By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
IRS final regulations allow employers to voluntarily truncate employees’ social security numbers (SSNs) on copies of Forms W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) furnished to employees. The truncated SSNs appear on the forms as IRS truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs). The regulations also clarify and provide an example of how the truncation rules apply to Forms W-2.
The final regulations permit employers to truncate employees’ SSNs on copies of Forms W-2 furnished to employees to report, among other things, wages paid, employment taxes withheld, and wages paid in the form of group-term life insurance. The regulations do not apply to any other forms. Also, truncation is not mandatory; the regulations permit truncation but do not require it.
Under the general truncation rules, a TTIN cannot be used on a statement or document if a statute, regulation, other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, form, or instructions specifically requires use of an SSN, IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), IRS adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), or IRS employer identification number (EIN), and does not specifically permit truncation. For instance, an employer cannot truncate an employee’s SSN to appear as a TTIN on copies of Forms W-2 filed with the Social Security Administration.
The IRS intends to incorporate the revised regulations into forms and instructions.
Effective/applicability dates. The final regulations are effective on July 3, 2019, but the dates when they apply vary. The regulations will apply to returns, statements, and other documents required to be filed or furnished after December 31, 2020, except for IRS Reg. §31.6051-2, as amended, which will apply as of July 3, 2019.
SOURCE: T.D. 9861.
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