On SSN Overuse: Fight the Power!

by on October 18, 2007 · 2 comments

I’ve documented a couple of times my frustration with organizations that try to collect a Social Security Number for payments that don’t require it. The IRS does not require reporting of expense reimbursements, which are not income, and income of under $600 (total in a year) is also not subject to reporting. Small payments and reimbursements do not require an SSN.

I’m happy to report that a multinational media conglomerate that initially refused to reimburse my travel expenses for a conference at which I spoke has relented. They reimbursed my travel expenses without collecting my SSN.

It took a lot of patience. I had to speak to three or four different people in the organization, each of whom believed that their corporate policy should naturally trump my personal policy. But I suspect that my persistence and courtesy caused someone to pick up the phone to someone else and say, “Oh, just pay him, will ya’?”

This kind of thing is a good exercise because the next person will have an easier time of it. Do yourself and your neighbor a favor and refuse sharing your SSN when it’s not needed, mkay?

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