The IRS has adopted final regulations allowing the use of a truncated taxpayer identification number (TTIN) on payee statements and certain other documents instead of a taxpayer’s Social Security number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), or employer identification number (EIN). The TTIN displays only the last four digits of a taxpayer identifying number, replacing the first five digits with asterisks or Xs. The final regulations affect persons that furnish or receive required payee statements and other documents.
The goal of the regulations is to reduce the risk of identity theft that may stem from including a taxpayer’s entire identifying number on a payee statement or other document. The final regulations follow a TTIN pilot program in 2009 and 2010 and an extended pilot program in 2011 and 2012.
The final regulations permit use of a TTIN on any federal tax-related payee statement or other document required to be furnished to another person unless prohibited by the tax code, regulations, or other IRS guidance. However, a person may not truncate its own taxpayer identification number on any document that person furnishes to another person. For example, an employer cannot use a TTIN in place of its EIN on a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that the employer furnishes to an employee. Another example is that a person may not use a TTIN in place of its TIN on a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. (T.D. 9675, July 14, 2014.)
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