By Mark Castro, CPA
Updated February 22, 2022
On February 22, 2022, the IRS announced they have included a new option for individuals to use to authenticate themselves when setting up their individual IRS Online Account. An individual will now be able to choose to verify their identity using a live, virtual interview with an ID.me agent.
Individuals will continue to have the option to verify their identity by the use of biometric verification which will include taking a selfie of themselves and submitting it to ID.me. If this option is selected the selfie image that is provided will be deleted after their identity has been verified and the account has been created. Any individual who previously signed up for an online account using biometric verification will have any images also deleted over the coming weeks.
An additional option for an individual to authenticate themselves will be introduced later this year which will use Login.Gov as the authentication tool.
See the IRS Statement of February 21 for more information.
It is important that preparers encourage their tax clients to go through the updated identity verification process and set up their IRS Online Account for the upcoming filing season.
Any taxpayer who received advance child tax credit payments during the last half of 2021 and/or received an Economic Impact (stimulus) Payment (EIP) will need the total amount of both of these payments in order to accurately complete their 2021 federal return. If these amounts are not entered correctly on the return and the calculated credit is therefore not correct, the processing of the return will be delayed.
Even though the IRS is providing the total advance child tax credit payments to the taxpayer via Letter 6419 and for the EIP via Letter 6475 some of your tax clients may have misplaced these letters or forgot to bring them when they come to you prepare their 2021 returns.
If your tax client has already set up their IRS Online Account before they come to you to file their federal taxes, you will be able to access this information by having them log-in to their account. The EIP payment information is available in their online account and the information on their advance child tax credit payments is available via a link in their account to the Child Tax Credit Update portal.
To create their online account, an individual will go to View Your Account on the IRS website and select Log-in to your Online Account.
In order to access their account information, the individual will need the following to verify their identity:
Once they have these items they will select “Create an account with ID.me” on the IRS Online Account Sign in page and will do the following:
For a more detailed explanation see IRS – How do I verify my identity for the IRS? page on the ID.me website.
The new IRS authentication process makes it easier for individuals to complete the process through the expanded use of identity documents and increased help desk assistance for individuals who encounter any problems when attempting to verify their identity.
In addition to being able to view their EIP payment amount and get access to their Advance Child Tax Credit payment information, individuals can also view the following while in their IRS online account:
Once they have went through the verification process when setting up their Online Account the taxpayer will have access to other IRS online tools such as:
For more information on the IRS Online Account, see the following: