E-mail verification, still a necessary evil?

It’s tax time in the United States. Many have already submitted our taxes, some are working on them, and others waiting.

Here’s my e-mail inbox for one of the e-mail accounts that I maintain:


Seeing that, you’d probably think that I’ve been working on my taxes and submitted them …. Well, nope. We haven’t started yet. However, someone named Nicole did work on and successfully complete her taxes yesterday (and congratulations Nicole, the return was accepted!).

Until we move to a more universal form of online identification, like Open ID, a Facebook account, Windows Live, etc., is there a better way? My paranoid side says though that I would be uncomfortable linking my financial accounts, my tax returns, my healthcare records, to a common “social” account, but when I skip making that link, I’m back to needing e-mail verification. Would you make that link and use a common account?

By the way, H&R Block did not send an e-mail verification to my e-mail account for Nicole.

I did try to find a reasonable way to contact H&R Block to notify them of the issue, but they seemed to want every piece of personal information about me just to hear my contact that I decided not to:


And there appears to be no way to contact them about their web site – so it wasn’t clear that giving out this information was going to actually help Nicole.

Sorry Nicole.