Update: IRS transitioning away from ID.me facial recognition system
Update: IRS reverses course, announces transition away from ID.me
As of Feb 7, 2022 - the IRS announced it will transition away from ID.me (third-party service) for facial recognition to help authenticate taxpayer identities for IRS portals. They expect this transition to take several weeks and they are working on developing new authentication methods that do not involve facial recognition.
ORIGINAL: ID.me accounts now required to access online accounts for US taxpayers
In a push for increased security, the IRS has unveiled a new verification process for US taxpayers who want to access their online accounts. The IRS will be utilizing the third party service, ID.me to verify individuals. Verification will include taking a selfie and submitting a photo of driver’s license or passport.
IRS portals that require ID.me
This verification is needed to access data - but not to pay taxes. The other online IRS portals that will require using ID.me verification are: your IRS online account, obtaining a transcript online, Child Tax Credit Update Portal, Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) and Online Payment Agreement.
You can still pay taxes without utilizing ID.me.
How to get verified
Getting verified is a multi-step process.
- Create id.me account
- Upload a photo of your license or state ID, passport, or social security card.
- Take a video selfie (you will receive a text message with a secure link)
- Enter social security number
- If you are unable to verify your identity through the automated system, video call possible
If you are unable to use the online tools (admittedly, we failed multiple attempts on both webcam and phone cameras) - you will be redirected to join a video call with a live representative from ID.me
Anecdotal evidence: Getting verified is difficult
There are reports that women and people of color are having more difficulty being verified through the software than others.
Items of note, especially for expats
- Address on your account must match the verification documents
- Documents in a foreign language may be rejected.
- If you are unable to verify online, you will have to show physical documents to the online agent.
ID.me is a private company with government contracts with many state agencies and now the IRS to verify legal identities of individuals.