The IRS will soon begin requiring a photo ID, paired with a live selfie, in order to access online accounts.
As online security becomes a growing concern, the IRS is taking a major step forward to verify users’ identities. According to Krebs on Security, the IRS is adopting ID.me’s verification service.
Beginning in the summer of 2022, users looking to access their online IRS accounts will need to upload a copy of their government-issued IDs, such as a driver’s license or passport. Once the document is uploaded, the new system requires the person to use their computer camera or mobile device to film a video selfie, which ID.me then compares to the uploaded photo ID.
The system then prompts the user for a mobile or landline phone number — not a VoIP service — along with a copy of a social security card, birth certificate, health insurance card, or utility bill. In fact, Krebs reports the system requires two such “secondary identification documents.”
Users may be understandably concerned about giving over so much personal information to a third-party company, but ID.me founder and CEO Blake Hall told Krebs that if a person signs up “in connection with legal identity verification or a government agency we will not use your verification information for any type of marketing or promotional purposes.”
Despite the hassle, Krebs believes services like ID.me are unavoidable, and may provide significant security benefits.
Love it or hate it, ID.me is likely to become one of those places where Americans need to plant their flag and mark their territory, if for no other reason than it will probably be needed at some point to manage your relationship with the federal government and/or your state. And given the potential time investment needed to successfully create an ID.me account, it might be a good idea to do that before you’re forced to do so at the last minute (such as waiting until the eleventh hour to pay your quarterly or annual estimated taxes).