Internal Revenue Service’s Website Sets Facial Recognition to Access Taxes Online

To file taxes or make IRS payments online, Americans will soon have to upload a photo of themselves to an identity verification company using facial recognition technology.

Personal IRS.gov accounts allow taxpayers to access and monitor their tax history; but, according to Krebs on Security, current login credentials for IRS.gov will no longer be valid at the end of the year.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agreed in November to transition to the ID.me online identity verification service by the middle of 2022, which will need a significant amount of personal information to confirm your identity.

New Biometric System

According to Gizmodo, Customers who file their tax returns online will be required to submit a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to the Virginia-based identity verification service ID.me in order to verify their identity. 

Users can still access basic information from the IRS website without logging in, according to an IRS spokesperson, but they must sign in through ID.me in order to make and view payments, access tax records, view payment plans, manage communication preferences, or view tax professional authorizations.

How to Log in

According to PCMag, each user must submit a scan of their driver’s license or other government-issued identification, a copy of their utility or insurance bills, their mobile phone service information, and a “live selfie” of themselves as part of the verification procedure.

If any document cannot be provided or if a fraud alert is raised, a recording of a live video chat with the person who is creating the account will be requested as an additional security measure.

PCMag also reported that as with the live selfie, this can be accomplished using either a mobile device or the webcam on a laptop or computer, depending on the situation. However, the webcam must be located on the same device that is being used to create the application.

Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of time. There is a five-minute grace period after which users will be required to resubmit papers or redo additional verification requests. 

As per the report, given what occurred with Equifax in 2017, many consumers may be wary of handing out their personal data. Identity Verification Information is not used for marketing or promotional purposes by ID.me.

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