The IRS will start using facial recognition this summer — and you'll have to send off a selfie if you want to pay your taxes online

·2 min read
A woman looks sad as she stares at her laptop.
The change will affect users of the IRS' online tax payment services.damircudic/Getty Images
  • The IRS will require users of its online portal to create an ID.me account from summer 2022.

  • ID.me is a digital identification company that requires selfies from users for facial recognition.

  • It has landed numerous contracts with US state governments over the course of the pandemic.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is going to require users of its online tax payment services to create an identification account, which will involve sending off a selfie for facial recognition.

Security blogger Brian Krebs was the first to spot a message on the IRS website directing users to create an account with a company called ID.me.

"If you have an existing IRD username, please create a new ID.me account as soon as possible. We're bringing you an improved sign-in experience. You won't be able to log in with your existing IRS username and password starting in summer 2022," the message read.

Creating an ID.me account involves submitting various pieces of official documentation, as well as taking a live video selfie.

An IRS spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo that users will need an ID.me account to make and view payments, and access their tax records.

The Department of the Treasury did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider.

ID.me offers digital identification services, and was able to land contracts with the US state governments over the course of the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

One user told Bloomberg they ran into significant problems trying to send off a selfie to ID.me, as the app failed to recognise her face, and then locked her out for 72 hours at a time.

Bloomberg also found a log of complaints lodged against ID.me by users with California's Employment Development Department (EDD). One complaint involved a transgender user who was blocked from accessing state benefits because the gender stated on their driver's license and their passport didn't match.

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