What should I do if I receive a CP2100 or CP2100A Notice?

Compare the listing(s) with your records. For missing TINs: If you have not started backup withholding, begin to do so immediately and continue until you receive a TIN. You must make up to three solicitations for the TIN (initial, first annual, second annual) to avoid a penalty for failing to include a TIN on the information return.

For incorrect TINs: Compare the accounts on the listing with your business records. Follow the specific solicitation requirements in order to avoid a penalty for failure to include the correct TIN on an Information Return. If they agree, send the appropriate “B” Notice to the payee. If an account does not agree, this could be the result of a recent update to SSA records, an error in the information you submitted, or an IRS processing error. If this type of error occurred, the only thing you should do is correct or update your records, if necessary. Remember: You do not have to call or write to the IRS to say that you made the correction or update to your records.

For additional information see Publication 1281, Backup Withholding.

What is a “B” Notice?

A “B” Notice is a backup withholding notice. There are two “B” Notices — the First “B” Notice and the Second “B” Notice. You must send the First “B” Notice and a Form W-9 to a payee after you receive the first CP2100 or CP2100A Notice with respect to this account for soliciting a correct Name/TIN combination. You must send the second “B” Notice to a payee after you receive a second CP2100 or CP2100A Notice within a 3 calendar year period. The text of the Second “B” Notice is different from that of the First “B” Notice. The Second “B” Notice tells the payee to contact IRS or SSA to obtain the correct Name/TIN combination. The mailing of the second notice should not include a Form W-9. The payor must receive validation of the payee’s Name/TIN combination from SSA or IRS after sending the second “B” Notice. Payees should be instructed regarding how to request validation of their name/TIN combinations in accordance with the procedures described in Part 4. Generally, you do not have to send a “B” Notice more than two times within three calendar years to the same account.

For additional information see Publication 1281, Backup Withholding.

What are the first and second annual solicitation requirements?

A solicitation is a request for a payee’s correct TIN. You must make the request to satisfy the backup withholding requirements and to avoid a penalty for filing another information return with a missing or an incorrect TIN.  The payee must furnish a certified TIN (initial solicitation) on Form W-9 with respect to payments of interest, dividends, and amounts subject to broker reporting. For other payments, the payee may furnish/provide the TIN in any manner.

For missing TINs: For all payees you must make the initial solicitation when the payee opens the account or when the transaction occurs. If the payee does not provide a TIN when you initially ask for it, you must begin backup withholding. In addition, to avoid a penalty for filing an incorrect information return, you must make a first annual solicitation by December 31 of the year in which the account is opened (for accounts opened before December) or January 31 of the following year (for accounts opened during the preceding December). If the payee does not provide a TIN after the first annual solicitation, you must make the second annual solicitation by December 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the account was opened.

For incorrect TINs: You must make up to two annual solicitations in response to the CP2100 or CP2100A Notice. You must send a B Notice within 15 business days after you receive a CP2100 or CP2100A Notice. If you receive a Proposed Penalty Notice (972CG) but not a CP2100 or CP2100A Notice, your annual solicitation must be made by December 31st of the year you received the Proposed Penalty Notice (972CG).

However, if you already sent a B Notice in the calendar year in response to a CP2100 or CP2100A Notice, you do not have to send another solicitation in response to the proposed penalty notice. If the IRS notifies you in the next calendar year that a TIN is still incorrect, you must make a second annual solicitation within 15 business days after you receive the second CP2100 or CP2100A Notice.

For additional information see Publication 1281, Backup Withholding.