How to Research Your IRS Account
Researching your IRS account, at a glance:
- Your IRS account information isn’t readily available or easy to read.
- You can get your information by requesting your tax transcripts from the IRS.
- Transcripts show information about your account, tax returns, and income.
You can get expert help researching your tax account, and even authorize your tax pro to work with the IRS for you.
What you need to know about researching your IRS account
The IRS sends out millions of notices every year. Some of these notices are for just for informational purposes. Others need a quick response. Many IRS notices involve account discrepancies, which happen when the information the IRS has on you doesn’t match your tax return. Other notices can involve more complex issues like audits or tax identity theft.
The key to solving any tax problem is first knowing how to navigate the IRS. Researching your IRS account and getting information from the IRS can help you fix an IRS issue before it becomes a problem.
And if you’d rather get help working with the IRS, you can authorize a tax pro. Your tax pro can simply request your information from the IRS to help with an issue, or even work with the IRS for you. Tax pros also have a dedicated hotline that they can use to quickly get answers and resolve problems. Sometimes, having an expert in your corner can make a big difference in navigating the IRS.
How to research your IRS account
The IRS maintains records on you, such as:
- Your IRS account status, including tax payments you’ve made, penalty charges and any adjustments
- Your wage and income information, compiled from statements that your employers, banks and other payers have to file with the IRS every year
- The details of the tax returns you file with the IRS
- Any pending IRS actions, such liens or levies if you owe taxes and haven’t paid
The best way to quickly get information about your IRS account is to request a transcript from the IRS. You can request transcripts at IRS.gov or by calling the IRS at (800) 908-9946.
You can request three types of transcripts:
- Account transcripts show information on the financial status of your account, such as payments, penalty assessments and adjustments made to your account.
- Wage and income transcripts show income information from Forms W-2, Forms 1099, etc.
- Return transcripts show information from a tax return filed with the IRS.
With this information, it will be much easier to address any tax issues with the IRS before they become problems. Having all the information also helps you identify errors that may have originated in IRS systems. Not all IRS notices are correct (many come from automated systems), so it’s important to get a clear picture of what’s going on before taking any next steps.
How to authorize your tax pro to work with the IRS for you
If you don’t want to navigate the IRS on your own (or spend any time waiting on hold) you can authorize another person to help. Your local H&R Block tax pro can advocate for you or receive confidential tax information from the IRS on your behalf, to help research or solve your tax problem.
To authorize a tax pro to help you, you’d use one of these two common forms:
- Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, allows your tax pro to access your IRS account information, but not work with the IRS to resolve any issues for you.
- Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, allows your tax pro to work with the IRS as an advocate for you.
Make an appointment for a free consultation with a local tax professional by calling 855-536-6504.
Bring these four items to your appointment
- A copy of any notices related to your tax situation
- A copy of your tax return for the year(s) in question
- Any transcripts you’ve requested. If you don’t have your transcripts, your tax professional can get them for you.
- A copy of any responses you’ve sent to the IRS
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Related tax terms
Tax Information Authorization (Form 8821)