After a year of delays, errors, staff shortages and all-around misery, the IRS wants to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers to manage their records and prepare their tax returns as filing season cranks up. One option is ID.me, a third-party service that has partnered with the IRS to provide identity verification for IRS applications.
As ID.me noted on its website, identity proofing services help the IRS ensure that millions of taxpayers and tax professionals can securely access the agency and its applications. Using the ID.me site, both taxpayers and tax professionals will be able to prove their identities by uploading government documents, taking video selfies and filling out personal information.
Once this is done, you can access the appropriate IRS application and use your ID.me account to log in across government websites and private sector partners wherever you see ID.me’s green button. Most states use ID.me verification, CNET reported, but you’ll need to check with your state to see if it’s one of them.
Creating an ID.me account with the IRS has a few advantages, including making or scheduling payments, viewing and printing tax records, and managing online authorization requests from tax professionals. Last year, the ID.me IRS account was mainly used by recipients of advance child tax credit payments, CNET noted. This application allowed taxpayers to enroll or unenroll in the advance payment program and to monitor their payments.
If you want to sign up for an ID.me account, you’ll first need your Social Security number, driver’s license or other government-issued ID (such as a U.S. passport), and a phone or computer with a camera.
After that, you’ll have to go through a fairly lengthy series of steps. Here is the process, as laid out by CNET:
- Visit the “Your Online Acccount” page on the IRS website and click the button marked “Sign into your online account.” You’ll be given the option of creating a new ID.me account or signing in to an existing account. Click the white ID.me “Create an account” button to start the registration process.
- Enter your email address, choose a password, and then click the check box to accept ID.me’s terms and conditions. Next, click “Create account.”
- ID.me will send you a message to confirm your email address. When you see it, click on the blue “Confirm your email button” in the message and then return to your browser. The next step is to enable multifactor authentication to prove it’s you each time you sign in with your ID.me password. After selecting your MFA option, enter the six-digit code sent to you by ID.me and click “Continue.”
- Add pictures of yourself by uploading them or taking new ones with your phone camera. You’ll need to choose one of three acceptable ID options: U.S. passport book, state driver’s license, or U.S. passport card. Be sure to upload pictures of both the front and back of your driver’s license or passport. If you’d rather take new photos, enter your phone number and ID.me will send you a link.
- After uploading your photos, the next step is to take and upload a video selfie with your phone or computer camera. Make sure you position your phone in portrait mode and move your head close to the camera. Your video selfie is complete when you see a green checkmark. Click “Continue” and head back to the browser.
- Confirm your Social Security number by entering it and clicking “Continue.”
- ID.me will now provide a summary of your personal information, including name, address and phone number. Confirm that everything is correct, check the “Fair Credit Reporting Act” check box and then click “Continue.” ID.me will send you a text message asking you to allow the IRS access. Click “Allow and Continue” on the ID.me message to send verification to the IRS. Your IRS online account should now be complete and active.
More From GOBankingRates