Most lending partners ask for verifying paperwork during the approval process, including copies of driver licenses, Articles of Incorporation, and an SS-4 form notice. The SS-4 form notice, also known as an EIN Confirmation Letter, verifies your Employer Identification Number (EIN). Why do we need to verify your EIN? An erroneous or invalid EIN can lead to all sorts of headaches, including tax return conflicts and even a potential tax audit.
The good news is that verifying your EIN is easy — all we need is your IRS-issued SS-4 form notice.
What is an SS-4 form?
The SS-4 form is used by businesses to request an EIN from the IRS. If you don’t have an EIN, then this is where you’ll start. Most lenders, including us, can’t help you without an EIN. You can access a PDF of the SS-4 form by clicking here. Once the form is complete, you can mail or fax it to the IRS.
When you receive your EIN, the IRS sends an EIN Confirmation Letter. This is the verification your lender needs to approve your loan.
What to do if you don’t know your EIN
Some business owners discover that they don’t know their EIN. If this happens to you, don’t panic. Your bank should have your EIN on file — you most likely had to provide it when you opened an account for your business. If not, you can request the number from the IRS by completing an EIN 174c Verification Letter.
How to request a copy of your SS-4 Form Notice from the IRS
If you know your EIN but can’t find your SS-4 form notice confirming your EIN, there are a couple of ways you can get a copy. If you have an accountant, they may have completed your EIN application for you and have a copy of the confirmation notice. If that doesn’t work, head to the bank. Because most banks require an EIN to open an account, they verify the provided EIN with an SS-4 notice. Ask your banker to provide you a copy.
If all else fails, you can request a replacement copy by calling the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line. The phone number is (800) 829-4933, and the line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., taxpayer local time, Monday through Friday. The tax specialist will ask you to provide your EIN and some identifying information about your business. Once they have verified your identity, you can request an SS-4 form notice to be mailed or faxed to your business. The IRS will only mail or fax to the address or number it has on file for your business.
You probably don’t need anyone to tell you this, but getting documents from the IRS can take awhile. This is why it’s a good idea to prep your documents before you start applying for a loan. You don’t want to be waiting on an SS-4 form when you need the money now! Ask the tax specialist how long the expected wait will be.
If you have other questions about applying for a commercial construction subcontractor loan, check out our Commercial Construction Financing Questions page. If you found this article helpful, consider subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter.