IRS finalizes use of truncated TINs on Forms W-2

Tax Hot Topics newsletterTreasury and the IRS finalized regulations (TD 9861) under Section 6109 regarding the use of truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs) on various information returns, including Forms W-2.

A TTIN is a Social Security number (SSN), an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), an IRS adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), or an employer identification number (EIN) in which the first five digits of the nine-digit number are replaced by X’s or asterisks. A filer may not use a TTIN for any filing with the IRS, but may use a TTIN for “any statement or other document that the internal revenue laws require to be furnished to another person.”

The final regulations, which are substantially similar to proposed regulations issued in 2017, provide guidance on the use of TTINs on Forms W-2 for various kinds of compensation reporting, and clarify that TTINs may not be used on a statement or document if IRS guidance, including a form or instructions to a form, specifically requires use of an SSN, ITIN, ATIN, or EIN and does not state that a TIN may be truncated.  The regulations provide the example of Forms W-8ECI and W-8IMY as forms with instructions that specifically require the use of an SSN, EIN or ITIN.

The final regulations also expand the prohibition of the use of a TTIN to include not just returns, statements or other documents filed with the IRS, but also those required to be filed with or furnished to the Social Security Administration.

The effective date of the final rules is for returns, statements, and other documents required to be filed after Dec. 31, 2020.
David Auclair
National Managing Principal
Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 521 1515

Shamik Trivedi
Senior Manager
Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 521 1511
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