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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.