The NCS Perspective on the new IRS redaction of transcript data.

By J. Cecil Bowman

About the New IRS Tax Transcript and the Customer File Number (CFN)

A new transcript format for the Income Verification Express Service (IVES) process will be implemented in January 2019. 
The IRS’ primary goal is to better protect taxpayer’s personal information from identity theft. 
The IRS’ primary goal is to better protect taxpayer’s personal information from identity theft. This new transcript partially masks the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of everyone listed on the tax return. PII is information used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity. All financial entries will remain fully visible to assist with income verification. 

The IRS is taking this action to better protect taxpayer data. Because of data breaches outside the tax system, cybercriminals often try to impersonate taxpayers and tax professionals. Thieves attempt to gain access to transcript data, which helps them file fraudulent tax returns or steal additional data of other individuals listed on the transcript. 

Here’s what will be visible on the transcript for IVES vendors beginning in January 2019: 
  • Last four digits of any Social Security Number (SSN) listed on the transcript: XXX-XX-1234 
  • Last four digits of any Employer Identification Number (EIN) listed on the transcript: XX-XXX1234 
  • Last four digits of any account or telephone number 
  • First four characters of the last name for any individual (first three characters if the last name has only four letters) 
  • First four characters of a business name 
  • First six characters of the street address, including spaces 
  • All money amounts- including wage and income, balance due, interest and penalties

Customer File Number (CFN) and the new Form 4506-T starting September 2018 

Because the full Social Security number is no longer visible, the IRS has created an entry for a Customer File Number (CFN). This is an optional 10-digit number that will be created by IVES vendors that allow us to match a transcript to a loan applicant/ taxpayer. 

The CFN field will appear on the transcript when that number is entered by IVES Vendor (like NCS) on Line 5b of the new Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return revised September 2018.

revised September 2018 IRS 4506T tax return application
revised 2018 IRS tax return application
The IRS IVES Vendor will assign any number (except the taxpayer’s Social Security Number) on line 5b of the Form 4506-T. Once received by the IVES Vendor, the transcript’s CFN serves as the tracking number to match the tax return verification report to the lender that submitted the Form 4506-T to the Vendor. 


If you want to comment on tax forms and publications, the IRS made an online form available where you can provide feedback. 



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 
Resource: IRS.gov

 Will I be able to tell if it's my information on the transcript? 
 Anyone with a need to know will be able to identify the person associated with the transcript. The SSN on a transcript will show the last four digits, an individual name will show the first four letters of the last name. --

My bank is requesting a transcript to verify my income, will the bank accept this new transcript? 
The new transcript has been socialized by the IRS with all our stakeholders, including the banking industry, that requires income verification for non-tax related purposes. Your bank should accept the new transcript to verify your income. -- 

Is there a new transcript for businesses? 
Currently, the new transcript is only for individual transcript products. -- 

Will this new format affect all transcripts? 
All individual transcript products will be in the new format.





ABOUT J. CECIL BOWMAN

J. Cecil Bowman, Senior Vice of Government & Industry Affairs at NCS, is an expert in developing strategies for IVES vendors, lenders, and servicers to leverage the IRS processes in how income verification data is obtained from the IRS. 


With 35 years leading many of the IRS IT initiatives as the IRS Information Technology Project Manager, he now leads NCS’ work with the IRS and the MBA to champion electronic improvements for the IRS form 4506-T.

Highlights:

  • An expert on IRS systems, infrastructure, programs, and processing 
  • Development and deployment of web-based,
self-service applications for customers 
  • IRS Income Verification Express Service (IVES) 
  • Internal Revenue Manuals 
  • Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 on disclosure

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