Instructions for Form 147c
The Internal Revenue Service does not have an online solution for Form 147c, in order to prevent unauthorized access to taxpayer information found on the form itself. They have to mail or fax it to you. If you kept your IRS Form CP575 then this document will have the exact same information on it, since it was issued to your company when an EIN number was first requested.
To contact the IRS for 147c, call 1-800-829-4933 on weekdays during normal business hours. (If you are outside of US time zones, adjust for a 7:00 in the morning to a 10:00PM window. If you have a fax machine handy, getting the form faxed to you is quicker and can help you discover how the IRS has your business listed, and if there are any errors. Otherwise, you can get this form mailed.
Why business owners ask for this form:
In the year 2013, Form 147c has gained prominence thanks to new IRS regulations requiring business owners to match up EIN (Employer Identification Number) and TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number information with the name of your business entity. As it turns out, people may have had multiple TIN numbers, DBAs, and corporate entities set up and this either created confusion or conditions for underreporting banking information. Credit card processing companies send out form 1099k to companies which list total receipts, shown monthly, for transactions run through credit card machines. If this information is incorrect, and does not match up, starting on January 1, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service can compel your processor or merchant services provider to withhold twenty eight percent of the revenue coming out of your credit card machine. Companies in the Caribbean have already encountered this problem since they process US transctions.
TIN Matching and Verification
TIN Matching, validation, and verification have become a staple of merchant processing and banking organizations in the United States over the past few years. The actual regulation requiring matching of TIN and business entity information goes back to 2008, but enforcement was delayed due to the need for added infrastructure among processing companies, acquiring banks, and consumers. IRS section 6050w of the 2008 Housing Assistance Tax Act outlines the need to report payment card transactions as well as third party network data. The information on 147c should match up with the entity information on your business tax return and 1099-k form. Even a slight differnce (which can be spacing, or the use of a "&" symbol in place of the word "and")can be construed as a difference and create problems. Many businesses have found that they have been filing under incorrect business name or taxpayer ID data for several years. Because the IRS compels banking and financial institutions to withhold funds from non-compliant sources (or face huge fines and penalties) many processors have been spending several years contacting customers when there appears to be a mismatch between their information and IRS records. However, your merchant services company, bank, and third-party provider cannot ask the IRS directly for your information, although there are mechanisms for detecting that a mismatch has happened. If you are out of compliance, and experiencing backup withholding, getting your information fixed will be vital to the life of your company!
Don't let a mismatched EIN number sink your business. If your card processing company or bank asks you for any form that verifies your business, including your articles of incorporation or other tax documents, there is probably a good reason. IRS penalties are always harder to fight than they are to prevent.