The Inner Income Service has carried out a brand new verification course of for taxpayers who need to entry their on-line tax accounts and self-help instruments that features taking a selfie and submitting a photograph of their driver’s license or passport to a third-party service,

The IRS introduced the brand new authentication process final November after a sequence of high-profile information breaches lately on a few of its on-line instruments like Get Transcript (see story). The brand new procedures are garnering recent consideration this week after a report on the cybersecurity weblog Krebs on Safety and as extra of the IRS rolls out the brand new authentication course of throughout extra of its on-line apps as the beginning of tax season approaches subsequent Monday.

The IRS is emphasizing that selfies received’t be wanted to file and pay taxes on-line, just for accessing its on-line accounts and self-help instruments.

The IRS headquarters in Washington.

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“There have been some wildly inaccurate statements concerning using selfies regarding paying and submitting taxes,” mentioned an announcement forwarded by IRS spokesperson Bruce Friedland. “The IRS emphasizes taxpayers pays or file their taxes with out submitting a selfie or different info to a third-party identification verification firm. Tax funds will be created from a checking account, by bank card or by different means with out using facial recognition know-how or registering for an account. To assist defend the safety of taxpayers, the IRS makes use of an identification verification course of for accessing IRS’ self-help instruments resembling checking your account on-line and getting a transcript on-line.”

Different apps that can require the beefed-up authentication embrace the Youngster Tax Credit score Replace Portal, Get an Id Safety PIN (IP PIN) and On-line Fee Settlement. The IRS mentioned in November it has additionally built-in this new account-creation course of into some functions utilized by tax professionals, together with these used to request powers of legal professional or tax info authorizations on-line utilizing Tax Professional Account or to submit Types 2848 and 8821 on-line.

The brand new procedures come after the IRS has been hit by cyberattacks lately. In 2015, the IRS wanted to take away its Get Transcript app in the course of tax season after discovering that identification thieves had used it to get entry to the transcripts of tons of of tax returns. It relaunched the app in 2016 with improved authentication procedures (see story). Comparable issues have been discovered with the IP PIN app and others the place the IRS wanted to enhance authentication (see story). has grown right into a default identification verification system for different federal authorities packages and in 27 states after being in enterprise for under 12 years, in line with CBS Information. The tech web site Gizmodo reported that the service requires customers to share not solely a selfie and authorities verification doc like a driver’s license or passport, but additionally their Social Safety quantity and permit entry to their biometric information like voiceprints and their credit score profile.

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