The Internal Revenue Service advises taxpayers on its website to only give out their Social Security Numbers (SSN) when “absolutely necessary.” Yet the IRS has proposed a rule that would encourage nonprofits to ask donors to give out their SSNs and report them along with the amount of donations to the IRS.

The proposed regulations would permit, but not require, charitable nonprofits to file a separate new information return with the IRS by February 28 every year (in addition to their Form 990 information return) to substantiate contributions of more than $250 in value. Nonprofits taking this option would also be required by that date to provide a copy to each donor listed (but only the portion that contains “information related to that donor”).

HANO and the National Council of Nonprofits believe the proposed voluntary reporting system is inappropriate because the process could impose significant costs and burdens on nonprofit organizations, would create public confusion and disincentives for donors to support the work of nonprofits, and could lead fraudulent actors to increase targeting donors and reputable nonprofit organizations. A similar mandatory proposal was considered and rejected in the past based on numerous legal, policy, and confidentiality problems it raised.


Send your comments to the IRS to express your concerns about the new proposed regulations. Comments must be received by December 16, 2015. To learn more, visit the National Council of Nonprofits website:

  • Click HERE for the National Council of Nonprofit’s four-page analysis of this issue.
  • Click HERE for more details on what you can do to take action.
  • Click HERE for sample comments and information on how to submit your comments.

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