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When is a TIN considered missing or incorrect (or invalid)?

Missing TIN – We consider a TIN to be missing if it is not provided, has more or less than nine numbers, or it has an alpha character as one of the nine positions.

Example: Missing SSN: 123-45-678

Example: Missing SSN: 123-45-67899

Example: Missing EIN: 12- 345678P

Incorrect (or invalid) TIN – We consider a TIN incorrect or invalid if it is in the proper format but the Name/TIN combination does not match or cannot be found on IRS or SSA files.

Examples of Proper Format:

Correct SSN:123-45-6789

Correct EIN: 12-3456789

For additional information see Publication 1281, Backup Withholding.