TN 12 (06-10)
RM 03818.001 General Information on IRS Scrambles
A. Identifying scrambles
During the processing of income tax returns, the IRS validates SSNs based on the first 4 letters of the taxpayer’s surname. The IRS notifies us on Department of Treasury Form 3857 when two people file tax returns using the same SSN. Form 3857 is both a notification of a possible scrambled earnings problem and a request for the correct SSN of each taxpayer.
B. Joint return cases
In joint return cases, the husband is usually the individual involved because joint returns are controlled under the primary’s SSN. However, the scrambled wages may belong to the wife. NOTE: In such instances, the wife's first name will be underlined on the Form 3857 and the investigation should be conducted on the wife, not the husband.