Oh, so long ago I wrote in one of my first business books about the importance of being consistent with your business name to avoid trouble with the IRS. Seems simple enough, right? Well, the IRS can screw it up too.

A couple months ago I filled out a W-9 for a new client. Now, a couple months later, the client is saying that the information I provided — basically my business name, address, and employer ID number — doesn’t match the IRS records. This makes no sense as I’ve been using the same info for nearly 10 years with zero problems. The worst of it is, they won’t pay me for the project (which I finished two months ago) until this is resolved. Aaargh!

So I just got off the phone with the IRS, and for some reason my IRS record contains the city name “Albuaueraue.” (No Qs.) Sure enough, I looked at my records and the most recent form they sent me included that spelling. Everything before that was fine. So the nice IRS woman said she’d 1) send a confirmation letter to my client confirming all the other important info (specifically, my employer ID number ), and 2) correct the misspelling in my IRS record. But she did say it would take a couple weeks for the correction to take effect in the system. I’m crossing my fingers it’s a simple fix…and in the meantime hoping the confirmation letter will be sufficient to get the client to send me my check. Did I mention Aaargh?

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