On Friday, the IRS announced that it is delaying the retirement of the Disclosure Authorization (DA) and Electronic Account Resolution (EAR) electronic services for three weeks (e-News for Tax Professionals, No. 2013-32 (8/9/13)). They were scheduled to be suspended on Aug. 11, but instead they will be available until Sept. 2 (see IRS webpage). The IRS’s plan to close down the two e-services has received vehement responses from the practitioner community, including the AICPA’s official comment letter to the IRS objecting to the closure (see “AICPA Pushes Back on IRS e-Services Closures”).
Despite the reaction from tax preparers, the IRS insists in its announcement that the services will be discontinued on Sept. 2, coinciding with its transition to a new web portal, which will not include the DA or EAR services. The IRS claims that it has increased the number of employees who process DAs and that it has improved work processes to significantly shorten the current 10-day processing time.
As a reminder, the IRS notes that, after Sept. 2, tax practitioners will have to complete Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, and mail or fax the form to the appropriate IRS location. Afterward, taxpayers are asked to wait four days for the authorization to be processed before requesting a transcript.
Practitioners who used EAR are asked to now call the Practitioner Priority Service at 1-866-860-4259 to resolve account-related issues. The IRS also said that it is exploring an improved electronic solution for both the DA and EAR for the future.
—Sally P. Schreiber (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a JofA senior editor.