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If you can take a selfie, you can protect your state tax refund

Alabama is leading the way with a program that ensures your refund ends up in your wallet and not someone else's.


Tax season is here, and many people want to ensure their refund gets to them on time. Alabama is leading the way with a program that ensures your refund ends up in your wallet and not someone else's.

The app is called Alabama E-ID. Once you download the app, you take a picture of your driver's license or state ID card. You then take a selfie within the app, which is then compared to the photo used on your driver's license picture. Once you take the selfie, your E-ID is activated. From there, you register your E-ID with the state department of revenue.

To register the E-ID

  • Visit My Alabama Taxes portal on the computer
  • Click "Register your Alabama E-ID"
  • A code will appear, which you will then scan with the Alabama E-ID App

Once your E-ID is registered with the department of revenue, you will receive notifications when a return is filed in your name that you can either approve or deny.

Mark DiFraia, the Vice President of Digital Identity Products for IDEMIA, the company that developed the app, said tax refund fraud is one of the biggest fraud areas facing the government today. He said the app can help get your state refund quicker, adding that it is much safer than other methods.

"Your identity is the key," DiFraia said. "In this age where we're all afraid of losing things like our tax refunds to fraudsters, instead of trying to beat them to the punch and file your taxes faster than them, instead we're using the power of your identity to make sure you have the ability to control the process."

The app is free to use, and can only be used for state refunds.

"These tools are actually overdue," DiFraia said. "We right now have lots of tools that allow us to text or do something else that in some cases give the illusion of a lot of security, but very few times do we have a tool in our hands that is rooted in a trustworthy identity proofing that we really know that the person holding the device is who they claim to be."


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