As we head into the 2022 tax season, taxpayers will be required to verify their identity through a new process recently launched by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to continue to access its online services.
The IRS has partnered with ID.me, a login provider, to boost security measures and provide a seamless login experience. While setting up an ID.me account creates an additional step for taxpayers, it is straightforward and adds a layer of protection online. The IRS plans to transition other tools and applications to the new identity verification process over the next year.
Another safety feature available for the 2022 tax season is the optional Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) Program. Rolled out by the IRS last year, the IP PIN is also meant to proactively protect against identity theft and fraud. This is something we highly recommend taxpayers to consider using on a regular basis to protect themselves from bad actors filing fraudulent tax returns.
What is the New ID Verification Process?
The new mobile-friendly identity verification and sign-in process through ID.me ensures that millions of taxpayers and tax professionals can securely access the IRS and its applications. It uses facial recognition technology commonly now used in cellphones and other electronic devices.
Taxpayers will be required to use the new process to access IRS online services, including:
- Child Tax Credit Update Portal
- Online Account
- Get Transcript Online
- Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN)
- Online Payment Agreement
The IRS has also incorporated its new ID verification process* into some applications used by tax professionals, including those used to request powers of attorney or tax information authorizations online using Tax Pro Account or submit Forms 2848 and 8821 online.
When and How to Sign Up for an ID.me Account
Those who have credentials to access IRS online tools under its old system can continue to use their current login until summer 2022. However, taxpayers should create an ID.me account as soon as possible. Starting this summer, you must have an ID.me account to access your IRS online services.
To create an ID.me account, new users will have to:
- Navigate to the IRS application login page and select Create an account with ID.me.
- Provide a photo of an identity document such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport.
- Take a selfie with a smartphone or a computer webcam*.
Once your identity has been verified, you can securely access IRS online services. Anyone who already has an ID.me account can sign in to IRS online services with their existing credentials.
For more information and help with obtaining an ID.me account, visit the ID.me IRS Help Site.
Opt-In Identity Protection PIN Program
The IP PIN Program gives taxpayers the option to use a six-digit number when filing their tax return instead of their social security number. This prevents anyone else from filing a tax return using their social security number.
The IP PIN is only valid for one year — a taxpayer will need to re-request a new IP PIN each January. To get your IP PIN this year, you will have to log in through ID.me to receive a new PIN.
Because identity theft and fraud can have devastating consequences, we recommend participating in the IP PIN Program to safeguard your financials and prevent future complications. Only share your IP PIN with your tax preparer, and the IRS will never call to verify your IP PIN.
Preparing for Tax Season with Aldrich
In addition to the increased security, taking advantage of these digital solutions can help create a seamless tax preparation process with your accountant. If you need assistance understanding the new identity verification process, or applying for your PIN, contact your Aldrich Advisor for support.
*Update: On Monday, February 7, 2022, the IRS announced it will reverse course and quickly develop an authentication process that does not involve facial recognition to access online tax accounts. This comes after receiving backlash and concerns about the government making an outside company, ID.me, the gatekeeper of highly confidential information. It’s still unclear whether the IRS will change or eliminate the use of ID.me completely or only the facial-recognition piece for registration. We will keep you posted on developments and next steps once the IRS has a new solution.
In the meantime, the transition does not interfere with the taxpayer’s ability to file their return or pay taxes owed. During this period, the IRS will continue to accept tax filings, and it has no other impact on the current tax season. People should continue to file their taxes as they normally would.
Meet the Author
Matthew Kanter, CPA, CFP®
Aldrich CPAs + Advisors LLP
Matthew Kanter joined the firm in 2017 with five years of experience working with individuals and small businesses at a small accounting firm in the Portland, Oregon area. Here at Aldrich, Matthew assists with tax compliance and planning for individuals, high net-worth clients, and estates and trusts. Matthew enjoys empowering his clients to focus on…
- Certified Public Accountant
- High-net-worth individuals
- Strategic tax planning and compliance