IRS Updates Identity Verification Process To Better Protect Tax Information

If you’re looking to create or access your online payment plans with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you should be aware of some key changes. The IRS recently updated its identity verification process to protect tax information better. 

An installment agreement is an option for taxpayers who can’t pay a tax bill in full. Typically, you would seek out an installment agreement when it would take you more than 120 days (about four months) to pay your balance due. 

If you owe $50,000 or less in combined individual income tax, penalties, and interest, you can apply for an installment agreement online

To apply online, traditionally you needed:

  • Name and address as they appear on your most recently filed tax return
  • E-mail address
  • Date of birth
  • Filing status (single, head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or qualifying widower)
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

(For more on installment agreements, click here.)

You still need that information, but now you’ll need to do a bit more. Specifically, you will need to verify either a financial account linked to your name or a mobile phone number registered in your name.

  • To verify a financial account, you will need a credit card (no American Express, debit or corporate cards), student loan, home mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit or auto loan in your name. The IRS will only use this information to verify your identity. Your card won’t be charged, and the IRS will not access your financial information. 
  • To verify using a mobile phone number, the phone must in your name, capable of receiving text messages, and based in the U.S. 

If you don’t have either of these items, you can request that the IRS mail a verification code to you. The IRS says that you should expect to wait five to ten business days for the code to arrive. 

If you already have an account for an online installment agreement or one of the other IRS tools like “Get Transcript” you can log in with the same user ID and password. You’ll still need to verify your account using the additional information.

(To find out more about Get Transcript, click here.)

These security measures are intended to help keep your personal and tax information safe. Remember that the IRS will not send your transcript or installment agreement information via e-mail or direct you to a website that is not the official IRS website (

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