Process strengthened to ensure privacy and security

— From IRS.gov — 

The IRS announced Feb. 21 that a new option in the agency’s authentication system is now available for taxpayers to sign up for IRS online accounts without the use of any biometric data, including facial recognition.

This is consistent with the IRS’s commitment earlier this month to transition away from the requirement for taxpayers creating an IRS online account to provide a selfie to a third-party service to help authenticate their identity. Taxpayers will have the option to verify their identity during a live, virtual interview with agents; no biometric data – including facial recognition – will be required if taxpayers choose to authenticate their identity through a virtual interview.

Taxpayers will still have the option to verify their identity automatically through the use of biometric verification through ID.me’s self-assistance tool if they choose. For taxpayers who select this option, new requirements are in place to ensure images provided by taxpayers are deleted for the account being created. Any existing biometric data from taxpayers who previously created an IRS Online Account that has already been collected will also be permanently deleted over the course of the next few weeks.

While this short-term solution is in place for this year’s filing season, the IRS will work closely with partners across government to roll out Login.Gov as an authentication tool. The General Services Administration is currently working with the IRS to achieve the security standards and scale required of Login.Gov, with the goal of moving toward introducing this option to verify identity after the 2022 filing deadline.

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