470,000 SSNs on nonprofits’ tax returns, opening donors
Yet another way that your SS# may be floating around on the net in a place that you have never suspected. When will this madness end?
Donors Beware: Social Security Numbers Exposed by Charities
Identity Finder’s report analyzed sensitive information, such as SSNs, contained in nearly 3 million IRS Form 990 tax returns, which tax-exempt organizations file each year.
Social Security numbers are not required on the form, but Identity Finder found that 132,362 charitable groups published 472,866 SSNs—171,005 of them unique.
Between 2001 and 2006, more than 18% of all nonprofits or their tax preparers published at least one SSN on their public tax return. In all, 287,238 Form 990 returns contained at least one SSN.
Identity Finder noted in a statement that all Form 990s are “open to public inspection” and are regularly published by the IRS and multiple third parties.
It found that at least 35% of the total SSNs belonged to tax preparers who identified themselves by their SSN instead of preparer tax identification number.
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