IRS Will Require Facial Recognition Scans to Access Your Taxes Online

Online tax filers in the United States will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to file their taxes or make IRS payments online.

Starting this summer, users with an IRS.gov account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password. Instead, they will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm ID.me to confirm their identity. That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the Internal Revenue Service, which previously allowed users to file their taxes without submitting personal biometric data.

In a statement to Gizmodo, an IRS spokesperson said users can still receive basic information from the IRS website without logging in, but added they would need to sign in through ID.me to make and view payments, access tax records, view or create payment plans, manage communications preference, or view tax professional authorizations.

So here’s how filing taxes will work for most people later this year. Users attempting to log in to their accounts using ID.me will have to create an account with the company by uploading either a driver’s license, passport, or passport card. Users are then told to use a cellphone camera or their computer’s webcam to take a selfie. According to ID.me’s website, the company uses a face match facial recognition system to verify the selfie matches the provided government document. If approved in ID.me’s system, users can then use these credentials to verify their identity across any of ID.me’s partners.


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