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Terms and Definitions

What is a 147c letter?

Updated: May 22, 2024

147c letter definition and meaning

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues a 147c letter in response to a taxpayer’s request for verification of their employer identification number (EIN). When a taxpayer contacts the IRS for a 147C letter, it’s usually due to misplacing their EIN number.


More about what a 147c letter is and its purpose

Also known as an EIN verification letter, the 147c is used to verify the name, address, and EIN associated with a specific business entity. This form is used because once you have an EIN, the original cannot be replaced.Should it get misplaced, the 147c is used to verify your business information with the IRS. In addition, vendors who are looking to verify the accuracy and authenticity of your EIN can — such as banks, credit unions, and suppliers — may request to see it.


Does this mean a 147c letter replaces an EIN?

Even though it may sound like an EIN’s replacement when you request this letter, it does not supersede the number you originally received from Uncle Sam. The 147c is a document that the IRS issues to confirm a company’s EIN information. It is important to keep a copy of the 147c letter on file for reference and verification purposes, but it does not replace or change the EIN itself.

Requesting a 147c letter

If you are certain you will not be able to locate your EIN (unable to remember the number), you can request a 147C letter from the IRS. Because of security concerns, the only way to request one is over the phone. The good news is you can do this most business days by contacting the IRS’ Business and Specialty Tax Line using their toll-free phone number, which is 1-800-829-4933.


The office is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., taxpayer local time (Alaska and Hawaii follow Pacific Time).


You should be prompted to press 1 again, which will get you connected for assistance with your FEIN or EIN.


Before you call, keep in mind that you should be prepared to answer some verification questions with an IRS staff member. For example, you’ll likely need to provide the name and address you have been using on your 941 forms, W-2 forms, and 1099 forms.


The IRS will only provide EIN information to individuals who are “authorized to receive it.”  Per the IRS website, authorized individuals include: a sole proprietor, an individual who is a partner in a partnership, a corporate officer, a trustee of a trust, or an executor of an estate.


Once you’ve verified your information, the IRS will either:

  • Mail a 147c letter to you
  • Fax a 147c letter


Is requesting a 147c your only option?

There are other options to recover your EIN number without having to call the IRS.

  • Do you remember the last time you used the EIN to open an account? Get in touch with any of the financial institutions or places to see if a contact can provide it to you.
  • When you first applied for an EIN, you should have received a confirmation letter from the IRS (and the number should be listed on this correspondence).
  • Look at other documents where the number may have been recorded. For example, old tax returns or a credit report.

Using 147c letter in a sentence

“I never thought I would have to call the IRS for a 147c letter, but all of my business documents were lost in an office move and I need another way to verify my EIN number for business purposes.”

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