Do you avoid printing your driver’s license or Social Security number on personal checks?

Makes sense doesn’t it, but many of us do once a year. Do you pay the IRS by check if you owe money? Do you pay your quarterly estimated taxes by check? Our friends at the United States Department of the Treasury require you to write your Social Security number on your check. And they are trying to figure out why there’s been a five-fold increase in identity theft of tax refunds from 2008 to 2010. “IRS identity theft sees 5-fold increase”

The federal government passed a law – Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – mandating only the last four numbers of your credit card number can be printed on your receipt. Your statement only has the last four numbers on it. They only want the last four numbers written on your check.

Every piece of correspondence to and from the IRS has your complete Social Security number printed all over it … and they cannot figure out the problem.

Companies and institutions can no longer use your Social Security number as your account number. Even the defense department has stopped printing Social Security numbers on new military IDs. (See previous post.)

It is time that the IRS issued a new account number and followed the same procedures that everyone else is required to follow.

Contact your representatives in Washington. Tell them to make the IRS follow the rules like everyone else.

In the mean time – file and pay online and avoid paper copies of tax forms.

About Bruce Demarest

Bruce Demarest is a Identity Theft Protection Specialist. He has designed and taught classes to educate individuals and businesses in identity theft risk management. The individuals have learned how to continuously monitor their financial identities from credit fraud, plus how to monitor their personal identifying information for unauthorized use. His business clients have become compliant with the federal & state privacy laws. He has conducted information security audits to identify their potential problems and has designed security policies, programs, and practices to address those problem areas.
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