Q: When was the Social Security number (SSN) first used for income tax purposes?
A: The Internal Revenue Service adopted the SSN as its official taxpayer identification number in 1962.
As background, in October 1961, President Kennedy signed into law Public Law 87-397, a law designed to cut down on tax cheating by assigning a tax identity number to every taxpayer.
Later, in October 1986, President Reagan signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986. That law required that every dependent age 5 or older listed on a tax return had to have their own Social Security number. This new requirement doubled the Social Security Administrations SSN workload in the following year.
There is no charge for Social Security number activity, whether a new number, changing your name, or replacing a lost card. Instructions and a SSN application are at www.socialsecurity.gov or directly at http://ssa.gov/ssnumber/. For security of your personal information, the SSN application cannot be submitted online but you can download and print it. Bring or mail the completed application and required supporting documents to Social Security. Your documents are returned.
Make sure you are at the official Social Security website, www.socialsecurity.gov. Look for .gov (government).