Be prepared for more security hurdles
A year ago the IRS closed down their popular “Get Transcript” online service after a severe security breach. With new security protocols now in place, this IRS service is available once again. Here is what you need to know.
Background. Last spring the IRS announced their “Get Transcript” online system had been compromised. The nature of the break-in suggested that thieves did not “hack” the system. They were able to get past security with identity information stolen from other sources. The IRS closed the service until the system could be better protected.
How used. Use this online system to obtain summary information of your tax records. Many use the service to verify current and prior year income for student loans, mortgages, and e-file verification.
The new 2-step. The new security will now entail a 2-step authentication process to log into the “Get Transcript” service. When you wish to log-in, the IRS will use email and/or text messaging to send you a one-time use code to enter the system. Without this additional code you will be denied access.
The MUST HAVES. To access the new online feature you must have:
- An email address
- A text-enabled mobile phone
- Confirming financial account information (credit card number or loan numbers)
Give up more identity to get more security? While this extra security measure will make the system harder to breach, it is requiring you to give up more of your private information to the government. This means the IRS will now have your cell phone number, email address, and specific financial information. Given the track record of IRS systems, some may hesitate to provide this additional information.
Other options are available. Unfortunately, everyone must re-register to use the system. This includes those who have used the old system successfully. If you have problems using the newly enhanced security features you can still request your information via mail or online ordering. The IRS anticipates response time for these requests to be approximately 10 days so please plan accordingly.