How to Access Your IRS Account

Because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn’t automatically send out periodic account statements, it’s easy to wonder about the status of your account. True, you’ll get letters from the IRS if you have overdue amounts from a past year, or if the IRS believes you have made a mistake on your return. But that doesn’t tell you how much you still owe for other years or about any other tax payments you made recently.

If you don’t hear from the IRS about a given year, you probably assume that means all is well. But is it really? Can you find out? Here’s how to access your account status with the IRS.

How to see your IRS account online

Fortunately, it’s not as difficult to get answers about your account as it was in years past. The IRS allows you to see the following information online:

  • Your total payoff amount as of today
  • Tax balance for each year on which you owe a balance
  • Estimated and other tax payments for the last 24 months (not including overpayments applied from one year to another)
  • Certain key information from your current tax year as you originally filed it

The IRS online account tool is generally available Monday 6 a.m. to Saturday 9 p.m. ET and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight ET. According to the IRS, iOS 11, macOS 10.12, and macOS 10.13 VoiceOver users may have issues accessing the site due to technical restrictions.

To see the above information online, you must create an account with the IRS (if you don’t have one already), and log in to your account. To make sure it’s really you asking for that sensitive information, the IRS asks for all the following:

  • Name, address on last tax return, and Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Account number from credit sources, such as a credit card, student loan, or mortgage
  • Cell phone number registered to your name

Once you’re signed in, you can make an electronic payment to your account. If you use a credit card to make a payment, you will be charged a fee.

What if I need more information about my account?

The “account” you see on the IRS website is very minimal. For example, you could see that you owe $500 for your 2017 tax year. You can also see the payments you made in the last 24 months and the applicable tax year of each payment.

If you need more detailed information, you can request a tax account transcript for the current tax year and up to ten prior years at the IRS Get Transcript site. You can ask for an online transcript or have one sent to you by mail. A tax account transcript shows basic tax return data, including:

  • Return type (usually individual income tax return)
  • Marital status
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Taxable income
  • All payment types
  • Changes made after you filed your original return (by you or by the IRS)

To see your transcript online, you need to register and provide the same information as you would to see your tax account online.

It’s easier to get a transcript by mail. You only need your Social Security number or Individual Tax Identification Number, date of birth, and the mailing address from your latest tax return.

What other types of transcripts are available?

The IRS offers these additional transcripts at no charge:

  • Tax Return Transcript. This transcript shows most line items on your tax return and generally meets the needs of lending institutions who request your tax information.
  • Record of Account Transcript. This is a combination of the Tax Account Transcript and the Tax Return Transcript. It is available for the current year and tax returns processed during the prior three years.
  • Wage and Income Transcript. This transcript shows data from information returns, such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098, and 5498. It is available for up to ten prior years.
  • Verification of Non-filing Letter. If you need proof that the IRS has no record of you filing for a given year (whether or not you were required to file), you can get this transcript.

About Sally Herigstad

Sally Herigstad is a certified public accountant and personal finance columnist and author of Help! I Can't Pay My Bills, Surviving a Financial Crisis (St. Martin's Griffin). She writes regularly at CreditCards.com, Bankrate.com, Interest.com, RedPlum, and MSN Money. She is an experienced speaker and a member of Toastmasters International. Follow Sally on Twitter.

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