April 10, 2024

What Is a 147C Letter?

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US businesses need a Employer Identification Number (EIN) in order to perform basic operations.

If you applied for an EIN online or by sending in Form SS-4, you’ll get a CP 575 letter confirming your new EIN. You’ll need to show this to financial institutions in order to open accounts, apply for business loans, and more. Here’s a sample CP 575 letter: 

But what happens if you lose it? Unfortunately, the IRS only issues one EIN per business, and the CP 575 notice can only be generated once. In this case, you’ll need to request a 147C letter to replace the original CP 575.

What Is a 147C Letter? 

A 147C letter (or EIN verification letter) is a formal document from the IRS stating your already-existing EIN. These letters are only issued if the original CP 575 notice is lost. Though 147C and CP 575 letters are different, they are both equally accepted by financial institutions and other partners. Here’s a sample 147C letter: 

Why Do I Need a 147C Letter? 

Banks and other financial institutions typically require a CP 575 or 147C letter in order to prevent fraud. Here are some situations where you might need official confirmation of your EIN.

Opening Bank Accounts

If you want to open a business bank account, you’ll need an official copy of your EIN from the IRS. A business only receives one EIN, so they can use it to double-check the identity of the business owner. 

For the same reasons, you will likely need a CP 575 or 147C letter when applying for a corporate credit card or a business loan. Security is a key concern when finances are involved. 

Partnering with Other Businesses

A 147C letter may be needed when you are forming a partnership with a vendor or other business. For example a payroll service will likely ask for official proof of your EIN. Quickbooks is known to ask for official proof of EIN before processing direct deposits to employees. 

While you may be able to access some services without EIN verification, it’s good to have a CP 575 or 147C letter on hand in case you need one. We recommend keeping multiple copies of your official EIN verification at all times.

How to Request a 147C Letter

According to IRS regulations, you can only request a 147C letter if you are an authorized person. This includes: 

  • Sole proprietor
  • Partner in a partnership
  • Corporate officer
  • Trustee of a trust
  • Executor of an estate

If you have Power of Attorney over the owner of a business that is on file with the IRS, you can also request a 147C letter on their behalf.

Calling the IRS

You can request a 147C letter by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 on weekdays between 7 AM and 7 PM local time. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Call the number above.
  2. Press option 1 for service in English.
  3. Press option 3 (you have been issued an EIN but cannot remember it).
  4. Tell the IRS agent you are the owner of a business and you need a 147C letter.
  5. Answer security questions from the IRS agent to confirm your identity.
  6. Indicate whether you would like to receive the 147C letter by mail or fax.

Receiving the EIN Verification Letter 

Once you have completed the above steps, you will be asked if you would prefer to receive the 147C letter by mail or by fax. If you opt for the former, you could wait up to 4-6 weeks. If the latter, the IRS will fax the document to you immediately. The IRS does not email out EIN verification letters for security reasons.

We recommend making multiple copies on file, both digitally and physically.  

Other Ways to Find Your EIN/CP 575 Notice

The IRS recommends following these steps if you lose your EIN:

  • Search your computer and other files for the computer-generated notice from the IRS. 
  • If you used your EIN to open a bank account, obtain business licensing, or other matters, contact the agency you worked with to see if they have a copy on file. 
  • The EIN should be clearly printed on your past tax returns.

Remember, simply knowing the number doesn’t count as verification — you should still request a 147C/CP 575 letter if you don’t have one.

Final Thoughts

Having an official CP 575 or 147C letter is crucial to running your business smoothly. Though it may seem tedious to contact the IRS and wait for them to provide documentation, it’s worth the hassle in the end. You don’t want to have to scramble to get an EIN verification letter on short notice the next time you’re asked for one.

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