Financial Operations Network | Onboarding New Vendors – The Consequences for IRS Compliance of Getting It Wrong
Is the vendor information you’re getting compliant with IRS requirements? The most important part to the onboarding process is to correctly classify the vendor
Vendor Onboarding. IRS compliance, Vendor Tax ID number, TIN, W-9, W-8
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Onboarding New Vendors – The Consequences of Doing It Wrong

Onboarding New Vendors – The Consequences of Doing It Wrong

By Carol Kassem, IRSCompliance, Inc.

Onboarding a new vendor is typically a fairly easy process.

You request the name and address of the vendor, Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) and you are done, right?

But not so quick! The way in which you request certain information about a vendor may not be compliant with IRS requirements. The most important part to the onboarding process is to correctly classify the vendor. Is this a U.S. person or a foreign person? What information do you need to request? How do you make that determination?

IRS requires that you solicit specific documentation from any new vendor to properly confirm the identity of the person or entity to which you are going to make payments. Proper documentation includes IRS Forms W-9, W-8, or 8233. The Form that you solicit will be dependent on the initial information that you have about a vendor — name, U.S. or foreign address, as well as the type of payment that you will be making.

Based on this information that you have, you must solicit the Form that is most appropriate for this new vendor. Given that the information that you have solicited will be used to issue Forms 1099 or 1042-S at yearend to report certain payments to a vendor and the IRS, you need to make every effort to ensure that the information is valid.

So, what happens if the information is not correct?

If you have used incorrect information to report payments at yearend, you may be receiving a notification (CP2100) from the IRS around September of the following year typically referred to as the “B Notice” process. The CP2100 notice will require you to solicit new documentation from vendors so that you will be able to report future payments using corrected information. This notification must never be ignored and is time sensitive with respect to when solicitations are performed.

Consequently, the failures that were included in the B Notice process will ultimately appear on a penalty notice (972CG) from the IRS that will propose to assess your organization penalties for the failures that were reported to the IRS. The penalty for this type of failure is $260 per return — charges that could prove to be catastrophic for many organizations.

What does all of this mean for your organization? In a nutshell, penalties that you may be assessed are the direct result of the validity of the information that you solicited from the vendor at the time that you added the account to your system. This means that you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are getting the most accurate information from the vendor. Any organization should implement the following:

  • have written policies and procedures in place that require that all employees who are responsible for onboarding new vendors must follow the same, standard procedures in all cases to minimize reporting failures;
  • have a company policy to review solicited documentation that is returned;
  • if solicitations are required (missing or obviously incorrect TINs), make sure that these mailings are performed timely; and
  • utilize the IRS TIN Matching Program to confirm the validity of TINs.

Onboarding a new vendor is not complicated if you understand the IRS requirements. Just be sure that you are getting the information and documentation that you need to be compliant to avoid significant future penalties.

To see how InvoiceInfo’s onboarding solutions can benefit your operations and your company click here to request more information or call us at (678) 335-5735.



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InvoiceInfo saves labor hours and cost by helping suppliers and internal staff easily and instantly get answers online to their invoice-payment questions.

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InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are standalone applications that can be up and running in as little as two weeks, with little or no IT resources required.

The faster your online portal is up and running, the sooner you will start reaping the benefits. InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are dedicated solely to helping AP and procurement departments slash the time and expense of servicing vendors, while improving customer service for their suppliers.

InvoiceInfo and VendorInfo are simple solutions with big results. They are easy to implement and easy to use. Here’s how one customer described the process: “You give vendors a URL, provide instructions about what they need to know and tell them to go use it.” It really is that easy.

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Improve Productivity with a Self-Service Solution

For most organizations, deploying a technology solution is a significant investment, and like most investments, the decision point ultimately comes down to the expected return on that investment.

According to a recent benchmark study by The Accounts Payable Network, 60% of AP customer service calls are from vendors while 40% are from internal customers. Vendor issues actually make up even more of the AP call volume than the 60% identified. Many times when a vendor has an issue, the vendor contacts their buyer or purchasing representative, who in turn contacts AP. Even though the call comes from an internal customer, the question originated with the vendor.

Vendor calls affect productivity in your organization exponentially. When vendors call the requisitioner, they are affecting that person’s productivity. Your internal customer’s productivity shrinks when fielding the vendor’s call and again when making the follow up call to AP and getting back to the vendor. Finally, AP’s productivity suffers as a result of the internal customer’s call, the payment status research and the follow-up communication.

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Easy and Economical Solution to Serve Vendors Around the World

InvoiceInfo can help you provide best-in-class customer service to your vendors around the world at a fraction of the cost.

Many organizations today have offices and operations throughout the world and are dealing with many time zones, different languages, and in some cases multiple ERP systems. InvoiceInfo currently supports different languages and can easily work with multiple ERP systems in different locations.

The key to good customer service is to provide the information that the customer wants when they want it. Whether your customer is a vendor waiting for a payment or a colleague that needs information on payment status, they want their information right away. If your organization has vendors and offices in other countries, they can be challenging and expensive to serve. But, with InvoiceInfo, your international vendors and internal customers can access the information they need when they need it.

With InvoiceInfo, you won’t have to staff your customer service team with 24-hour coverage in multiple languages to provide high-quality customer service around the world.

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Enhance AP’s Role As a Strategic Partner

Learn how InvoiceInfo can help AP do more with less while continuously improving productivity and bottom-line results.

Many automation technologies such as scanning, workflow, e-invoicing, ACH, and electronic invoicing require significant investments of money, time and talent, making it difficult to get buy-in from upper management. Not InvoiceInfo!

If your goal for your AP department is to reduce costs quickly, call or email us today to learn more about how InvoiceInfo can help you achieve this goal through a quick, inexpensive and easy implementation of a vendor self-service portal.

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Enhance Vendor Relationships

InvoiceInfo helps suppliers’ AR departments with simple and convenient access to invoice payment status online at a cost savings for all involved.

It may seem that the organization paying the vendor should hold all the cards in the relationship. But sometimes the opposite is true. Past-due payments and customer service perceptions can harm supplier relationships and disrupt the supply chain.

Your vendors and vendor relationship managers are living in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, so when invoice information is required, it is needed quickly and expected to be of high quality. With InvoiceInfo, your suppliers get answers to invoice inquiries real time, 24/7 with no need to leave messages and wait for responses. Studies show that confidence in data increases when suppliers access invoice and payment information themselves.

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Give Procurement and Buyers the Tool They
Need to Respond to Vendors Quickly

Not only can InvoiceInfo be used by suppliers to learn the status of invoice payments, it can also be used internally within your organization.

In addition to reducing calls from vendors regarding invoice status, you can also reduce internal emails and calls from co-workers wanting to learn the status of invoice payment, and save time and effort and boost efficiency and productivity across the organization. Studies show that 40% of AP customer service calls are from internal customers. Many of these are from requisitioners who have received calls or emails from the supplier checking on payment status. These calls are often more expensive for the company because the internal staff member has taken the call or received an email from the supplier, contacted AP for the payment status and had to return the call or email the supplier.

By providing the vendor with a convenient and credible online option to get the answers it needs regarding payment status, you can eliminate multiple calls/emails between the vendor and the requisitioner saving time and money.

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Eliminate Difficult Vendor Calls and See
Productivity and Staff Morale Soar

Reduce invoice payment inquiries and “promote” your vendor service team to more satisfying and profit-producing tasks.

By sharply reducing inbound calls and emails regarding receipt and payment status that your AP staff must handle individually, your staff can focus their efforts on more productive, cost-saving activities, learn new tasks, feel more confident and boost their careers.

According to a recent American Express survey on customer service, more than one-third of consumers have lost their temper with a customer service professional in the past year. Of those who lost their temper, three in ten “hung up the phone.” Your staff will no longer have to deal with difficult collectors who can be upsetting and disruptive. Your staff will feel that their time and talents are being put to better use and will feel better about themselves, their jobs and their organization. Reducing these calls can be a real productivity and morale booster for your AP department!

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Simplify and Streamline Vendor Onboarding

According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, the average organization spends about $20 in labor to file each paper document, approximately $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document and $220 in re-creation of a document.

Wouldn’t it be great to have all your W-9’s, W-8’s and other registration documents completed online and instantly filed online for easy access when needed? With Vendor Self-Service Onboarding Module, VendorInfo, you can onboard your new vendors in one convenient location and eliminate paperwork and hassles.

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Verify the Accuracy of Vendor Information and Stay in Compliance with IRS and Treasury Department Regulations

Government regulators are increasing the complexity of regulations and penalties associated with vendor-related non-compliance.

Penalties for incorrect 1099’s have more than doubled in recent years. Over the last several years, OFAC has levied more than $1 billion in fines against American companies or subsidiaries that did business with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its SDN list. In addition to fining these companies, the Treasury Department posts the names of infringing organizations along with fines paid.

VendorInfo Onboarding Module verifies the accuracy of vendor information and helps protect your organization by avoiding embarrassing penalties and fines.

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