IRS No Longer Redacting Information on Wage & Income Transcripts

Yesterday I went on e-Services and downloaded a Wage & Income Transcript for a client. I was surprised to see that the payor information was no longer redacted. There was the payor’s name in full (along with the address and EIN).

Congratulations to the IRS on reversing their short-sighted policy of redacting this information. In order to access e-Services, I have to already have:

– Registered with the IRS;
– Setup two-party authentication with the IRS; and
– Used two-party authentication to access e-Services.

Yes, it’s theoretically possible for someone to break into somebody’s office and get into e-Services. But they’d also have to obtain the two-party authentication device. The odds of both occurring are very, very low.

The previous policy had deleterious impacts on both the IRS and tax professionals. It added workload to the IRS (tax professionals had to call the IRS to obtain unredacted transcripts); it caused delays and extra work for tax professionals. Kudos to the IRS on using some common sense in returning to the status quo ante.


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