Tax Season

The IRS will start requiring your selfies beginning this summer

Anyone hoping to access their tax records via the IRS will soon need to provide a video selfie, among many other things.


U.S. taxpayers are going to need an account if they ever need or want to access their records via the Internal Revenue Service website beginning this summer. Unfortunately for many, creating a login for the popular online identity verification system could quickly become a massive headache given the intricate multi-step (emphasis on multi) signup process.

Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security recently walked readers through the entire procedure, and good Lord are we not looking forward to eventually doing the same. Steps include multi-factor authentication (MFA) setups, uploads of documents such as your driver’s license or passport, phone number confirmation, and a “live selfie,” among other things. And God help you if you screw any of that up accidentally.

For Krebs, it resulted in even more official documentation uploads, and even a *shudder* live video call with an representative to confirm his authenticity. At one point, his estimated wait time for the Zoom meeting from Hell was around 3.5 hours... Yeah.

Steel yourselves now, taxpayers.

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to loathe you.Zach Gibson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Keeping up with the times — As much of a pain in the ass this will inevitably be for countless Americans, you can’t wholly blame the IRS for going to relatively extreme lengths for the sake of security and privacy. After all, it was only 5 years ago that the Internal Revenue Service’s partnership with Equifax suffered a massive data hack that saw the Social Security numbers, personal info, and financial records stolen from 148 million citizens. Can’t blame the IRS for being a bit paranoid after that one.

Still don’t feel great about it — Of course, that much personal data and information centralized within a third-party company still doesn’t make us feel all that jazzed about the whole thing. We’re honestly not sure if there were any feasible alternatives for the IRS, but regardless, it really just speaks to where we are in terms of online privacy (and the bad actors’ ability to compromise it).