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True or false: You need to submit a selfie with your taxes this year

Many careers have been affected by the pandemic, as people were laid off or switched to remote work. Others found new sources of income, selling things or providing services online.

If you receive income via third-party payment processors such as PayPal, CashApp or Venmo, you may need to change how you report it. The government has added a provision for people earning more than $600 per year through third-party payment processors. Tap or click here to see how this change may affect you.

Getting things done online is undoubtedly more convenient, especially with the way things are now. If you’ve been using the IRS’ online portal to manage your taxes, you may have to create another account through a third party to keep doing so. This could mean significant security issues. But the concern here is whether or not you’ll have to submit to a facial recognition scan to pay your taxes online.

Here’s the backstory

In November of 2021, the IRS released details of a “new online identity verification process for accessing self-help tools.” The report states that the IRS will use ID.me, a “trusted technology provider” to provide verification services.

“The new process can reach more people through the expanded use of identity documents and increased help desk assistance for taxpayers who encounter a problem when attempting to verify their identity online,” the release reads.

You’ll need an ID.me account to use the following services by this summer:

  • Child Tax Credit Update Portal
  • Online Account
  • Get Transcript Online
  • Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
  • Online Payment Agreement

If you have a current online IRS account, you can still use the above services for a few more months, after which you’re going to have to create an ID.me account eventually.

Will you need to submit a selfie to pay your taxes?

In a statement to Gizmodo, an IRS said, “The IRS emphasizes taxpayers can pay or file their taxes without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company. Tax payments can be made from a bank account, by credit card or by other means without the use of facial recognition technology or registering for an account.”

So the answer to our headline is false. But it does look like you’ll eventually need an ID.me account to have an online account with the IRS, including submitting a selfie, among other sensitive information.

The ID.me process

To create an ID.me account, you’ll need to provide your email address, Social Security number, a driver’s license, U.S. passport or U.S. passport card and a selfie taken through your computer or smartphone camera. Here’s how to get started:

  • Go to api.id.me/en/registration/new to create an ID.me account through the IRS application page.
  • Enter an email address and strong password.
  • Accept the terms and conditions and click Create account.
  • Click Continue to use your ID.me account to access the IRS.
  • Check your email to Confirm your email address.
  • Select a multi-factor authentication (MFA) option.
  • Choose a photo ID to upload.
  • Enter your phone number to take a photo with your smartphone.
  • Next, take a video selfie as directed.
  • Enter your Social Security Number.
  • Review and confirm that all your information is accurate and then select Yes.
  • Click Allow and continue.

Keep reading

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