Those of us in business are constantly surrounded by numbers, many of which are connected with the people we work with closely – employees, vendors and customers/clients. At Patrick & Robinson CPAs, we hold a major responsibility to the IRS, DOL, ICE (as well as a long list of other three letter acronyms) to maintain and report details of the tax ID numbers for all these people.
We generally operate on a high level of trust that everyone gives us the right numbers. But how do we know that they’re legitimate?
Since 2003, the IRS has provided a method to easily verify the correctness of tax ID numbers (SSN & EIN) before using them to report tax or other official information to these authorities. The creative name of this interactive program is Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching. If you have concerns about the accuracy of the TINs you’re processing, or are having trouble through correspondence from one of the reporting agencies, perhaps this program will be helpful.
TIN Matching is part of a suite of internet based “e-services” separate from the popular e-file services through which you file your income tax returns. As an authorized payer – one who filed information returns with the IRS during the two past tax years – you may register for these e-services, giving you interactive TIN matching of up to 25 payee TIN/Name combinations on-screen. Additionally, Bulk TIN Matching will allow up to 100,000 payee TIN/Name combinations using text file submission. Benefits of this program include:
- Matching W-9 or W-4 name and TIN of payees with IRS records;
- Reducing the incidence of backup withholding for contractors with their own tax issues;
- Limiting penalty notices for error on information returns; and
- Cutting the error rate in TIN validation.
This system is accessible 24/7 and includes an online tutorial to assist customers with the registration, application and TIN Matching process. E-services customer assistors are also available toll-free at 1-866-255-0654, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
You can find the website here. When you register, the site will collect basic personal and taxpayer data for the sole purpose of authenticating your identity. After comparing and verifying your data against that of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and your recently filed tax returns, the IRS will issue you a registration confirmation code by U.S. Mail.
To register, you’ll need the following:
Legal name as registered with the IRS & SSA plus your Social Security number and date of birth
- Telephone number & Email address
- Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from either your current year or prior year filed tax return as reported to the IRS
- Your selected username according to their guidelines
- Password and PIN (helpful hints for selecting a password and PIN are available)
- A reminder question to recover a forgotten username
- The home mailing address from your last tax return (you can update it here if you subsequently changed it)
Within 28 days of registration, you’ll receive a confirmation code. Log back into the e-services website and enter this code to complete the registration process. Afterwards, you should feel empowered that you’re connected with one of the largest databases in the world and have made a giant step toward improving the efficiency of the U. S. Government. (No small feat!)
We hope this information can help you avoid some headaches this tax season. If you need help from a CPA who sees you as more than a number, contact Patrick & Robinson CPAs at Office@CPAsite.com or 904-396-5400.