It keeps getting worse.
To access the Internal Revenue Service online tax payment system, users will need to provide a selfie to a third-party service provider.
The change will come into effect in summer 2022.
Then, users who need to check online accounts, access the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, get tax transcripts, receive an Identity Protection PIN, or view online payment agreements will have to verify their identity using a third-party company, ID.me.
Those with existing accounts, who only require an email and password to access, will no longer access their accounts using this method, as users will have to create an account using ID.me, according to the IRS.
In a statement, IRS commission Chuck Rettig emphasized that “identification verification is critical to protect taxpayers and their information,” adding that “the IRS has been working hard to make improvements in this area, and this new verification process is designed to make IRS online applications as secure as possible for people.”
The IRS has underlined the fact that users who are submitting their tax returns will not be required to use ID.me or any facial recognition software. However, to use many of the IRS’ basic online features, taxpayers will be forced to use these tools, with the agency encouraging taxpayers to create their accounts “as soon as possible.”
Taxpayers will also not have to use face recognition when conducting tax payments from their bank account, via credit card, or other means.
If users, however, do decide to use the ID verification system, the third party doing the IRS payments, ID.me is a technology provider offering secure identity verification that compares users’ photo ID to a video selfie. The system was launched in 2010 by Blake Hall, a military veteran.
To sign up, users will need to provide ID.me with their email address, photo ID, social security number, then take a selfie with a camera that scans the user’s face to verify their identity.
The news that the IRS would be implementing this feature has been met with outcry from privacy advocates, who warn the process is invasive and could lead to catastrophic data breaches.