The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has inadvertently distributed 170,000 tax forms bearing the Social Security number of the intended recipient on the mailing label.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a spokeswoman for the agency said that the error is due to a computer-programming error at the printing company hired by the state. About 1.1 million booklets are mailed out to individual taxpayers who file their returns by mail, and the spokeswoman said that the error is limited to individual taxpayers who filed Form 1, the long form, to pay their most recent state income taxes.

Individuals who filed electronically, through professional tax preparers, or who filed Wisconsin’s short, “EZ,” or nonresident forms will not effected.

The revenue department learned about the problem from taxpayer complaints -- the first batch of forms containing the Social Security numbers was sent out Wednesday and delivered Friday. The state office is now working to retrieve undelivered forms from the U.S. Postal Service, which won’t be delivering mail on either Monday (New Year's Day), or Tuesday (the national day of mourning for President Ford).

The printing company will be charged for the cost of retrieving the forms and sending them out again containing corrected labels.

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