TAX ALERT | January 31, 2022
Authored by RSM US LLP
Individuals logging into their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accounts for the first time this tax season may be surprised to find a new request: identity verification using ID.me, a ‘trusted technology provider’ to the IRS. Soon individuals who use IRS.gov online resources may be required to use ID.me technology to verify their identity. The services that may require verification by ID.me include online payments, view and print tax records (i.e., online tax transcripts), manage online authorization request from tax professionals, apply for payment plans and request Identity Protection PINs. Originally, the IRS was using ID.me only for child tax credit tools but is expanding to other online resources.
What is ID.me?
ID.me is an identity verification service used by the IRS. The service uses face match technology that is similar to the technology used to unlock a smartphone.
What do users need to verify their identity?
- Email address
- Social security number
- Photo ID (Driver’s License, Passport, Passport Card or State ID)
- Mobile phone with camera
- Laptop or computer with a webcam (optional)
How long will this process take to set up?
Without connectivity or other technology issues it should take taxpayers about 10-20 minutes to complete the process. To shorten the time of a successful verification, users should make sure they have the items listed above ready and available before beginning. Users should consider verifying their identity with ID.me now to avoid delays when it is necessary to use the IRS’ online tools and resources. After the initial verification, users can log-in using two-factor authentication through ID.me. No more ‘selfies’ will be required.
In general, what are the steps to complete the process?
The ID.me support website lists out a step-by-step guide to aid in verifying the users’ identity for the IRS. The steps include uploading pictures of the front and back of your identification document and scanning your face with the phone’s camera.
What if users run into issues during the set-up process?
The ID.me service offers video chat with an ID.me support person who can help with verification via video call. There is also a 24/7 help desk support.
What if a user does not want to use ID.me?
Using ID.me to verify a user’s identity will only be required to access the IRS’ online resources. Taxpayers can still access various IRS resources by mail or phone. For now, users with an existing IRS.gov account can continue to sign in with an existing IRS username, but that is expected to change. Users wishing to create a new account must complete the ID.me identity verification process.
What are the hesitations and backlash with the program?
Users may be concerned about data security and protection. According to the ID.me website, data security is its top priority. The company states that it does not share information with third parties without its members’ explicit permission and does not sell, lease or trade Biometric Data to any third parties or derive any profit from the sale, lease or trade of Biometric Data. Any information that is provided is encrypted and handled according to federal guidelines, which might include sharing information for law enforcement.
The added identity verification to sign-in to the IRS website could be difficult for certain taxpayers due to lack of technological proficiency, lack of access to a device to be able to complete the steps or disabilities preventing the user from using this type of service.
Users of IRS.gov should consider the pros and cons of creating an ID.me account and consult with their tax advisors on the process.
This article was written by Alina Solodchikova, Amber Waldman, John Cardone, Kimberly Thomas and originally appeared on Jan 31, 2022.
2022 RSM US LLP. All rights reserved.
The information contained herein is general in nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. RSM US LLP guarantees neither the accuracy nor completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for results obtained by others as a result of reliance upon such information. RSM US LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect information contained herein. This publication does not, and is not intended to, provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and readers should consult their tax advisors concerning the application of tax laws to their particular situations. This analysis is not tax advice and is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer.
RSM US Alliance provides its members with access to resources of RSM US LLP. RSM US Alliance member firms are separate and independent businesses and legal entities that are responsible for their own acts and omissions, and each is separate and independent from RSM US LLP. RSM US LLP is the U.S. member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax, and consulting firms. Members of RSM US Alliance have access to RSM International resources through RSM US LLP but are not member firms of RSM International. Visit rsmus.com/about us for more information regarding RSM US LLP and RSM International. The RSM logo is used under license by RSM US LLP. RSM US Alliance products and services are proprietary to RSM US LLP.
Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa is a proud member of RSM US Alliance, a premier affiliation of independent accounting and consulting firms in the United States. RSM US Alliance provides our firm with access to resources of RSM US LLP, the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. RSM US LLP is a licensed CPA firm and the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 43,000 people in over 120 countries.
Our membership in RSM US Alliance has elevated our capabilities in the marketplace, helping to differentiate our firm from the competition while allowing us to maintain our independence and entrepreneurial culture. We have access to a valuable peer network of like-sized firms as well as a broad range of tools, expertise, and technical resources.
For more information on how the Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa can assist you, please call us at (315) 472-7045.