If you were paying your taxes online in 2021, you’d soon be asked to submit a selfie to the IRS to authenticate your identity before being able to access your account.
The IRS has partnered with ID.me, a third-party service that requires customers to take video selfies taken with a smartphone or a PC with a webcam, provide sensitive government papers and verify their credit history to protect users’ privacy and combat fraud.
According to a November 2021 release, you can still access basic tax information without registering. Still, beginning this summer, the new verification procedure will be required to access the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, view and make payments, and complete “other normal chores,” with additional IRS applications transitioning to the new method throughout 2022.
In the announcement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated, “Identity verification is vital to protect taxpayers and their information.”
“The IRS has been working hard to improve in this area, and this new verification method is intended to make IRS online applications as secure as possible for people,” said a spokesperson.
Why Do I Need to Register With ID.me?
You may make or schedule payments, examine and print tax records, and manage online authorization requests from tax professionals by creating an ID.me account with the IRS.
In 2021, beneficiaries of advance child tax credit payments predominantly used the ID.me IRS account to join in or unenroll in the advance payment program and track their expenses.
To create a new online IRS account, you’ll need an ID.me account. If you made an IRS account name and password before implementing ID.me, that account would continue to work until summer 2022.
The IRS has not specified a target time for converting old accounts to ID.me accounts.
The IRS used ID.me verification exclusively for its child tax credit tools at first. Since then, it has expanded its online offerings to include the ability to see and print online transcripts, pay taxes and apply for payment plans, track Economic Impact Payments such as stimulus checks, and request Identity Protection PINs.
According to the IRS, most aspects of your online IRS account will require an ID.me-verified account before the end of the year.
How to Sign Up for an ID.me Account?
You’ll need the following things to get started with ID.me:
- What is your Social Security number? (You do not need the physical card)
- A driver’s license, a passport, or a passport card issued by the United States
- A camera-equipped smartphone or computer
- On the IRS website, go to “Your Online Account” and click the icon labeled Log in to your account on the internet. You’ll be given a choice to create a new ID.me account or log into one you already have. Select the white ID.me button. To begin the signup process, click the Create an Account option.
- After that, enter your email address and a secure password. According to ID.me, passwords must be eight characters or longer and contain at least one upper-case letter, one lowercase letter, and a number. Confirm your password, accept ID.me’s terms and conditions by checking the box, and click Create an account.
- After that, ID.me will send you an email asking you to validate your email address. Look for an email from ID.me in your inbox, and then click the blue Confirm your email button in the message. Go back to your web browser.
- You’ll next need to enable multi-factor authentication, which is a second step that verifies it’s you every time you use your ID.me password. The majority of people will most likely send a text message or make a phone call to their mobile phones. After picking your MFA option, click Continue and enter the six-digit code supplied to you by ID.me. Each time you log in to your online IRS account, this step must be completed.
- You’ll now need to upload photos of your photo ID. You may use your phone to upload pictures or shoot pictures. You must present one of three types of identification: a US passport book, a state driver’s license, or a US passport card. Upload photos of your driver’s license or passport from both the front and back. Enter your phone number and ID if you want to snap updated images of your document with your phone. I’ll email you a link.
- Take and publish a video selfie with your phone or computer camera after you’ve uploaded your document. Click the white Take a selfie using my webcam button if you want to use your webcam. Touch the blue Take a selfie with my phone button and input your phone number and ID if you use your phone. I’ll send you a text message with a link.
- When taking a video selfie, make sure your phone is in portrait mode and that your head is as close to the camera as possible. As it scans your face, the background will change colors. Your video selfie is finished when you see a green checkmark. Return to your original browser window by clicking the Continue button.
- Enter your Social Security no. and click Continue to confirm it.
- ID number nine will now give you a quick rundown of your personal information, including your name, address, and phone number. Check that everything is correct, then click Continue after checking the “Fair Credit Reporting Act” box.
- After validating your identification, ID.me will send you a text message requesting you to give the IRS explicit permission to access your information. Although you won’t have to re-register with ID.me, you will have to “allow” any service you want to avail it with, such as Social Security or the VA.
- Continue with the ID and click Allow. To send IRS verification, shoot me a note.
- Your IRS online account is now fully functional and operational. You’ll probably need to look in on your Online Account page to sign in (with MFA) each time you want to operate your IRS account because the IRS logs you out rapidly.
What if I Have Trouble Using ID.me to Verify My Identity?
In 2021, lawmakers blamed flaws in the company’s facial-recognition software for long delays in issuing checks after people were unable to complete verification with ID.me when seeking to collect unemployment benefits.
Suppose ID.me cannot verify your identity through its normal registration process. In that case, your case will be referred to a “Trusted Referee,” a live person who will assess your application via video call online.
The video call will require additional documentation, such as two primary identification documents or one primary document plus two supplemental documents. The ID.me website has a complete list of acceptable documentation.