Home > Uncategorized > What do I do if I can’t find the TIN (SSN/EIN) number for a particular person or business?

What do I do if I can’t find the TIN (SSN/EIN) number for a particular person or business?

Its January.  Your putting together your information returns reporting taxable income paid from the prior year.  You have your list of payees that you worked with in the prior year and you notice that your missing the taxpayer identification number (TIN) for one or more payees.  What do you do?

Publication 1220 (Specifications for Filing Forms 1098, 1099, 5498, and W-2G Electronically) states on page 47 at Field Positions 12-20 that “If the TIN is not available, enter blanks” for the Payee B Record. A valid TIN must always be in the “Payer A Record” since it is a required field.

If your filing by paper, just leave the box asking for the payee TIN blank.  If your filing electronically, you can leave that box asking for the payee TIN empty as well and your software will automatically replace empty with nine blank spaces.

The payer, in contrast, must have a valid TIN.  The payer is the one who is required to fill out these information returns and submit them to the payee and the IRS.  If you don’t have a TIN for a particular payer, you can’t file by paper or electronically.

We offer bulk TIN matching as a service.  TIN matching lets you submit a name and TIN to the IRS and see if the name and TIN matches up.  Every year, we get a handful of clients who ask us to find the TINs for a name.  True story.  One client sent me a list with 200+ names of individuals and no TINs.  He asked to run Bulk TIN matching.  I told him it was “a TIN matching service and not a TIN finding service”.  He then said “so what do I have to pay you to get the SSN’s for the names that I have on the list”.  The service doesn’t exist; nobody has the ability to find SSN’s for an individual.  Nobody!  The most you can do is see if the name and TIN that you have matches up with the name and TIN that the IRS has on file.   EIN’s in contrast are public information.  You can attain an EIN for a business.  There are websites that will help you find an EIN for a business. But there does not exist any service to help you find a SSN given the name or vice versa.

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Erich J. Ruth

Erich J. Ruth provides technical support for National Software which is the parent company for 1099FIRE. 1099FIRE develops and markets a comprehensive range of products that enables any size of business or institution to effectively manage and comply with year-end filing requirements. 1099FIRE is an employee-owned company located in Phoenix, Arizona.

If you have any questions or comments about our software, feel free to contact us at any time.

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