World Class Certified Public Accountants

Serving Detroit and Southeast Michigan for 30 years

Here’s why taxpayers should have an online IRS account

An IRS online account is an safe an easy way for individual taxpayers to view specific details about their federal tax account. Here are some of the benefits and features of this online system.

Taxpayers can view:

  • Their payoff amount, which is updated for the current day.
  • The balance for each tax year for which they owe taxes.
  • Their payment history.
  • Key information from the their most current tax return as originally filed.
  • Payment plan details if they have one.
  • Digital copies of select IRS notices.
  • Economic Impact Payments if they received any.
  • Their address on file.

After viewing their information, a taxpayer can:

  • Select an electronic payment option.
  • Set up an online payment agreement.
  • Go directly to Get Transcript.

New authorization feature

The new the “authorization” option in Online Account allows taxpayers to control who can represent them before the IRS or view their tax records. They can also approve and electronically sign Power of Attorney and Tax Information Authorization requests from their tax professional.

Taxpayer’s balance will update no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight. Taxpayers should also allow 1 to 3 weeks for payments to show up in the payment history.

To access their information online, taxpayers must register through Secure Access. This is the agency’s two-factor authentication process that protects personal info. Taxpayers can review the Secure Access page process prior to starting registration.

A tip for teachers: Some educator expenses may be tax deductible

The educator expense deduction allows eligible teachers and administrators to deduct part of the cost of technology, supplies and training from their taxes. They can only claim this deduction for expenses that were not reimbursed by their employer, a grant or other source.

 

Who is an eligible educator:

The taxpayer must be a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

 

Things to know about this deduction:

Educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that were not reimbursed. As teachers prepare for the school year, they should remember to keep receipts after making any purchase to support claiming this deduction.

 

The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators and file their return using the status married filing jointly. These taxpayers cannot deduct more than $250 each. Qualified expenses are amounts the taxpayer paid themselves during the tax year.

 

Here are some of the expenses an educator can deduct:

  • Professional development course fees
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Computer equipment, including related software and services
  • Other equipment and materials used in the classroom

IRS online tool helps families determine if they qualify for the child tax credit

The IRS urges families to use a special online tool, available only on IRS.gov, to help them determine whether they qualify for the child tax credit and the special monthly advance payments beginning July 15.

The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant is interactive and easy to use. By answering a series of questions about themselves and their family members, a parent or other family member can quickly determine whether they qualify for the credit. This tool is available in Spanish.

This tool may be particularly useful to families who don’t normally file a federal tax return and have not yet filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return. Often, these are people who receive little or no income, including those experiencing homelessness, low-income households and other underserved groups. This tool can help them decide whether they should take the next step and register for the advance child tax credit payments.

The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant does not request any personally-identifiable information for any family member. For this reason, its results are not an official IRS determination. The results are reliable, though people should consider the results preliminary, even if all their answers are accurate. The IRS does not keep the answers the user supplies, or the tool’s results.

To help people understand and receive this benefit, the IRS has created a special Advance Child Tax Credit 2021 page on IRS.gov. This page provides the most up-to-date information about the credit and the advance payments. Among other things, the page already features a link to both the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, and the Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant, along with the Child Tax Credit Update Portal.


If eligible, the Non-filer Sign-up Tool is available for those who don’t normally file tax returns.

The online Non-filer Sign-up Tool helps eligible families who don’t normally file tax returns register for the monthly advance child tax credit payments. It offers a free and easy way for eligible people who don’t normally have to file taxes to provide the IRS the basic information needed – name, address, and Social Security numbers – to figure and issue advance child tax credit payments.

This tool is also helps eligible individuals who don’t normally file tax returns register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus checks, and claim the recovery rebate credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed.

No action needed by most other families.

Eligible families who already filed or plan to file 2019 or 2020 income tax returns or used the Non-filer tool during 2020 to sign up for the Economic Impact Payments, should not use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool. Once the IRS processes their 2019 or 2020 tax return, the information will be used to determine eligibility and issue advance payments. These families do not need to do anything else to get their payments.

Here’s who should not use this tool.

Families who want to claim other tax benefits, such as the earned income tax credit should not use the Non-Filer Sign-up tool. They should file a regular tax return. For them, the fastest and easiest way to file a return is the Free File system, available only on IRS.gov.

Pin It on Pinterest