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I would like IRS 6-digit pin.

I do not accept the terms & conditions of ID.ME.

If I visit IRS branch, and obtain IRS 6-digit pin, they will not enter me into ID.ME system, correct?

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  • Hard to say; it's possible they'll input it into ID.me for you if they still rely on them for all verifications. Read any disclosures or paperwork, especially ones requiring signatures, they give you during the process.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 4 at 14:55
  • @ceejayoz ID.Me is not an IRS system; it's a company that provides this service for lots of companies. Not something the IRS could do without your knowledge.
    – Joe
    Jan 4 at 19:10
  • @Joe irs.gov/credits-deductions/… "If you are a new user, you must create an ID.me account at the IRS and verify your identity. ID.me is a trusted credential service provider selected to support IRS.gov login services."
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 4 at 19:13
  • @Joe ID.me also has APIs for identity/document verification the IRS and other organizations can utilize directly; you don't have to utilize their login tooling. It's possible they have a "validate this document" internal tool that utilizes it.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 4 at 19:16
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    @ceejayoz That's not how id.me would work - they really do need the user to actually sign up. The whole point of id.me is that the user creates an online account, possession of which confirms that the user is the person they say they are. You have to create a password, all that stuff, it would be really obvious if they tried to have you do it. Not that you shouldn't be careful about what you sign, but the IRS will not be signing them up - that's why they offer the in person option.
    – Joe
    Jan 4 at 19:41
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TLDR: Beware of commercial sites pretending to be your only path to a government benefit or service. Only trust sites ending in .GOV (or national government domain).

If you don't want TurboTax having your identity and income data, don't use TurboTax.

If you don't want H&R Block having your PII, etc. etc.

You don't need any of those companies.

ID.Me is just more of that.

ID.me (formerly TroopSwap and Troop ID) is an American online identity network that allows people to prove their legal identity online. Their users can use that digital credential to access government services, healthcare logins, or discounts from retail brands.

There are 1000 private companies trying to insert themselves between you and the IRS... or the state DMV, or the Social Security Administration, or unemployment. Any web search for a government site will be chock full of ads/pages from these commercial companies. Aside from selling you the service, they also want to monetize that personal information you gave them. Creepy, but most people submit, sometimes unknowingly. You can't e-"file" any other way, for instance, but you can paper file.

However, they can't deny your right to a benefit or due process, on condition of you signing a private company's EULA. So in all those cases, it must be set up like this:

  • There is a direct way to do that thing (e.g. paper file with the IRS or call the IRS directly). The private company is an optional path you may choose if you wish.
  • The 3rd party company is the mandatory way to get the benefit or service you are entitled to, BUT the company cannot make you sign any additional terms or conditions to get your entitlement. (However they will certainly try hard to entice or manipulate you into signing up for optional things; and they can impose T&C on those.)
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ID.Me is a service you would have to explicitly sign up for - it's not something the IRS controls, and would not be able to "enter you into". It's billed as an alternative to showing your government issued ID to an agency, as you show it to ID.Me and confirm various other details with them. It requires several steps that can only be done by you and with your knowledge.

For the Child Tax Credit (the first service this became relevant for), they do offer alternatives; one is to call the number on the advance notice letter. See this Forbes article which goes into some depth on the topic.

For the IP PIN, you are correct that you will have to visit an IRS branch if you don't want to use the online service (with ID.Me). (In fact, at this point you must do that, as the IP PIN online service is unavailable through approximately the end of January each year). ID.Me is not needed in that case, as you are providing the in person representative with government issued identification superior to that of the online service.

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