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Study: 20 Percent of Nonprofits Include SSNs on Public Docs

SSN PRIVACY—U.S.

April 12, 2012

A recent study has revealed that nearly one in five nonprofits publish Social Security numbers (SSNs) on public tax documents, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. Conducted by a security and privacy software company, the study analyzed more than three million tax returns--Form 990s--submitted between 2001 and 2006 and found that approximately 132,000 charities published at least one SSN on their tax forms, the report states. A majority of the SSNs belonged to donors, trustees, employees, directors and scholarship winners. The chief executive of the company that conducted the survey said, "Given the seriousness and ubiquity of identity fraud, tax preparers should avoid including" SSNs on Form 990s.
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