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IRS’s Privacy Policies And How To Delete Your Data Or Opt Out

IRS’s Privacy Policies And How To Delete Your Data Or Opt Out image
Updated: June 21st, 2024


The IRS Privacy Policy elucidates how the Internal Revenue Service handles personally identifiable information (PII) provided by individuals when they engage with the IRS online for various purposes such as browsing, obtaining information, or conducting transactions. 
The policy sheds light on the protocols for managing personal information and ensures the security and privacy of taxpayer and employee information as one of the IRS's highest priorities.

IRS’s privacy practices

The privacy practices of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are centred around safeguarding the personally identifiable information (PII) of individuals, ensuring their privacy rights are respected, and adhering to federal laws and regulations concerning privacy. Below are some of the key aspects of the IRS privacy practices:
  • Information Collection: The IRS collects personal information voluntarily provided by individuals, such as names, email addresses, Social Security numbers, or other unique identifiers, primarily to process requests for services or information. Providing personal information is usually voluntary, but if not provided, it may hinder the processing of transactions​. 
  • Purpose of Collection: The IRS collects personal information as necessary to administer its programs. The information provided is used solely for the purpose it was collected and is not sold or used for other purposes without the individual's consent​. 
  • Usage of Personal Information: The IRS informs individuals if the information being requested is voluntary or required. By providing personal information, individuals consent to its use for the intended purpose. Any secondary usage of information, other than those mandated by federal law, requires the individual's consent​. 
  • Privacy Rights: The IRS adheres to various laws and policies to protect the privacy rights of individuals, including the Internal Revenue Code, the Privacy Act of 1974, the Freedom of Information Act, and IRS policies and practices. The Senior Agency Official for Privacy (SAOP) oversees the implementation of information privacy protections and ensures compliance with federal laws, regulations, and policies related to information privacy​. 
  • Privacy Policy Topics: The IRS has outlined several topics within its privacy policy including guidelines about email contact, reporting phishing, identity theft, fraud & scams, and Privacy Impact Assessments​. 
  • Online and In-Person Meetings: The IRS also extends privacy protections to online and in-person meetings. In such meetings, the identities and authorizations of attendees are verified. The IRS may record meetings with consent and follows federal privacy, security, and records requirements in managing such recordings​. 
  • Framework for Privacy Compliance: A privacy framework has been established to ensure compliance and assurance, including conducting privacy risk assessments and other activities to assess and manage privacy risks​. 
  • Privacy Act of 1974: The IRS is guided by the Privacy Act of 1974, which provides certain protections to individuals when collecting information. The Act mandates that individuals are informed before information is collected, and the information collected is under statutory or other legal authority​. 
These practices underscore the IRS's commitment to protecting personal information and ensuring that individuals' privacy rights are upheld.

How to contact IRS's privacy department? 

To contact the IRS's privacy department, you can consider the following avenues based on the nature of your concern or inquiry:
  • Privacy Complaints:
If you have a privacy complaint, you can learn more about how to submit it on the IRS Privacy Policy page. This page explains how the IRS handles information provided when visiting the IRS online platform​. 
  • Phone Contact:
While not specifically a privacy department, you may contact the IRS by phone at 1-202-622-5000 or toll-free at 1-800-829-1040. They also provide a TTY number, 1-800-829-4059​. 
  • Taxpayer Advocate Service:
If you are having tax problems that you have not been able to resolve with the IRS, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) might be able to help. While not specifically a privacy department, they may provide assistance if your issue relates to privacy concerns. 
  • Local IRS Office:
If your privacy concern is serious, you might want to contact a local IRS office or a taxpayer assistance center near you. The main address for the IRS is 1111 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20224​. 

How to delete your data from the IRS?

According to their privacy policy, you can contact the IRS at 1-202-622-5000 to make delete requests. PrivacyHawk can also help identify companies that have your personal data and makes it easy to mass delete yourself to reduce your digital footprint and reduce your risk of being targeted by scams, fraud, and identity theft. You can try it for free on the App Store today.
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