IRS reopens IVES, some fee-based programs

Written on Jan 14, 2019

After an extensive review, the IRS on Jan. 7 began processing requests for transcript information made through the Income Verification Express Service (IVES) program.

IVES is a user fee-based program used primarily by mortgage lenders and others within the financial community to confirm the income of a borrower during the processing of a loan application. The transcript information is delivered to a secure mailbox based on information received from a Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ.

The IRS said it will take time to bring the service up to normal operating status after the end of some government shutdown furloughs, and advises IVES participants that it might initially take longer than the standard 72-hour turnaround time for the IRS to process these requests.

The IRS also will start other user fee-based services such as providing a letter needed by some taxpayers to certify their residency in the United States for certain tax treaty benefits and responding to requests for photocopies of tax returns. The IRS notes that tax transcripts – which show most of the information from a tax return – are easily obtained online more quickly, are free and sufficient for most purposes. Taxpayers who still need a paper copy of their actual tax return may submit a Form 4506 along with a $50 fee for a copy of each return. It may take 75 calendar days to process a request for a copy of a return.

Federal law limits what the IRS can do on behalf of taxpayers during a funding lapse; however, some programs funded by user fees present an opportunity for the IRS to help taxpayers receive critical services. These services can assist taxpayers trying to obtain mortgages or taxpayers affected by disasters who need copies of their tax returns as part of the recovery effort.

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