What Does Your IRS Tax Record Say?

You prepare and file your income tax return every year. Usually, nothing happens after that, other than getting your refund or having your check cashed. The IRS doesn’t write back to you telling you “We’re good, we got it.” Did you ever wonder if you are good with the IRS, that their records show the same information as your records do?

Well, wonder no more! The IRS has an online tool that lets individual taxpayers securely access their federal tax information. It’s at IRS.gov/account. No need to call and wait on hold. This online tool provides the same information as what’s provided by IRS representatives when you call. Plus, written online information is even better than verbal information you get on the phone. You always have it to refer back to.

Sure, you have to spend a little time to create an account and password. But it’s worth it! Once you’re all set up, you can view:

  1. Your same-day pay-off amount, including accrued interest
  2. Any tax balances you owe by year
  3. Your payment history going back up to 18 months
  4. Key information from your most recent tax return

To get set-up, a first-time user has to authenticate her or his identity through the Secure Access process (you can learn about secure access at IRS.gov/secureaccess) and create a user name and password to use for every login to the system. Then, you’re in! Monitor your personal tax account by keeping track of payments and taxes owed.

And the best part? You can access the system whenever you want to, with no waiting on hold. Well, almost any time you want. The IRS.gov/account tool is available Monday 5:00 a.m. to Saturday 9:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to midnight. All times are Eastern. Your account balance updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight.

Of course, if you owe a balance, the IRS makes it easy to pay from your bank account or with a debit or credit card at IRS.gov/payments. Need more time to pay? You can also apply for a payment plan, including an installment agreement. After making a payment, allow up to three weeks for it to appear in your payment history.

The IRS still isn’t going to write back after you file your tax return to tell you “We’re good, we got it.” But you can get the next best thing by securely accessing your individual tax account and viewing any balances and payment history. How great (and convenient) is that?