New user verification for IRS online accounts to be required by mid-2022

By Paul Bonner

Taxpayers and tax professionals with accounts for certain IRS online tools and portals will need to reverify their identity in a new account creation and sign-in process the IRS announced Wednesday (News Release IR-2021-228).

The process, using a third-party technology provider, ID.me, is available for new accounts and conversion of existing ones. Current account holders may continue to use their username and password under the existing authentication process for now but must change over to ID.me starting sometime in summer 2022, the IRS advised. When they sign in, they are prompted to create an ID.me account "as soon as possible."

Users who already have an ID.me account, which has been available for use with the IRS's Child Tax Credit Update Portal and certain other government agencies, may use it to access all IRS services for which it is now available. Besides the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, those include:

In addition, the IRS has integrated the new process into some online resources used by tax professionals, including those used to request powers of attorney or tax information authorizations online, such as Tax Pro Account and Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online.

Creating an ID.me account requires users to verify their identities with a government-issued ID such as a driver's license, state ID, or passport, according to an instruction video linked to from the company's support website. Users will also need access to an email account and a mobile or landline phone and will have to upload a "selfie" photo using a cellphone or computer webcam. If ID.me is unable to verify a user's ID in that way, the user will be prompted to join a video call with a "trusted referee" to complete the process.

Paul Bonner (Paul.Bonner@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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