The Internal Revenue Service has implemented a two-step process designed to authenticate the identities of individuals who seek to access transcripts of tax returns and related services online in an effort to protect taxpayers from identity theft and other cyber threats.
The IRS said Tuesday it collaborated with the U.S. Digital Service to integrate the two-factor authentication process with the online service Get Transcript that was relaunched by the agency Tuesday.
“Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and continue to gather vast amounts of personal information as the result of data breaches at sources outside the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
“In the face of that threat, we must provide the strongest possible authentication processes, while trying to enhance the ability of taxpayers to legitimately access their data and use IRS services online,” he added.
According to the IRS, the e-authentication process for the Get Transcript service complies with the security standards of the Office of Management and Budget and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
A taxpayer who needs to access tax returns and other documents through the online service needs to have an email address and a mobile phone as means to receive verification and security codes from the IRS, the agency said.