IRS makes selfie ID mandatory for online services

The IRS makes ID.me its official identity provider. The agency began testing ID.me’s platform in 2017, initially using the technology to administer its child tax credit programs. The service has since expanded to encompass other digital services, and will soon be mandatory for all taxpayers who wish to access IRS services online.

As it stands, anyone trying to create a new online account with the IRS will now be required to create an ID.me account to do so. Those who opened an IRS account before the ID.me requirement was implemented will not need to create an ID.me account immediately, but should have one by summer of this year. The IRS has not yet provided a firm date for the transition.

Once created, taxpayers can use their account to view their tax records, make tax payments, and manage things like their child tax credit advance payments. ID.me can also be used with other participating federal agencies such as the Departments of Social Security and Veterans Affairs, and to access government services in 27 US states. Citizens will not need to re-register for the ID.me program, but they will need to authorize each agency to access their ID.me account information.

To create an account, taxpayers will need to take a photo of an identification document (either a US passport, state driver’s license, or US passport card) and then take a video selfie. ID.me will use facial recognition to match the selfie to the image on the ID. If ID.me is unable to complete the match, the user will be directed to a human agent, who will verify that person’s identity over a video call. In these cases, the user will have to provide additional documents to prove their identity.

The IRS hopes its partnership with ID.me will help reduce tax evasion. ID.me received approval to operate from FedRAMP in June and boasted that its remote identity technology helped distribute $1.2 billion in unemployment claims in October 2020. In December, the company has also hired a new product manager to spearhead its expansion efforts.

Source: CNET

(Originally posted on Mobile ID World)

Veronica J. Snell