enter not only their username and password but also a security code sent to a text-enabled mobile phone. The purpose of Secure Access authentication is to help prevent automated attacks on IRS.gov applications by cybercriminals and to help prevent account takeovers. After making this announcement and planning for an October 24 launch date, the IRS heard from many stakeholders that there were concerns about the Secure Access authentication process and its potential effect on doing business. Based on the concerns raised about the new authentication system, the IRS subsequently announced a delay on deploying Secure Access to e-Services. As a result, the NSTP was invited to represent the tax professional community and to share our thoughts and ideas about the impact of Secure Access upon … Read More
The Return Preparer Office (RPO) has announced the following enhancements to the PTIN system: Online name changes – when updating your PTIN account it is now possible to update a change in name by uploading the documentation (marriage certificate, etc.) and spelling out the new name online. This is found under “Manage My PTIN Account”. Submit repayment – When an original payment was rejected it was previously required that repayments had to be mailed and payment had to be by certified check. Payment can now be resubmitted online. If the PTIN holder prefers to mail the payment by check, it does NOT need to be certified. Prior year renewals – Previously all prior year renewals/payments had to be submitted on paper. These can now be processed online. Identity support documents – For ITIN holders whose account is not current they were previously required to submit all identification support documents by mail (driver’s license, passport, etc.). These can now be uploaded online. Tax professionals participating in the Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion were previously required to attest to comply with Circular 230 in a separate email from the RPO. In the 2016 renewal period, if the tax professional … Read More
To ensure a smooth transition, the IRS has decided to delay the October 24 date for requiring e-services users to re-register and validate their identities through Secure Access authentication. In the next few weeks, the IRS plans to have discussions with key stakeholders affected by the e-services changes to discuss security protocols and next steps in this process. A new implementation date has not been set. When a new date is set, the IRS will share the information widely with e-Services users. The IRS is strengthening the e-Services registration process as part of a wider effort to ensure the protection of taxpayer data and IRS systems.
The following email is being sent out to tax professionals regarding the renewal of their tax PTIN. All tax professionals must renew their PTIN in order to file tax returns in 2017. Dear Tax Professional, It is now Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) renewal season. All PTINs expire on Dec. 31 and must be renewed annually. You must have a valid PTIN if you plan to prepare any federal tax returns for compensation or you are an enrolled agent. The renewal fee is $50. Get started at www.IRS.gov/ptin. If you can’t remember your User ID or password, use the “Forgot User ID” or “Forgot Password” links on the PTIN system login page. You will be asked to enter the email address associated with your account and the answer to your secret question. NOTE: The email address we sent this message to is your email address of record in the PTIN system. If you aren’t sure of your User ID, try this email address as your User ID. Keep up to date by following the IRS Return Preparer Office on Facebook. For the latest news and tools to stay connected, visit www.irs.gov/for-Tax-Pros.
Set yourself APART! Participate in the Annual Filing Season Program. The voluntary program is for non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. The Annual Filing Season Program promotes the importance of education and filing season preparation for return preparers without professional credentials. We encourage you to take time to review the requirements and consider participating for the upcoming 2017 filing season. What is planned? In late October – target date October 24 – the IRS will strengthen the protections for e-services accounts by requiring a stronger identity verification process for existing and new e-services users. Existing e-services users will be required to re-register and verify their identities, most through the new Secure Access platform. You must revalidate your identity to maintain access to e-services products. Who is affected? Anyone who currently has an e-services account is affected. This includes individuals who are registered as: Electronic Return Originators, Transmitters, Large Business Taxpayers with e-file mandates, Software Developers, ACA insurance provider fee/Branded prescription drug filers, ACA Information Return Transmitter/Issuer, Reporting agents, Not for Profit (VITA/TCE/LITC) users, States that use Transcript Delivery Service, and IVES Participants. E-services account holders who only use TIN Matching will also … Read More
The IRS is committed to protecting taxpayer and tax preparer information and maintaining the security of its systems. As part of that effort, the IRS is strengthening the identity validating process used to access certain self-help tools on IRS.gov. Starting late October – October 24 is the target date – e-services users will be required to re-register using the Secure Access authentication process. Users must validate their identities through this process before they can access their accounts. All e-services users will be affected by this change. Those who use e-services for TIN Matching only also must re-register. However, because there is no exchange of sensitive data, TIN Matching will use a more streamlined process. For details, please see: Important Update for Your e-services Account. Secure Access is a two-factor authentication process that meets government standards and adds greater protections against attacks by cybercriminals. This is a more rigorous process, and part of a wider effort to protect taxpayers and the tax community. For first-time users, it requires identity proofing, financial verification and an activation code text. Returning users must submit their username/password credentials AND a security code text. Starting October 24, the IRS also will … Read More