IRS Alerts Practitioners of e-Services Account Suspensions

By Sally P. Schreiber, JD

The IRS announced on Monday that as of Sunday it has suspended the e-Services accounts of users who failed to verify their identities in accordance with letters sent out in December (see “IRS Announces Start of e-Services Re-Registration,” JofA, Nov. 30, 2016). Practitioners can reinstate a suspended account by re-registering and revalidating their identity.

The IRS said that it mailed letters between Dec. 1 and 16 to those users who had been active on their accounts in the past year and who had access to the Transcript Delivery System. These e-Services users had 30 days to verify their identities as part of the IRS’s increased effort to secure the e-Services program and better protect taxpayer data.

The new e-Services registration process involves a two-factor authentication that is intended to keep cybercriminals from accessing the accounts when they obtain usernames and passwords through phishing. Once they have successfully registered, returning users must provide their username and password and a security code sent to their mobile phone by text.

Practitioners whose accounts have been suspended can reinstate them by going to the IRS website and re-registering. The IRS e-Services page and its webpage “Important Update About Your e-Services Account” were both updated Feb. 6 to provide users who failed to re-register within 30 days instructions on how to reinstate their accounts.