2016 IRS Launches New Online Tool to Assist Taxpayers with Basic Tax Account Information: Do You Want To Know About Your IRS Account Balance?

2016 IRS Launches New Online Tool to Assist Taxpayers with Basic Tax Account Information

IRS Online Tool

The Internal Revenue Service announced on December 1, 2016 (IR-2016-155) the launch of an online application that will assist taxpayers with straightforward balance inquiries in a safe, easy and convenient way.

This new and secure tool, available on IRS.gov allows taxpayers to view their IRS account balance, which will include the amount they owe for tax, penalties and interest.

It also should be pointed out that taxpayers may also continue to take advantage of the various online payment options available by accessing any of the payment features offered by the IRS.  These payment options include:

  • Direct pay,
  • Pay by card and
  • Online Payment Agreement.

As part of the IRS vision for the future taxpayer experience, the IRS anticipates that other capabilities will continue to be added to this platform as they are developed and tested.

“This new tool is part of the IRS’s commitment to improve and expand taxpayer services by providing additional online taxpayer options,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The new ‘balance due’ feature, paired with the existing online payment options, will increase the availability of self-service interactions with the IRS. This will give taxpayers another way to take care of their tax obligations in a fast and secure manner.”

This is welcomed news since most taxpayers experience long wait times when attempting to call the IRS for information about their accounts.


Before gaining access to this tool, taxpayers must authenticate their identities through the rigorous Secure Access process. This is a two-step authentication process, which means returning users must have:

  • Their credentials, generally a username and password and
  • A security code sent as a text to their mobile phones.

To register for the first time, taxpayers must:

  • Have an email address
  • A text-enabled mobile phone in the user’s name and
  • Specific financial information, such as a credit card number or specific loan numbers

Tip:  It is a good idea for taxpayers to review the Secure Access process prior to starting registration.

Note: Taxpayers who have registered using Secure Access for Get Transcript Online or Get an IP PIN may use their same username and password.


As part of the security process to authenticate taxpayers, the IRS will send verification, activation or security codes via email and text.

Important Reminder: The IRS warns taxpayers that it will not initiate contact via text or email asking for log-in information or personal data.

The IRS texts and emails will only contain one-time codes.

Finally, in addition to this new functionality, the IRS continues to provide several self-service tools and helpful resources available on IRS.gov for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.

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