MANAGING YOUR IRS ACCOUNT ONLINE
Have you ever been on hold for hours on the phone to get through to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for your tax questions? Have you mailed your tax payment to the IRS and then received a notice stating your payment was not received? The new online IRS access solves these headaches!
During the pandemic, the IRS accelerated the development of its online platform: you can now view your tax account, communicate with the IRS and make tax transactions - all online! Below the services that are available.
1/ Set up your online access
To register your account, you will need a mobile phone that can receive a security code SMS. To ensure a secure access, the IRS has set up a thorough authentication process that will check your identity.
To set up your online access: click here
2/ Obtain a copy of your tax records
Once your online access is set up, you can view your tax due, your tax payment history and key information of your most recent tax return. You can also request in a transcript format a full copy of your last tax return filed.
To obtain a transcript: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
3/ View your notices
The IRS issues a notice when it has questions about a tax return you filed, or if it assessed penalties on your account. You can now view these notices immediately once issued in your online account.
To view these notices: click on the in the “Notice & letters tab” in your online account.
4/ Check the status of your refund
You can check online easily the status of your tax refund. To use this online tool, you will need to identify yourself by entering your tax number (SSN or ITIN), your filing status and the amount of the refund showing on your tax return. The tool will display the progress of your tax refund in 3 phases: “return received”, “refund approved”, and “refund sent”. The tool is updated every 24 hours.
To check your tax refund: https://www.irs.gov/refunds
5/ Pay your taxes
You can pay your taxes online using one of the 3 services below:
a/ Payment with Direct Pay
This service allows you to pay tax with a checking account free of charge. The system even accepts foreign bank account settlement if the foreign bank is affiliated with a US bank and has a 9-digit routing number . The system does not accept SWIFT codes.
To pay with Direct Pay: https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay
b/ Payment with a Credit card / Debit card
This service accepts most US and foreign cards including Amex, Discover, Mastercard, Visa. The service will charge a fee up to 2% of the amount (Credit Card) or $ 3.95 per transaction (Debit Card).
To pay with a card: https://www.irs.gov/payments/pay-taxes-by-credit-or-debit-card
c / Payment with eftps.gov
This service is the official US administration system ( Electronic Federal Tax Payment system ETPS) for individuals and businesses. It provides a secure way for individuals and businesses to make a tax payment. The registration to this system is secure and can take up to 7 days.
To pay with eftps: https://www.irs.gov/payments/eftps-the-electronic-federal-tax-payment-system
6/ Apply for a payment plan
In case you cannot pay the full amount of your taxes, you can request additional time to make the payment, set up a payment plan and even apply for a reduction in the tax due.
7/ Get answers to your tax questions
The new IRS online platform provides the latest tax information and tips. You can submit your general tax questions online to the tool “Interactive Tax Assistant” and get immediate answers.
To access the assistant: https://www.irs.gov/help/ita
Should you need assistance with all these new online tax resources, do not hesitate to contact Karine Bauer, EA. As always, the views contained in this article are not tax or legal advice and are not a substitute for consulting with a tax professional. Karine Bauer, EA is an Enrolled Agent licensed by the Treasury Department with unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. She is an experienced tax professional with more than 20 years of international experience.
Bear in mind the date of this article as tax laws change over time.
Updated: August 21st, 2021