CITES BY TOPIC:  Social Security Number (SSN)

PDF Why It is Illegal for Me to Request or Use a Taxpayer Identification Number, Form #04.205 (OFFSITE LINK)-attach this to any government form or application which requests either a Social Security Number or a Taxpayer Identification Number.  SEDM Forms Page


About SSNs and TINs on Government Forms and Correspondence-SEDM Forms Page


42 U.S.C. §408: Penalties

TITLE 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

CHAPTER 7 - SOCIAL SECURITY

SUBCHAPTER II - FEDERAL OLD-AGE, SURVIVORS, AND DISABILITY INSURANCE BENEFITS

Sec. 408. Penalties

(a) In general
Whoever -...

  • (8) discloses, uses, or compels the disclosure of the social security number of any person in violation of the laws of the United States; shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

PDF Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974-U.S. Dept. of Justice


26 U.S.C. 6109: Identifying Numbers

TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 61 > Subchapter B > 6109

6109. Identifying numbers

(a) Supplying of identifying numbers

When required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary:

(1) Inclusion in returns

Any person required under the authority of this title to make a return, statement, or other document shall include in such return, statement, or other document such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing proper identification of such person.

(2) Furnishing number to other persons

Any person with respect to whom a return, statement, or other document is required under the authority of this title to be made by another person or whose identifying number is required to be shown on a return of another person shall furnish to such other person such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing his proper identification.

(3) Furnishing number of another person

Any person required under the authority of this title to make a return, statement, or other document with respect to another person shall request from such other person, and shall include in any such return, statement, or other document, such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing proper identification of such other person.

(4) Furnishing identifying number of income tax return preparer

Any return or claim for refund prepared by an income tax return preparer shall bear such identifying number for securing proper identification of such preparer, his employer, or both, as may be prescribed. For purposes of this paragraph, the terms “return” and “claim for refund” have the respective meanings given to such terms by section 6696 (e).

For purposes of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), the identifying number of an individual (or his estate) shall be such individual’s social security account number.

(b) Limitation

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a return of any person with respect to his liability for tax, or any statement or other document in support thereof, shall not be considered for purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) as a return, statement, or other document with respect to another person.

(2) For purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a), a return of an estate or trust with respect to its liability for tax, and any statement or other document in support thereof, shall be considered as a return, statement, or other document with respect to each beneficiary of such estate or trust.

(c) Requirement of information

For purposes of this section, the Secretary is authorized to require such information as may be necessary to assign an identifying number to any person.

(d) Use of social security account number

The social security account number issued to an individual for purposes of section 205(c)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act shall, except as shall otherwise be specified under regulations of the Secretary, be used as the identifying number for such individual for purposes of this title.


26 C.F.R. 301.6109-1(d)(3):  Identifying Numbers

(3) IRS individual taxpayer identification number –

(i) Definition. The term IRS individual taxpayer identification number means a taxpayer identifying number issued to an alien individual by the Internal Revenue Service, upon application, for use in connection with filing requirements under this title. The term IRS individual taxpayer identification number does not refer to a social security number or an account number for use in employment for wages. For purposes of this section, the term alien individual means an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States.

26 C.F.R. §301.7701-11: Social Security Number

Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION
Definitions
301.7701-11   Social security number.

For purposes of this chapter, the term social security number means the taxpayer identifying number of an individual or estate which is assigned pursuant to section 6011(b) or corresponding provisions of prior law, or pursuant to section 6109, and in which nine digits are separated by hyphens as follows: 000-00-0000. Such term does not include a number with a letter as a suffix which is used to identify an auxiliary beneficiary under the social security program. The terms “account number” and “social security number” refer to the same number.

[T.D. 7306, 39 FR 9947, Mar. 15, 1974]


26 U.S.C. 6011:  General Requirement of Return, Statement, or List

TITLE 26 > Subtitle F > CHAPTER 61 > Subchapter A > PART II > Subpart A > 6011
6011. General requirement of return, statement, or list

(b) Identification of taxpayer

The Secretary is authorized to require such information with respect to persons subject to the taxes imposed by chapter 21 or chapter 24 as is necessary or helpful in securing proper identification of such persons.


20 C.F.R. §422.104: Who can be assigned a Social Security Number

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 20, Volume 2]
[Revised as of April 1, 2004]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 20CFR422.104]

[Page 1070]
 
                      TITLE 20--EMPLOYEES' BENEFITS
 
               CHAPTER III--SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
 
PART 422_ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES--Table of Contents
 
                      Subpart B_General Procedures
 
Sec. 422.104  Who can be assigned a social security number.

    (a) Persons eligible for SSN assignment. We can assign you a social security number if you meet the evidence requirements in Sec. 422.107 and you are:
    (1) A United States citizen; or
    (2) An alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence or under other authority of law permitting you to work in the United States (Sec. 422.105 describes how we determine if a nonimmigrant alien is permitted to work in the United States); or
    (3) An alien who cannot provide evidence of alien status showing lawful admission to the U.S., or an alien with evidence of lawful admission but without authority to work in the U.S., if the evidence described in Sec. 422.107(e) does not exist, but only for a valid nonwork reason. We consider you to have a valid nonwork reason if:
    (i) You need a social security number to satisfy a Federal statute or regulation that requires you to have a social security number in order to receive a Federally-funded benefit to which you have otherwise established entitlement and you reside either in or outside the U.S.; or
    (ii) You need a social security number to satisfy a State or local law that requires you to have a social security number in order to receive public assistance benefits to which you have otherwise established entitlement, and you are legally in the United States.
    (b) Annotation for a nonwork purpose. If we assign you a social security number as an alien for a nonwork purpose, we will indicate in our records that you are not authorized to work. We will also mark your social security card with a legend such as ``NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.'' If earnings are reported to us on your number, we will inform the Department of Homeland Security of the reported earnings.

[68 FR 55308, Sept. 25, 2003]
[[Page 1071]]


31 C.F.R. §306.10 General

Title 31: Money and Finance: Treasury
PART 306—GENERAL REGULATIONS GOVERNING U.S. SECURITIES
Subpart B—Registration
306.10 General

The registration used must express the actual ownership of a security and may not include any restriction on the authority of the owner to dispose of it in any manner, except as otherwise specifically provided in these regulations. The Treasury Department reserves the right to treat the registration as conclusive of ownership. Requests for registration should be clear, accurate, and complete, conform with one of the forms set forth in this subpart, and include appropriate taxpayer identifying numbers. 2 The registration of all bonds owned by the same person, organization, or fiduciary should be uniform with respect to the name of the owner and, in the case of a fiduciary, the description of the fiduciary capacity. Individual owners should be designated by the names by which they are ordinarily known or under which they do business, preferably including at least one full given name. The name of an individual may be preceded by any applicable title, as, for example, Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., or Rev., or followed by a designation such as M.D., D.D., Sr., or Jr. Any other similar suffix should be included when ordinarily used or when necessary to distinguish the owner from a member of his family. A married woman's own given name, not that of her husband, must be used, for example, Mrs. Mary A. Jones, not Mrs. Frank B. Jones. The address should include, where appropriate, the number and street, route, or any other local feature and the Zip Code.

2 Taxpayer identifying numbers are not required for foreign governments, nonresident aliens not engaged in trade or business within the United States, international organizations and foreign corporations not engaged in trade or business and not having an office or place of business or a financial or paying agent within the United States, and other persons or organizations as may be exempted from furnishing such numbers under regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.


Privacy Act, Public Law 93-579

Section 1 of Pub. L. 93-579, also known as the "Privacy Act of 1974," and Title 5 of United States Code Annotated 552 (a), also known as the "Privacy Act,":

"The right to privacy is a personal and fundamental right protected by the Constitution of the United States. You may maintain in your records only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose required by statute or by executive order of the President of the United States."

Section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974 specifically provides that it shall be unlawful for any Federal State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual's refusal to disclose his social security account number.

"Right of privacy is a personal right designed to protect persons from unwanted disclosure of personal information..." [CNA Financial Corp. v. Local 743 515 F. Supp. 942]

"In enacting Section 7 (Privacy Act of 1974), Congress sought to curtail the expanding use of social security numbers by federal and local agencies and, by so doing, to eliminate the threat to individual privacy and confidentiality of information posed by common numerical identifiers." [Doyle v. Wilson; 529 F. Supp. 1343]

"It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual's refusal to disclose his social security number."

[Doyle v. Wilson; 529 F. Supp. 1343]


Bowen v. Roy, 476 U.S. 693 (1986)

Our cases have long recognized a distinction between the freedom of individual belief, which is absolute, and the freedom of individual conduct, which is not absolute. This case implicates only the latter concern. Roy objects to the statutory requirement that state agencies "shall utilize" Social Security numbers not because it places any restriction on what he may believe or what he may do, but because he believes the use of the number may harm his daughter's spirit.

Never to our knowledge has the Court interpreted the First Amendment to require the Government itself to behave in ways that the individual believes will further his or her spiritual development or that of his or her family. The Free Exercise Clause simply cannot be understood to require the Government to conduct its own internal affairs in ways that comport with the religious beliefs of particular citizens. Just as the Government may not insist that appellees engage in [476 U.S. 693, 700]   any set form of religious observance, so appellees may not demand that the Government join in their chosen religious practices by refraining from using a number to identify their daughter. "[T]he Free Exercise Clause is written in terms of what the government cannot do to the individual, not in terms of what the individual can extract from the government." Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 412 (1963) (Douglas, J., concurring).

As a result, Roy may no more prevail on his religious objection to the Government's use of a Social Security number for his daughter than he could on a sincere religious objection to the size or color of the Government's filing cabinets. The Free Exercise Clause affords an individual protection from certain forms of governmental compulsion; it does not afford an individual a right to dictate the conduct of the Government's internal procedures.

[Bowen v. Roy, 476 U.S. 693 (1986)]


Social Security Website, Frequently Asked Questions:

Question:  How do I get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?

Answer:  Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) are assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), not the Social Security Administration. They are assigned to certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents. The ITIN is only available to individuals who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9", formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN). It may be used for Federal tax purposes only. It cannot be used to work.

If you are a non-citizen and have applied for a SSN, but are not eligible, you will receive a letter from SSA that explains why you are not eligible for a number. If you have a need for a Tax Identification Number, you will need to file form W-7 with the IRS to obtain an ITIN. For detailed information about who is eligible for an ITIN and how to file, see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf


PDF Sovereignty Forms and Instructions Manual, Section 3.8.2, version 1.20:

Internal Revenue Code Section 6109(a)(3) states:

Any person required under the authority of this title to make a return, statement or other document with respect to another person, shall request from such person, and include in any such return, statement or document, such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing proper identification of such person.

26 U.S.C. 6109(a)(3) (Supp. 1992)"

The IRS regulation interpreting section 6109 provides:

"If he does not know the taxpayer identifying number of the other person, he shall request such number of the other person. A request should state that the identifying number is required to be furnished under the law. When the person filing the return, statement, or other document does not know the number of the other person, and has complied with the request provision of this paragraph, he shall sign an affidavit on the transmittal document forwarding such returns, statements, or other documents to the Internal Revenue Service so stating.."

Treas. Reg. 301.6109-1(c ) (1991)

However, Internal Revenue Code Section 6724, 26 USC 6724 (Supp. 1992), provides for a waiver of any penalties assessed under this code section upon a showing of reasonable cause. Section 6724(a) provides:

No penalty shall be imposed under this part with respect to any failure if it is shown that such failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.

26 U.S.C. 6724(a) (Supp. 1992)


Social Security Administration: Frequently Asked Questions:

Question:  What happens if I use someone else's Social Security number rather than my own?

Answer:  Misuse of another individual's SSN is a violation of Federal law and may lead to fines and/or imprisonment and disregarding the work authorization provisions printed on your Social Security card may be a violation of Federal immigration law. Violations of applicable law regarding Social Security Number fraud and misuse are serious crimes and will be prosecuted.

The following provisions of law deal directly with Social Security number fraud and misuse:

  • Social Security Act: In December 1981, Congress passed a bill to amend the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981 to restore minimum benefits under the Social Security Act. In addition, the Act made it a felony to

…willfully, knowingly, and with intent to deceive the Commissioner of Social Security as to his true identity (or the true identity of any other person) furnishes or causes to be furnished false information to the Commissioner of Social Security with respect to any information required by the Commissioner of Social Security in connection with the establishment and maintenance of the records provided for in section 405(c)(2) of this title.

Violators of this provision, Section 208(a)(6) of the Social Security Act, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

  • Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act: In October 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (Public Law 105-318) to address the problem of identity theft. Specifically, the Act made it a Federal crime when anyone
    …knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law.

Violations of the Act are investigated by Federal investigative agencies such as the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by the Department of Justice.


Social Security Website: Identity theft

QUESTION:  I believe that someone else is using my Social Security Number. What do I do?

ANSWER:  Sometimes more than one person might use the same Social Security number (SSN), either on purpose or by accident. If you suspect that someone else is using your SSN for work or some other purpose, or you have received notice from the Internal Revenue Service of unreported taxable income that is not yours, you should report the problem to the Social Security Administration by calling 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives will take action to ensure that your Social Security records are correct.

You can check your earnings record by calling our 800 number and asking for a Form SSA-7004, Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement. The Statement will show the earnings reported to your Social Security number each year since 1951. If the information on your earnings record is incorrect, we will help correct it. Also, you may download the form or make your request online.

You can make an online request on our Web site at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/statement/

You may download Form SSA-7004 from our Web site at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-7004.html

Other helpful publications on SSA's web site are:

SSA Publication No. 05-10064, "When Someone Misuses Your Social Security Number, at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10064.html.
SSA Publication No. 05-10002, "Social Security: Your Number and Card", at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html.

The Federal Trade Commission also makes available on its web site the publication: "Identity Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name", at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/idtheft.htm.

What actions should I take if I think I might be a victim of identity theft?

If you think your identity has been stolen, Social Security cannot straighten out your credit record. However, we suggest that you take the following steps to straighten out your personal records:


1. Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338) or http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft. Congress has directed the FTC to establish a centralized database to receive all allegations of identity theft and to provide victims with information to help resolve problems with identity theft.

2. File a report with the local police or the police department where the identity theft took place, and get a copy of the police report as proof of the crime.

3. Contact the fraud unit of any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus:

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; or Internet: http://www.equifax.com
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289; or Internet: http://www.transunion.com/
Experian Fraud Unit: 1-888-397-3742; or Internet: http://www.experian.com

You should:
Identify yourself as an identity theft victim.
Request that fraud alerts be placed on your credit record.  The fraud alert requests creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. As soon as the credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will be automatically notified to place fraud alerts, and all three credit reports will be sent to you free of charge.

4. .  Close the credit accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.