Tax season is right around the corner, so here’s how to get your IRS transcripts in a new way. The IRS just released an app called “Get Transcript,” and it allows any taxpayer to view, print, or download their own IRS transcripts online using a computer or smartphone.

The breaking news is that now people can get their IRS transcripts in the privacy of their own home. This app will allow you to see your tax filing history, as well as many other newly available details.

“It’s outstanding because the only people formally able to do this were the IRS, an enrolled agent, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or a lawyer who has access to a very secure service,” says Bill Nemeth, an enrolled agent at Tax Audit Guardian in Atlanta.

You can set up your account by going to www.IRS.gov and enter “get transcript” in the site search bar. That will take you to the location where you can set up your individual account, using a username and a strong password. Once it’s set up, you can then sign in on your computer or smartphone and access your IRS transcript information instantly.

How will the IRS make this new app secure?

When a taxpayer sets up an account, they will need to identify themselves by providing their Social Security number and date of birth plus answer a number of security questions and create a set of challenge Q&As, Nemeth says.

But what if you lose your phone or your computer gets hacked? Isn’t that dangerous with your Social Security number and financial information right there?

Nemeth suggests that when you log in, you should never save your username or password on any of your devices. And that can go for any online account.

Who will this be most helpful to?

This app will be most helpful to people who may have forgotten about their estimated taxes. They can set up this account and the account transcript will actually tell them how much estimated tax the IRS has on record for them. Also, it’s helpful for people who have moved and are not sure if they have all of their income documented. And for the “troubled taxpayers,” this app will allow them to look at their IRS records privately and see how many problems they may have with the IRS, which is kind of cool.

Glinkonomics is Ilyce Glink’s take on what’s going on in the economy this week. 

WSB Radio’s Ilyce Glink Show – January 19, 2014

For more information on the new “Get Transcript” app by the IRS, click the audio link below to listen to the full Ilyce Glink Show on WSB Radio, or go to iTunes and download the show to your handheld device.

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