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Masking Tax ID Numbers (TINs) on recipient forms

Masking (also called Truncating by the IRS) results in the 9 digit TIN being displayed as XXXXX1234, or XX-XXX1234, or XXX-XX-1234 for security. This is similar to the way credit card numbers are displayed as XXXX XXXX XXXX 1234 on your credit card receipt.

Finally the IRS has allowed Masking of all recipient Tax ID Numbers for security purposes. See this link for the final IRS regulations.

For example, if a payee's 1099 form is stolen from a mailbox, the payee's full number is not displayed. Just the right 4 digits are displayed, so the recipient knows this is his number. This protects the recipient/payee from identity theft and is the reason the IRS now allows Truncation/Masking of all Tax ID numbers. If the payee's identity is compromised or stolen due to your failure to Mask, then the payee may be able to hold you responsible for NOT using Truncation as allowed and recommended by the IRS.

Masking protects both personal Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and company Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) from disclosure. Masking is SET by default. 1099 Express will mask automatically where necessary. Masking can be stopped, but we do not recommended it. To stop masking click on the FILE menu, then PAGE SETUP, then choosing the Masking Tab.

Masking is automatically allowed on pre-printed forms Copy B, Copy 2, etc, but stopped on Copy A to the IRS. When filing to the IRS on paper forms, always be sure the full Tax ID number (all 9 digits) is shown. Of course, when your 1099s are e-Filed to the IRS, the full Tax ID (all 9 digits) are always present in the e-File, which is delivered to the secure IRS FIRE site.

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