IRS Removes Social Security Number from Some Notices But…

The IRS has begun removing social security numbers from some IRS notices in the header (leaving just the last four digits, such as xxx-xx-1234). The reason for this is the problem of identity theft. And I give kudos to the IRS for this. Unfortunately, the IRS hasn’t executed this that well.

Today I opened an IRS notice that was sent to a client. The good: The social security number in the header had only the last four digits. The bad: Right below the header the IRS put in a bar code–presumably to make processing of the return mail easier. Below the bar code in relatively small print (but easily readable by me, and I wear glasses) was the deciphering of the code. Of course, it contained the social security number.

My helpful hint to the IRS: It does no good to remove the social security number from the header and then add it right below the bar code. Identity thieves can read it there, too.


2 Responses to “IRS Removes Social Security Number from Some Notices But…”

  1. […] Russ Fox, IRS Removes Social Security Number from Some Notices But…: […]

  2. […] There’s not much to add to this. The IRS needs to act on this as they are a far larger source of identity theft than tax professionals. I state that as I open up an IRS letter and an IRS notice to clients that both contain their social security numbers. And there was the IRS notice which didn’t have the full social security number but put the number within a bar code instead…. […]