SSN ER: Progress on IRS Systems, Forms, Notices and Letters

The IRS's Social Security Number Elimination and Reduction (SSN ER) Program has made significant strides in eliminating or reducing the use of SSNs within our systems, forms, notices and letters where the collection or use of the SSN was not necessary. We met the OMB 07-16 mandate to complete a review of the use of SSNs in all IRS Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and non-FISMA systems. We also identified instances where the collection or use of the SSN was not necessary.

Full SSN not used on 47 million outgoing notices annually
We have masked the SSNs on 110 outgoing non-payment and four outgoing payment notices mailed to taxpayers. 47 million notices were sent to taxpayers in FY2016.

Full SSN not used on 2.3 million Automated Collection System letters
We masked SSNs on numerous taxpayer sensitive, collection and enforcement-related letters. SSNs were completely removed on 2.3 million collections notices in FY2016.

IRS Masked Social Security Number
A masked SSN is an alternative to using the complete SSN, IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or IRS Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN). The masked SSN displays only the last four digits of an individual’s identifying number and is shown in the format XXX-XX-1234 or ***-**-1234.

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