The IRS has upgraded its authentication processes for the popular Get Transcript app. The app had been breached by cybercriminals last year. In response, the IRS has strengthened the app’s security features.
Taxpayers can use the Get Transcript app to view and download certain tax information. The app provides tax return transcript and tax account transcript information. In May 2015, the IRS removed the app from its website after discovering cybercriminals had breached its security protections. Cybercriminals, the IRS reported, gained access to taxpayer data via the app. However, cybercriminals did not breach the agency’s core systems.
To access the upgraded Get Transcript app, taxpayers must have an email address, a text-enabled mobile phone and specific financial account information, such as a credit card number or certain loan numbers, the IRS explained. Taxpayers who registered using the older process will need to re-register and strengthen their authentication to access the upgraded app. New features also enable taxpayers to see the date and time the Get Transcript app was last accessed.
As part of the new multi-factor process, the IRS will send verification, activation or security codes via email and text. Returning users must always receive and enter a text code prior to being able to obtain access, the agency explained. Taxpayers who cannot validate their identities, for example, cannot provide financial verification information or lack access to a mobile phone, should use Get Transcript by Mail, the IRS recommended. Only U.S-based mobile phones may be used and the taxpayer’s name must be associated with the mobile phone account. Landlines may not be used.