Truncated Taxpayer Identification Numbers Allowed on 2020 Forms W-2

As part of its efforts to reduce the risk of identity theft, the IRS has now issued final regulations allowing employers to truncate employees’ identification numbers on the W-2 statements provided to them on paper or in electronic format after December 31, 2020.

Truncated social security numbers have been allowed on certain payee statements for several years, including:

  • Substitute and composite substitute statements
  • Form 1095-C
  • Form 1098 series (except Form 1098-C)
  • Form 1099 series
  • Form 5498 series

Employers may replace the first five digits of the nine-digit number with an asterisk (*) or X for the following types of identification numbers:

  • Payee’s Social Security number (SSN)
  • Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
  • Employer identification number (EIN)

All forms filed by the employer with the IRS, Social Security Administration, or with state or local governments should include the entire identification number and cannot be truncated.  Employers cannot truncate their own identification number.