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Changes to how we use social security numbers

What we're doing

Beginning in January 2006 and continuing throughout the year, we'll modify the majority of letters we send to taxpayers. Most letters will no longer display a social security or tax identification number. Instead, we'll identify taxpayers using a unique ten-digit account number. We'll complete the modification process by January 1, 2007.

Why we're doing it

We're adopting this change as part of our effort to protect personal or business entity income tax information.

What this means for FTB and taxpayers

Senate Bill 25, chaptered in October 2003, mandates that we no longer print social security numbers on most materials we mail directly to taxpayers.

There are some exceptions. For example, the bill still allows us to:

  • Print a social security number on documents we use to verify the accuracy of a taxpayer's social security number.
  • Use a taxpayer's social security number when we contact third parties for such things as garnishments and levies.

The bill does not prohibit taxpayers from using their own social security numbers on their tax returns. In fact, taxpayers must still do so.

Contact information

Taxpayers can check their tax account at

Or call us:

  • 800.852.5711 (within the United States)
  • 916.845.6500 (outside the United States)

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