IRS drops photo upload requirement, but Florida keeps requirement

The IRS tried to require you to upload a selfie in order to access your tax documents.

IRS building

After backlash, they lifted the requirement, but Florida kept it in place.


Five items to buy at Dollar General this week

Required selfies

The IRS was trying to require taxpayers to upload a selfie in order to obtain online access. The selfies were intended to be an identity verification factor. Selfies would then be compared to government issued ID’s. Even though they would be deleted after ID.me finished the verification process, there was still backlash. Read more about it here.

Florida however, has decided to keep the security feature. The state is contracted wit ID.me and uses it to verify the identities of unemployment benefit applicants.

The use of ID.me hasn’t gone over well with privacy advocates or many members of The House of Representatives. In fact, they have announced an investigation on ID.me about their retention policies.

Many critics are questioning how Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity still has the requirement but IRS taxpayers can opt out.

Rather than ending the requirement, a second identity verification firm has been hired. This firm collects selfies from a percentage of applicants for pandemic-related mortgage and utility assistance.

Some officials say that no government entity should be using facial recognition technology. However, there are also claims that ID.me has been successful in stopping fraudulent claims.

In states that do have ID.me contracts, most do not require the program to automatically delete the selfies. Florida is one of those states.


Scam: Scammers using caller ID as utility company