Discover more from JWellsTax
Are you using your IRS Tax Pro Account yet?
This portal is the future of working with IRS, and it can't come soon enough!
Welcome to this issue of JWellsTax! From productivity to pricing, I empower tax professionals by helping them build thriving solo firms. Thank you to the 53 of you who have subscribed, especially those 3 who have a paid subscription!
“The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.”
Up until a couple of years ago, working with IRS had been stuck in the pre-Internet days. Virtually everything took either a fax, phone call, or snail mail.
But in July 2021, IRS released a new online feature called Tax Pro Account (TPA). It allows tax professionals to request authorization from taxpayers—both Form 2848 for IRS power of attorney and Form 8821 for tax information access—within an online portal.
Immediately, the TPA made getting access to transcripts and the ability to represent taxpayers a relative breeze. No more printing, signing, scanning, and faxing. No more “wet ink” signatures. No more waiting for weeks, hoping the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) unit processed the authorization so correspondence would start coming to you.
But there are two catches: first, the taxpayer also has to have an IRS account. Using the TPA sends an authorization request to the taxpayer’s IRS account, and there—and only there—can she approve the request. But once she does approve the request, access to transcripts is instantaneous! (The process of sending an authorization request is still a bit clunky. Even after logging in with your ID.me credential, you still have to type in your CAF number and address that matches your CAF record for each request. I hope this goes away soon, but it’s a relatively small price to pay for now.)
The second catch is that, at least initially, sending authorization requests was all the TPA could do. This was great, but it left much to be desired, including the ability to withdraw approved authorizations requested through the TPA.
But about a month ago, IRS announced that tax professionals could manage existing authorizations within TPA. And this includes authorizations given prior to TPA! Now, you can use your TPA to withdraw existing authorizations. You no longer have to request your authorizations via mail or fax from CAF. Now, you have to request a PIN from CAF within your TPA, which is sent via snail mail, to link your TPA with your CAF account. It seems like it takes around two weeks from the time of the request to receive the letter with the PIN.
And just about a week ago, IRS added a third feature within TPA: the ability to see return processing statuses and balances due for taxpayers for whom you have an active authorization. You still have to go to the Transcript Delivery Service (TDS) separately for transcripts, but this gives a nice overview of taxpayers’ current standings with IRS.
So, if you haven’t already dove into your Tax Pro Account, do it now! And be sure to request your PIN to link your TPA to your CAF account.
IRS should continue adding more functionality to the TPA. It still lags behind the Taxpayer Access Portals (TAPs) many states have, but it can become very helpful for most tax professionals and their customers in the near future.
Thanks for reading this issue of JWellsTax! If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, reply and let me know!