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Originally Published: Feb 07, 2022
Originally Published: Feb 07, 2022 Last Updated: Feb 07, 2022 6 min read
A woman sits on a desk working on her laptop while the IRS logo is in the background
Money; Getty Images

[UPDATE: On the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 7, the IRS announced it will transition away from using third-party verification involving facial recognition. "The transition will occur over the coming weeks in order to prevent larger disruptions to taxpayers during filing season," the agency said via a press release.]

The IRS is facing widespread backlash right now — and no, it's not because of the agency's backlog of tax returns.

The latest criticism is over the IRS's use of facial recognition software, which has drawn the attention of lawmakers and privacy advocates, among others.

Starting this summer, Americans who want access to certain records via the IRS website, like information about child tax credits and payment plans, will need to use a new sign-in and identity verification system that includes taking a video selfie.

The IRS is using ID.me, a third-party technology company that provides online identity verification. People who already have accounts with the IRS can continue to use their existing credentials until this summer, but are being "prompted to create an ID.me account as soon as possible," according to a statement the IRS issued in November.