On February 21, 2022, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that taxpayers will have a new option available to them to verify their identity when signing up for IRS online accounts without the use of any biometric data, including facial recognition.1 While taxpayers still have the option to use ID.me, taxpayers are now also able to verify their identity during a live, virtual interview with an IRS agent.
As many taxpayers may be aware, the IRS announced on November 17, 2021 that ID.me would be used exclusively to verify the taxpayer’s identity to access their IRS online accounts.2 New users would have been required to submit a “selfie” and a photo of an identity document. Shortly after the announcement, the IRS faced public backlash, including an open letter from Senator Ron Wyden that referenced several security issues that came to light about ID.me. Following the controversy, the IRS announced on February 7, 2022, that it will transition away from the third-party service and is looking into offering alternative options.3
Current and Future Tax Seasons
The options to verify one’s identity via ID.me or live interviews are short-term solutions for the 2022 filing season. The IRS is looking into rolling out Login.gov as an authentication tool for IRS online accounts after the 2022 filing deadline. Login.gov is an official secure sign-in service operated by the United States, which can be used by individuals to access the services of any participating agencies.4 Currently, the IRS is working to meet the security standards and scale requirements for Login.gov to offer this option to taxpayers for the coming filing seasons.
2 IRS, "New identity verification process to access certain IRS online tools and services" FS-2021-15, November 17, 2021.
3 IRS, "IRS announces transition away from use of third-party verification involving facial recognition," IR-2022-27, February 7, 2022.
The above information is not intended to be "written advice concerning one or more Federal tax matters" subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of Treasury Department Circular 230 as the content of this document is issued for general informational purposes only.
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