You are trying to successfully navigate the many challenges of small business ownership and one day you discover, much to your dismay, that incorrect information was inadvertently reported on Form SS-4 to the IRS (or perhaps the IRS made a mistake inputting the data at its end). How does this realization usually come to your attention? Common reasons include:
- A failed attempt to electronically file a tax return
- An observant accountant or attorney catches the mistake or discrepancy
- The business name or address changes or there is a change in the designated “responsible person”
When you first discover or suspect the IRS may have outdated or incorrect information on file concerning your business entity, you should first verify what the IRS actually has on file.
The first thing you may want to do is see what the IRS has on file for you. Ask the IRS to search for your EIN by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. An IRS representative will ask you for identifying information about the entity (e.g. name, EIN, address, etc.) and confirm what information the IRS has on file. They can also provide you with instructions on how to correct any mistakes or inaccurate information.
Just remember that the IRS will only speak to an “authorized person” with regards to the account. Examples of an authorized person include, but are not limited to, a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, a corporate officer, a trustee of a trust, or an executor of an estate. If necessary, you can submit a signed Form 2848 (Power of Attorney) to authorize an attorney, accountant, or other representative to address the issue on your behalf with IRS. Not a big deal, but it does require some additional time and effort to jump through that extra hurdle.
Unfortunately, the IRS does not currently have a form in place to change the previously filed information associated with the business entity’s EIN. To update the information the IRS has on file, one should submit a letter (on company letterhead if possible) to the appropriate IRS office with the following information:
- The responsible party’s full legal name;
- The responsible party’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN);
- The business or entity’s full legal name;
- The business or entity’s employer identification number (EIN);
- The business or entity’s mailing address; and
- The information associated with the EIN number that needs to be changed.
Where you send your request depends on where you reside. For Virginia business entities and taxpayers, send you letter to:
Internal Revenue Service
Cincinnati, OH 45999
The IRS will send a letter confirming receipt of the updated information. If you have not received a confirmation letter within 60 days, you should mail a copy of the original letter (titled “Second Request”) to the same address.
If you need help with any business formation, transaction, and compliance matters, reach out to Eric Perkins anytime at (804) 205-5162 or [email protected].