IRS Will Soon Request Selfies from Taxpayers Who Want Online Access

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Soon, taxpayers will be required to take a photo and verify their identity. ID.me in order to access certain online applications and tools on the IRS website.  

The agency said the move is being taken to protect against potential identity theft, but some privacy advocates said the move is a step too far, according to CBS News.

According to the news outlet, existing online accounts with IRS.gov won’t work after the middle of 2022.

ID.meAn online identity verification service.

Journalist Brian Krebs, who was the first to notice the change on the IRS website, told CBS News that in order to sign up for an ID.me account, a user must include an email address and a phone number by which they can be reached, as well as upload documents confirming their identity. They also must take a live video feed of their faces via a mobile device.

Krebs explained that ID.me may ask applicants to have a recorded live video chat if they do not meet the requirements. The process can be time consuming. “[F]or anyone who fails the automated signup, count on spending several hours getting verified,”Krebs wrote the following on his site.

Starting in summer 2022, anyone in need of accessing online the IRS’s Child Tax Credit Update Portal, their tax transcript, or a payment agreement with the IRS will need to have created an account with ID.me to do so, CNBC reported.

 

Blake Hall, CEO ID.me  justified the process stating that it is “both more secure and fairer”CBS reported that CBS has a better method than the old way of logging in to IRS.gov for people who are concerned about privacy issues.

“The most damaging thing that can happen to your privacy is not taking a selfie, it’s having somebody get access to your medical records, or to your tax information,”Hall spoke to CBS MoneyWatch. “That selfie control is actively preventing a massive amount of identity theft.”

According to the IRS, tax payers will not need to create an ID.me account to file their tax returns. Without logging in, payments can still be made using a bank account or credit card. 

“The IRS emphasizes taxpayers can pay or file their taxes without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company. Tax payments can be made from a bank account, by credit card or by other means without the use of facial recognition technology or registering for an account,”CBS obtained a statement from an IRS spokesperson.