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What are we doing to protect taxpayer privacy?

The IRS' Social Security Number Elimination and Reduction Program

Protecting sensitive data entrusted to us by taxpayers is a top priority of ours. We believe it is vital to maintaining public trust in the tax administration system.

In an effort to protect citizens from identity theft, the U.S. Government is working to identify ways to authenticate taxpayers without the full use of their Social Security number. In May of 2007, the Office of Management and Budget, issued Memorandum M-07-16: Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information. The memorandum requires all federal agencies to take steps to eliminate or reduce the use of SSNs in order to protect citizens from identity theft.

In response to the requirement, we have made significant strides in eliminating or reducing the use of SSNs within IRS systems, forms, notices and letters.

 


IRS Strategies to reduce the use of Social Security numbers

Progress on IRS systems, forms, notices and letters
We have made significant strides in eliminating or reducing the use of SSNs within our systems, notices, forms and letters where the collection or use of the SSN was not necessary.

Collaborations with other federal and state agencies
To incorporate best practices into our SSN elimination and reduction program and to share progress on mitigation strategies, we are engaged with other federal and state government agencies.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 08-Apr-2014