Today, the IRS issued proposed regulations that would allow employers to voluntarily truncate employees’ social security numbers (SSNs) on the copies of Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, issued to employees. Rather than including an employee’s full SSN, as required under current regulations, this rule would allow the first five digits of the nine-digit SSN to be replaced with “Xs” or asterisks to aid in efforts to protect employees from identity theft. However, employers would not be able to truncate an employee’s SSN on the copy of a W-2 filed with the Social Security Administration. These regulations, if finalized, would be applicable after December 31, 2018. Comments on these proposed regulations must be submitted to the IRS by December 18, 2017.