Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) Question Generation

SafeSend allows firms to use Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) questions to verify a taxpayer's identity before granting access to sensitive information. In certain cases, the IRS requires it. These questions come from an integration with LexisNexis, a global provider of legal, regulatory, and business analytics.

Do other companies besides SafeSend use KBA questions?

Yes. KBA questions are a standard industry practice frequently used by banks and other financial service companies. The data used to generate those questions comes from various public record sources including credit report agencies, rideshare services, and cellphone providers. LexisNexis pools its data from over 400 different sources.


SafeSend does not control which sources LexisNexis uses, nor can we change any questions or answers that are a part of the KBA process. Individuals must file a dispute with LexisNexis directly to correct any information. Visit the LexisNexis Risk Solutions Consumer Portal to learn how to request a copy of your identity report and how to raise a dispute.

When SafeSend displays KBA questions, does that affect a person's credit score?

No. While LexisNexis receives information from credit reporting agencies, they do not perform a credit pull. LexisNexis updates its databases frequently to get updated information from all of their sources. It is important to note that using KBA questions does not affect a taxpayer's credit score in any way.

What is the process to pass KBA Verification?

The taxpayer will be asked a series of 5 questions. They need to answer 3 out of 5 correctly. If they are unable to answer 3 out of 5 correctly another series of 5 questions will be presented. The taxpayer will have a total of 3 series of questions to answer 3 out of 5 correctly. If they fail all 3 series, SafeSend Returns will mandate the taxpayer to download the E-sign forms and manually sign per IRS guidelines. 

What are “Red Herring” KBA questions?

As an added level of security, LexisNexis uses what are called “Red Herring” questions. These are questions that are designed to trick any fraudulent attempts but which the legitimate taxpayer would recognize as nonsensical and answer none of the above. These questions are also added more frequently to those taxpayers who have a small number of public records. This is needed to generate enough questions to achieve 3 out of 5 correct answers.

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