I’m not sure how I feel about this.
From the CBS Article:
Starting this summer, taxpayers wanting to access their online accounts on IRS.gov will be required to take a selfie and verify their identity with ID.me.
The IRS says the move is necessary to protect taxpayers from potential identity theft, but privacy advocates say it’s invasive and point out that the company behind ID.me has a spotty record in verifying people’s identities.
So what will be required to sign up?
To sign up for an account, users need to provide an email address and a landline or mobile phone number, upload identity documents and take a selfie with a camera that will then scan the user’s face to verify their identity. If the application flags any issues with a taxpayer’s documents, the person will be asked to do a video chat or phone call with an ID.me representative.
According to the IRS spokesperson, I won’t need to do this to e-file my taxes, but…
…taxpayers will need to register with the new security system to see records of previous payments, see previous years’ transcripts or to access their Child Tax Credit portal.
So, here’s my thinking (not fully fleshed out). The IRS has a shitty track record on verifying taxpayers for fraudulent returns, but I don’t need to do all of this to file a return. The IRS is requiring the use of a private company to use public services, which grates my instincts. Yeah, I’m not being charged, but I didn’t decide on which company to use. I would have preferred a variety of acceptable verification sources rather than saying you will use Company we like. That just feels ripe for being forced to use the company with the best lobbying instead of the best product.
As for the privacy issues? In my book, it’s kinda of a wash. The feds haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory in protecting against data breaches any more than private companies.