Beginning last month and concluding yesterday, the IRS e-services system went through a dramatic increase in security. The online security upgrade is accompanied by a telephone service security upgrade that went into effect last week. This is the system that tax professionals like me use to address client issues involving the IRS.
I wrote about my first challenging experience with the IRS upgraded telephone security here. Almost everyone agrees that the upgrade was warranted. The end result, however is that a significant number of tax professionals are having trouble accessing the system. Eventually those problems will work out and become more routine.
The end result is that access to some automated information will be easier, faster and less expensive for taxpayer clients. However, the issues that require human contact will be more difficult, slower and more expensive. Unfortunately the majority of services that I perform for clients fall into the second category.
Three responses that I will implement immediately:
- Remind clients of basic online security protocol – covered in this blog post
- Gather more personal information from clients for the purpose of verification of identification (DOB, drivers license, and former addresses).
- Remind clients of my own updated privacy and data security policy.