On the Policy, Practice & Procedures page of their website, the IRS addresses the public’s concern regarding Social Security numbers on checks:
“Complete Social Security Numbers (SSN) on Checks or Money Orders Remitted to IRS
Issue: Tax Professionals and clients have concerns about taxpayers putting their full SSN on checks remitted to IRS in payment of a balance due. Page 74 of the Form 1040 instructions directs taxpayers to put their full SSN on checks.
Response: The SSN Elimination and Reduction program is presently working on mid-to-long-term solutions to address the use of SSNs on checks remitted to IRS in payment of a balance due. To ensure payments are posted to the correct account, we encourage taxpayers to include their SSNs on checks and money orders submitted to the IRS. IRS processes millions of returns and payments each year, including many from taxpayers with the same or similar names. If you are concerned about providing the SSN, you may consider using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. EFTPS is a secure alternative to mailing a check.”
Essentially, if you want to be sure that you’re properly credited for any money paid to the IRS, and avoid being labeled a tax evader, you don’t have much of a choice about including your Social Security number on checks and money orders.
The IRS sent 201 million notices to taxpayers during the fiscal year 2009, and most of those mailings included Social Security numbers. Social Security numbers may also appear in more than 500 computers systems and 6,000 internal and external forms. According to the Treasury Department Inspector General, “this is because Social Security numbers are used to associate correspondence and documents with taxpayer accounts.”
The IRS is currently in the process of reviewing their current reliance on Social Security numbers as primary account numbers for all citizens. Some have suggested that we may eventually switch to barcodes, but if this transition ever does take place, it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
At present, the IRS, along with many other government agencies and corporations, relies on Social Security numbers and will do so for years to come. This continued reliance will inevitably result in additional data breaches and therefore, more stolen identities.
Identity theft can happen to anyone. McAfee Identity Protection offers proactive identity surveillance, lost wallet protection, and alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your accounts. McAfee Identity Protection puts victims first, providing live access to fraud resolution agents who work with victims to help restore their identities. For additional tips, please visit http://www.counteridentitytheft.com.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- One In Seven Social Security Numbers Are Shared
More than 20 million Americans have multiple Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with their name in commercial records according to a new study announced in December from ID Analytics, Inc. The study found that rather than serving as a unique identifier, more than 40 million SSNs are associated with multiple people. 6.1 percent of Americans have at
- Military Members Face Identity Theft Threat
Service men and women face an elevated level of identity theft due to the ubiquitous use of the Social Security number (SSN) both here and abroad. Military personnel use their SSNs for a variety of reasons every day from everything including on various forms, IDs, access to facilities, and in Iraq they have it painted on
- Social Security Numbers Easily Cracked
It is easier than ever to guess or predict an individual’s Social Security number, which puts us all at a greater risk for identity theft. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a reliable method for predicting Social Security numbers, using information from social networking sites, data brokers, voter registration lists, online white pages, and the
- Mobile Payment is Coming
Near Field Communications, or NFC, is the exchange of information between two devices via wireless signal. For example, a wireless signal emitting from your cell phone can act as a credit card when making a purchase. This year, over 70 million mobile phones will be manufactured and sold with NFC built in. NFC can be used in
- Mobile Payment Set to Dramatically Increase
Mobile payments generally involve three participants: the mobile device, the merchant, and a financial service provider or trusted third party. That trusted third party, or TTP, is an established, reputable fiduciary entity accepted by all parties to an agreement, deal, or transaction. A TTP authenticates and authorizes users in order to secure a payment transaction, and
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.