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US taxpayers must submit a video selfie to access their IRS accounts

US taxpayers must submit a video selfie using facial recognition technology from a third-party company to access their IRS accounts

  • The change will take place this summer, but is not required for tax filing
  • The video selfie will be used by taxpayers to access their IRS accounts
  • The selfie is taken with a mobile phone and then uploaded to ID.me
  • ID.me uses its facial recognition software to determine if you are the taxpayer



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The selfie is taken on a mobile device and then uploaded to ID.me, a third-party identity verification company that will use its own facial recognition to verify the individual

The selfie is taken on a mobile device and then uploaded to ID.me, a third-party identity verification company that will use its own facial recognition to verify the individual

U.S. taxpayers will be required to submit a video selfie starting this summer to access certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tools and applications.

The selfie is taken on a mobile device and then uploaded to ID.me, a third-party identity verification company that will use its own facial recognition to authenticate the individual.

After verification, the taxpayer will be asked to upload their government ID and copies of bills.

Users can access basic information about the IRS without logging into ID.me, but the unique login is required to make and view payments, access tax information, view or create payment plans, manage communication preferences, or professional tax powers to watch.

However, this process is not a requirement to file taxes.

“The IRS emphasizes that taxpayers can pay or file their taxes without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company,” the agency said in a statement.

Tax payments can be made from a bank account, credit card or otherwise without using facial recognition technology or registering for an account.

ID.me, which says this is a secure process, compares the uploaded selfie to the taxpayer’s identity photo using software similar to what smartphones use to grant users access to the device.

Users can access basic information about the IRS without logging into ID.me, but the unique login is required to make and view payments, access tax information, view or create payment plans, manage communication preferences, or professional tax powers to watch

Users can access basic information about the IRS without logging into ID.me, but the unique login is required to make and view payments, access tax information, view or create payment plans, manage communication preferences, or professional tax powers to watch

Users can access basic information about the IRS without logging into ID.me, but the unique login is required to make and view payments, access tax information, view or create payment plans, manage communication preferences, or professional tax powers to watch

The announced goal is to prevent fraud and make the login process easier, but many users have reported problems using the service, including their unemployment benefits being postponed for months during the coronavirus pandemic because they were unable to verify their identities.

And then there’s the problem that facial recognition has privacy issues and the ability to be racist.

“Identity verification is critical to protecting taxpayers and their information,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in the press release.

“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.”

Even though the change won’t take effect until the summer, taxpayers can create an account.

However, this process is not a requirement to file taxes

However, this process is not a requirement to file taxes

However, this process is not a requirement to file taxes

The announcement comes just days after the IRS warned taxpayers that they may expect slower than usual service due to staffing and funding shortages.

The tax season starts on January 24th and runs until April 18th.

The IRS hopes to avoid delays in processing or taxpayer errors on returns to get refunds to people in the traditional 21-day turnaround time.

“Planning the country’s filing process is a huge undertaking, and the IRS teams have been working non-stop for the past few months to prepare,” Rettig added. “The pandemic continues to present challenges, but the IRS is reminding people that there are important steps they can take to ensure their tax returns and refunds are not delayed in processing.”

Officials recommend filing electronically via direct deposit to avoid delays and to ensure all figures on your returns are accurate.

The IRS is also sending letters detailing amounts it has paid households for those child tax credits and the third round of pandemic-era stimulus checks.

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