Coming up soon, the IRS will make U.S. taxpayers provide a selfie that fully includes their face in order to gain access to various tax tools and information.
“Starting in summer 2022, if you need to login to the IRS’s website to access the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, get your tax transcript or view a payment agreement with the agency, you will need to create an account with third-party identity verification company ID.me,” reported CNBC. “A simple username and password will no longer suffice: You will need to provide a government document with a photo, such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport, and take a video selfie with your smartphone or computer.”
A spokesperson for the IRS quickly stepped forward to give a statement to CNBC that taxpayers will still be allowed to pay or file their taxes “without submitting a selfie or other information to a third-party identity verification company” by making use of credit cards, bank accounts, or other similar methods. Despite this, CNBC again highlighted that doing the previously mentioned “basic things,” as well as “applying for payment plans” and “monitoring stimulus checks,” will still be required to submit to face identification.
This past year, the IRS under Old Uncle Joe has been the target of much ire for its plan that would have forced banks to issue reports of gross account inflows and outflows directly to the IRS and any transaction breaking a $600 threshold. Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, brushed off the ire around the plan when taking part in an interview with CNBC.
“Right now, on every bank account that earns more than $10 a year in interest, the banks report the interest or into the IRS,” she stated. “That’s part of the information base that includes W2s and reports on dividends and other income that taxpayers have earned, so collection of information is routine.”
“It comes from places where the information on income is opaque and can be hidden,” she went on. “And a simple way for the IRS to get a sense of where that might be is just a few pieces of information about individuals’ bank accounts, nothing at the transaction level that would violate privacy, simply aggregate inflows into the account over the year and aggregate outflows. That would really help the IRS target their auditing resources.”
As expected, Patrick Hedger, the Taxpayers’ Protection Alliance Vice President of Policy, displayed his disdain for the policy: “The IRS is first and foremost a law enforcement agency and the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures in pursuit of looking for wrongdoing and criminal actions, so I think this is going to run into severe Fourth Amendment headwinds.”