New format will help protect taxpayer identifying information
On Aug. 22, 2018, the IRS announced that it would reformat individual taxpayer transcripts to redact personally identifiable information from the Form 1040 series of tax transcripts. On the FAQ page about the new transcript format, the IRS stated that there would be no change to business taxpayers’ transcripts.
The new transcript format will become the default formt beginning on Sep. 23, 2018 for trascripts available via Get Transcript Online, Get Transcript by Mail or the Transcript Delivery System for tax professionals. The new format will not show certain information that the IRS believes could be used to identify a taxpayer. The transcript will show information in the following ways:
- Last 4 digits of any SSN listed on the transcript: XXX-XX-1234,
- Last 4 digits of any EIN listed on the transcript: XX-XXX-1234,
- Last 4 digits of any account or telephone number,
- First 4 characters of the last name for any individual,
- First 4 characters of a business name,
- First 6 characters of the street address, including spaces, and
- All money amounts, including balance due, interest and penalties.
The IRS is making the format change as part of its ongoing efforts to combat identify theft from taxpayer information that is frequently used by criminals to obtain fraudulent tax refunds. As stated by Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, the IRS believes the transcript change will “better protect taxpayer data from unauthorized disclosure and theft.“
The Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, will be updated with line 5b to allow third parties who request numerous transcripts the ability to assign a Customer File Number allow the third party the ability to match the transcript to the individual. That number can be any 10-digit number, other that the taxpayer’s social security number.
An example of the new transcript format is available for viewing.