Posted May 18, 202212:10 pm
By Marie Magner, Esq.
How many of us panic at the sight of a letter from the IRS? We fear the government is after everything we own to repay a tax debt we did not even realize we owed.
You can relieve these fears and anxieties by taking a few minutes to set up an account with the IRS. Setting up an online account with the IRS to get easy access to your tax records will prepare you to tackle any future issue. It also keeps you informed about refunds and amounts currently owed. Follow the steps below to set yourself up for success.
Make sure you have these before you begin:
- A working email address
- A smartphone you can access consistently
- Identification documents, either:
a. A government-issued photo ID; or
b. Two identification documents from this list: (visit www.id.me, click “Support”, find the article titled “What is a Primary or Secondary Identification Document?”)
- Your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number
- A mailing address where you can safely receive mail
Once you’re ready, go to www.irs.gov and follow the links to create your account.
- Click “Sign in to Your Account”; on the next page, click the blue “Sign in to your Online Account” button, then you can choose to create an account.
- Provide and verify your email address.
- Choose an additional authentication measure, such as receiving verification codes by text or downloading an authenticator app. This step stops people from accessing your account if they steal your username and password.
- Verify your identity based on the documents you have available:
a. Verify yourself with a photo ID and a selfie; or
b. Video chat with an agent to verify yourself using two documents from the above list.
- Enter your Social Security number.
- Confirm your details are correct.
- Finally, click “Allow” to finish setting up your online IRS account!
With this online access, you’ll never have to fear another IRS letter. You can learn more at https://www.irs.gov/payments/your-online-account.
If you’re currently experiencing a federal tax debt issue, call Legal Aid at 1.888.817.3777 to apply for assistance or apply online at www.lasclev.org and click Apply for Free Legal Help.
This article was published in Legal Aid's newsletter, "The Alert" Volume 38, Issue 1, in Spring 2022. See full issue at this link: “The Alert” – Volume 38, Issue 1 – Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (lasclev.org).