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Practitioners Must Give Additional Info to IRS Service Line

The advent of 2018 has brought new requirements for practitioners who contact the IRS Practitioner Priority Service line for assistance.

RSM US LLP, part of a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms, recently issued an alert that the IRS has changed its verification procedures when practitioners all its Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) line for assistance. John Deininger and Alina Solodchikova, managers with RSM US, outline the new procedures here.

Deininger and Solodchikova write that before this year, tax practitioners who called the PPS line would be asked by IRS Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) for a centralized authorization file (CAF) number, name and address when verifying the caller’s identity for faxed Forms 2848 or 8821. But effective Jan. 3, 2018, CSRs are also asking for callers’ Social Security numbers and date of birth.

Deininger and Solodchikova report that when asked about the change in verification procedures, CSRs told RSM US that they are asking for the additional information in order to enhance security. The CSRs noted that they seek to heading off any efforts to impersonate practitioners, and that PPS phone line representatives have reported such activity.

The CSRs said that the Social Security and date of birth information of practitioners who call the PPS line is not saved or stored, but used only for verification purposes.

The IRS has not yet made any formal announcement of the procedural change, Deininger and Solodchikova report, nor has the IRS yet changed any of the provisions in the PPS’ Internal Revenue Manual. They suggest that the new verification practices may be a temporary step while the IRS investigates compromised tax practitioners’ CAF numbers, or that it may become a permanent practice.