Last week was tax day – April 15, the day all Americans get to do their duty and pay their fair share to keep this mighty ship afloat. (Well, not all of us, but that’s a thought for future comments.)

The government seems helpless when it comes to assisting Americans with identity theft, and we are bombarded by the news media and government spokesmen telling us to protect our Social Security numbers. Yet they themselves may be helping these thieves!

As I was searching for the address to mail my taxes to, I noticed in the instructions a statement that sent chills down my spine. There, in bold letters, was this instruction: “Write your Social Security number and ‘2014 form 1040’ on the front of the check.” Imagine my horror!

As an IT consultant specializing in cash management and check processing, I believe that most Americans would be surprised to learn how many hands can touch a check. Imaging of checks has reduced the number, but they still are seen by more eyes than I would prefer.

I know we would all like to think that all of these workers are honest, but the truth is that not all of them are. It is the perfect storm for one of these thieves. They have your name, address, Social Security number and, last but not least, your checking account information.

So, federal government officials, here is one simple little thing you can do to help all Americans, rich or poor: Change the tax instructions!

Karen Ullmann