The IRS is offering taxpayers the chance to set up an online account which they say makes it easy for people to quickly get the tax information they need in various circumstances, including when you owe money to the IRS and have a payment plan with the IRS. But there are other things to consider, and we’ll tell you about them. For example, the account might not be correct. Maybe you don’t owe all that money?
The IRS says its online account is similar to online banking accounts which give you banking information and the option to pay bills. The IRS also says its online account is similar to having an online shopping account for placing orders and monitoring your balances and payments and amounts due.
With the IRS online account you can log in and get the latest on your payment history, balance, and more.
WHAT TAXPAYERS CAN ACTUALLY SEE WITH AN ONLINE ACCOUNT
Here’s what the IRS says taxpayers can actually see with an online account. If you are managing your tax debt on your own, without professional guidance, you do want this information:
- Their payoff amount, which is updated for the current day
- The balance for each tax year for which they owe taxes
- Their payment history
- Key information from their most current tax return as originally filed
- Payment plan details if they have one
- Digital copies of select IRS notices
- Their address on file
WHAT TAXPAYERS CAN DO WITH AN ONLINE ACCOUNT
Here’s what the IRS says taxpayers can do with an online account. Again, if you are handling your tax debt on your own it can be very helpful to have all this in one place.
- Make a same day payment
- Set up an online payment plan
- Access tax records and transcripts
- Authorize another person to represent them before the IRS or view their tax records
- Approve and electronically sign Power of Attorney and Tax Information Authorization requests from their tax professional
The IRS also says that a taxpayer’s balance will update no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight. Taxpayers should also allow one to three weeks for payments to show in the payment history.
ARE THERE ANY DRAWBACKS TO USING AN ONLINE ACCOUNT?
Since a lot of taxpayers may question anything from the IRS let’s take a look at some natural questions taxpayers might have.
Are there drawbacks? Not really, unless your password gets lost or stolen. Some people just don’t want online accounts because they are afraid of them or problems they might cause. I know people who absolutely refuse to have online banking accounts. I know people who refuse to use ATMs. If you do set up the IRS online account remember it’s another password to protect.
A MORE BASIC QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER
But a more basic question you need to answer is do you accept what the IRS says your debt is? And are there other options to resolve your IRS debt besides an IRS payment plan?
This is where the IRS online account is skipping some important questions. Our suggestion is that you first talk to a tax professional about your tax debt, and you talk to a tax professional about other options to pay down or remove your IRS debt beyond a simple IRS payment plan.
OTHER OPTIONS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
There are other options you should consider and these options start with a consultation with a tax professional. You might not owe the money the IRS says you owe. For example, you might have missed filing a tax return one year — and in that year the IRS might have filed a tax return for you but did not include deductions that would have reduced your tax liability.
You don’t always have to use the IRS payment plan option. You might be eligible for an IRS Fresh Start Program or an IRS Offer In Compromise Program. You might even qualify for protection under the IRS Innocent Spouse Rules which could reduce or even remove your IRS debt.
By all means, consider these other options. We offer a free consultation with a tax debt resolution specialist. There may be reasons you don’t owe what the IRS says you owe.
We can discuss with you the Offer In Compromise option and the IRS Fresh Start Initiative. And we can explain to you and see if there is help for you under the IRS Innocent Spouse Rules.
THE IRS ONLINE ACCOUNT CERTAINLY CAN HELP YOU
Make no mistake, the IRS online account option can certainly help you. Being able to make online payments and not having to mail in a check to the IRS is a very positive move you can make — especially these days when the IRS simply can’t manage all the snail mail it’s getting.
Online payments save you a postage stamp and an envelope, and maybe a trip to the post office using pricey gasoline.
And yes, being able to see current balances is also very helpful.
If you have a small IRS debt that you do not disagree with, having this online account can certainly make life easier.
But if your tax debt is large, or if you question the amount you owe — or have questions about the amount the IRS says you owe — do talk to a tax professional.
THE LINK TO HAVE AN IRS ONLINE ACCOUNT
You’ll find the link to set up an IRS online account on IRS.gov which is the official IRS website.
GET A FREE TAX CONSULTATION
The video below explains how easy it is to have a free consultation with one of our tax debt resolution specialists. And in 15 minutes or less we can tell you if you are eligible for an IRS Fresh Start Initiative or an IRS Offer In Compromise Program. Yes, we can also talk to you about the Innocent Spouse Rules. We can even help you track down a missing tax refund. And, we can even tell you how to resolve your tax debt on your own directly with the IRS if the amount of your debt is small and you really don’t need professional representation.
So if you have any questions give our tax resolution experts a call. (800) 322-2414 is the number to call for your free consultation.