The IRS slowing due to COVID-19 explained
Throughout the year of 2020 and continuing through 2021, the pandemic put a halt to many businesses and is decimating thousands of companies throughout the economy. In the US specifically, the government has imposed limits on the amount of people in government buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This has directly impacted the International Revenue Service, or the IRS, as there are less people in office able to process the files and tax information sent in.
It has been reported by MarketWatch that the approximated one million still-unprocessed tax returns are down from 2.5 million unopened returns in October. There’s now 3 million pieces of unopened mail, down from 5.3 million pieces of unopened mail.
Direct Impacts on EIN Processing
Before the pandemic, if a nonresident owner of an LLC mailed in an EIN application to the IRS, the IRS assigned the EIN and would return a confirmation within 7 to 10 business days.
As a result of the U.S. lockdown efforts from March through May of 2020, IRS offices were closed, and not processing EIN applications. Additionally, the IRS completely shut-off the fax lines for the EIN applications so faxing EIN applications is no longer an option. Today, although they have re-opened offices, they currently estimate 45 business days to process EIN applications (SS4 forms).
Waiting for your EIN?
The IRS closures from the pandemic have resulted in EIN applications getting lost or never returned back. Be sure to call the IRS and confirm that an EIN has been issued or that it has been lost.
In order to obtain your Employer Confirmation Number (147c), you will need to call into the IRS. If you are a Jumpstart Customer, while we'd like to call in on your behalf, once the EIN is issued we no longer have the authority to obtain the 147c for you. The good news is that you can call in and get it yourself in about 15 minutes.
Here's what you'll need:
A fax number (we recommend HelloFax)
Your company information (in your Jumpstart dashboard)
Your filled out Form SS4 (You can request this through our support form if you’re a Jumpstart customer)
Once you have the above information ready, please call the IRS business and specialty phone line at 800-829-4933. And the numbers you need to choose are 1-1-4 to get to a live agent. Call early in the morning from 7am - 11am Central Time Zone to have minimal wait times.
Once you're on the phone with the IRS representative you will need to tell the representative you want your IRS Confirmation Letter (147c) as you never received it when you faxed your SS4 to the IRS office.
Please have your SS4 form ready to fax to the IRS representative when they ask. If Jumpstart filed your SS4 for you, please email us and we can provide you with the completed form. email us at email@example.com.
If the IRS agent asks for your social security number, you need to say you are a non-resident. Once the representative verifies your SS4 he will ask you to confirm that you are near the fax machine and that fax is an insecure method of transmission. Please confirm and provide your HelloFax number to the representative when asked to receive your confirmation letter.
If you are a Jumpstart customer, please email us the letter once you have it so we can upload it to your account and issue your bank account.
The IRS delays on closures are out of our control as there is not much we can do. We have been trying our best to keep our clients most informed and to expedite the process as much as possible. If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to reach out to one of our team members for additional assistance or information.