How To Request IRS Form 147 C
The best way to ask the IRS for Form 147C is to call them on the phone during business hours. Under ordinary circumstances you also want to have a fax machine ready, or have the information sent to a fax number (or virtual fax) so you can get an exact copy of what the Internal Revenue Service has on file. Their phone number is 1-800-829-4933 and they are in between 7AM and 10PM on weekdays.
Why is this form so important? A very small difference in punctuation (like using periods, commas, or an ampersand (“&”) in your business name can create a mismatch if the IRS and your credit card processing company has slightly different information.
This data could have been entered incorrectly, or transcribed in error, at any point in the past by you, your processor, or the IRS representative that typed it in.
Also, your business entity name may contain LLC, Corporation, Corp. or other designations that you normally don’t bother to use with customers. If you want to avoid a 28% withholding penalty over a clerical order, it is essential that you take the time to match up your Taxpayer ID number from Form 147C with whatever your processor has on file. Typically, the processor should be modifying the entity name and TIN number (which could be an EIN or social security number, depending on the setup) to match what the IRS has on file. Hopefully, the IRS record matches the identity of your business when it was incorporated, or else it may be necessary to get this information modified.
Once you get the form faxed over to you, make sure to scour over every detail as it relates to the information your banks and processors have on file. Note that a single party’s mistake can cause a mismatch, so even if the IRS has an exact match with your business name, your processor or bank could have failed to transcribe information exactly.
Special note: Nothing on this site should be construed as tax advice, especially considering that often the IRS gives advice that turns out to be incorrect. In the meantime, checking to make sure you are compliant is still your responsibility, since you are likely to get a lot of grief if you find a 28% withholding penalty on your card processing account.
April 10, 2016:
TIN Validation is an ongoing need for small business owners. The information on your 1099K form, including your Taxpayer Identification Number and business entity name, needs to match what the procssor, bank, or agency has on file.
This link explains how the TIN matching program is being regulated by the IRS. This program was originally set to go into place earlier, but has been moved to January 1, 2013 and merchants who process credit cards are strongly urged to take card of this right away, especially if they got a notice from a merchant account services company. In the past, some companies maintained multiple taxpayer ID numbers, so it is imperative that you have the same information on all documents.