Identification Number:
RM 04906 BASIC
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:DCO
Title:Final Processing
Type:POMS Full Transmittals
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:

Part RM – Records Maintenance
Chapter 049 – Exemption From Taxation on SEI
Subchapter 06 – Final Processing - Form 4029
Transmittal No. BASIC, 12/29/2022



Originating Component


Effective Date

Upon Receipt


This is ma Quick Action Transmittal (QAT) to make the language more inclusive and for readability, clarity, and tone. There is no new policy or procedures.

Summary of Changes

RM 04906.001 Receive Finalized Forms 4029 (5874)

1. Changed section title to "Verifying the Religious Group and Processing Form 4029" for clarity.

2. Added an introduction for clarity of technicians' responsibilities for processing the form.

3. Subsection A . Added instructions to breakdown processing steps for clarity and flow.

4. Added note to clarify acceptable nicknames.

5. Added note to change manual paper filing to use of the General Information Retrieval (GIR) electronic repository of Form 4029.

6. Subsection B. added to outline instructions for verifying the religious group and authorized representative on the Form 4029.

7. Subsection C. added to outline the process for Form 4029 copy and status requests from an individual.

8. Added note to ensure all attempts to identify the requester when handling both telephone and written/faxed correspondence requests.

9. Added note to advise that copy requests be protected by properly identifying the requester and informing the requester of criminal penalties to falsely requesting a copy of the Form 4029 of another individual under false pretenses.

10. Added note for IRS handling of in-lieu-of form submissions.

11. Subsection D. added instructions for processing third-party requests for copies of Form 4029 received from the IRS Ministers Waiver Unit (MWU).

12. Added note explaining the MWU is responsible for forwarding results of requests for Form 4029 copies.


RM 04906.001 Verifying the Religious Group and Processing Form 4029

Introduction for verifying the religious group and processing Form 4029

Religious Exemption Unit (REU) technicians receive Form 4029s from applicants seeking exemption from Social Security and Medicare taxation. Prior to processing the Form 4029s technicians must first verify taxpayer, the religious group, and the authorized representative.

A. Processing Form 4029s

Process Form 4029s received from the applicant per the instructions in this section.

1. Verify the applicant using the Numident per RM 04903.001.

2. Review the form for completeness

a. Ensure the date the applicant signed the Form 4029 is within one (1) year from the current date. The date the applicant signed the form must be after the Membership Date and display the month, day, and year.

• If the date is over one year old, return the outdated form with a new form and the appropriate transmittal.

• If the date is before the Membership Date, return the submitted form, along with a new form, to the applicant with the appropriate transmittal.

• The applicant signature must match the Name of Taxpayer in Part I on the form.

• If the signature is misspelled, return the form to the applicant with the appropriate transmittal. Make a copy of the form and file in the REU pending file.

NOTE: An appropriate nickname is acceptable (i.e., Bob for Robert, Dick for Richard, and Sue for Susan. An example of unacceptable nickname is Linda for Melinda)

b. Verify the religious group and the authorized representative, see subsection B. in this section.

3. Original Form 4029 returned to REU from IRS

When an original processed Form 4029 is returned to the REU from the IRS, process as follows:


• Verify the SSN and DOB

• Suppress the Social Security Statement (PEBES)

• Key required information into the Enumeration System Correspondence (ESCORR) system to “Q” the Numident

• Form 4029s are scanned into the General Information Retrieval (GIR).

NOTE: The GIR is a repository housing both historical and new IRS Forms 4029 and 4361 received from IRS.

4. Updating the IRS Form 4029 already in the database that was returned by the applicant

When the Form 4029 is returned by the applicant, verify if the missing information or discrepancies are amended.

a. If the form is amended,

search the Religious Exemption database to locate and retrieve the previously submitted copy of Form 4029 from the REU pending file. If all information is correct, the REU must

  • Complete the appropriate “SSA Use Only” area on Form 4029 by checking the appropriate box and by signing and dating the form.

  • Staple the envelope and all correspondence from the applicant to the new updated copy of the 4029.

  • Update the Religious Exemption database.

  • File the correspondence according to the date processed in the REU pending file.

  • Place three copies of the processed form in the holding file for mailing to IRS.

b. If the form is not amended and incorrect

• Contact the applicant if a phone number is available.

• Return Form 4029 with the applicable transmittal to the applicant to request appropriate information on the form.

• Retrieve and attach the previously retained paperwork to the new transmittal and place in the REU pending file according to the date the form was returned to the applicant.

• Update the Religious Exemption database.

B. Verifying the Religious Group and the Authorized Representative

Members of certain religious groups may qualify for an exemption from the Social Security tax. Religious exemption unit (REU) technicians receive and review religious exemption Form 4029s from the public. To verify the religious group, the applicant, and the authorized representative, REU technicians process Form 4029 as follows:

1. If the Religious Group listed on the IRS Form 4029 is

a. Unknown

• Send the appropriate transmittal to assist with obtaining a Form 1458, if a Form 1458 is required.

• Return Form 4029 to the applicant with the appropriate transmittal and create a record on the Religious Exemption database.

b. Known and the Authorized Representative is verified

Review and certify the Form 4029 ensuring all three (3) forms are complete and information is duplicated; make copies, if necessary.

  1. 1. 

    If information is missing or there is a discrepancy

  • Return the Form 4029 to the applicant with appropriate transmittal.

  • Create or update the Religious Exemption database.

2. If all information is correct

  • Complete the appropriate “SSA Use Only” area on Form 4029 by checking the appropriate box, signing, and dating the form.

  • Create or update the record in the Religious Exemption database.

  • File the correspondence according to the date processed in the REU pending file.

  • Place three copies of the processed form in the holding file for mailing to IRS.

c. Questionable Authorized Representative’s Name

If the religious group is found in the Form 1458 Religious Group Lookup database and the authorized representative’s name is questionable, exhaust all reasonable means to locate the correct name:


• The New American Almanac

• The Anabaptist (Mennonite) Directory

• The Mennonite Church Directory

d. Authorized Representative Name Remains Unknown

• Return the Form 4029 back to the applicant with the appropriate transmittal.

• Update the Religious Exemption Database.

e. The Authorized Representative Approves a New Representative

• If the known authorized representative approves the new representative, inform the authorized representative they must write a signed and dated notification letter that includes the name, address, and title of the new representative and the church.


• When the notification letter is received, update the Form 1458 Religious Group Lookup Database.


• Request the authorized representative update the information to the publisher for the information to be listed in the next published directory.


C. Processing an Inquiry for Status or Request for a Copy of the Form 4029 from an Individual

Inquiries received from the original applicant requesting the status or copy of their recently filed 4029 may be received via fax, telephone, or letter.

NOTE: Do not refuse a copy of the completed Form 4029 if the individual can clearly be identified as the requester. If you receive a fax or letter inquiry, make all attempts to obtain the same identifying information as a telephone inquiry.

1. Identifying the Requester

Obtain from the caller the following identifying information and verify using all available queries:

  • Caller’s SSN

  • Name

  • Telephone Number (if available)

  • Specific Request

  • Date of birth

  • Place of birth

  • Father’s name

  • Mother’s maiden name

  • Current mailing address

NOTE: If the caller requests a copy of the Form 4029, a statement must be included from the individual to whom the record pertains and the individual understands there are criminal penalties for making a knowing and willful request for access to records concerning another individual under false pretenses.

2. Processing the Request

After verifying the individual’s information, check the Religious Exemption database and process the inquiry.

a. If the database shows the 4029 is at the MWU awaiting approval or denial and the Form 4029

1. Is not time sensitive, inform the applicant that SSA processed Form 4029 and forwarded to IRS MWU for completion. They should receive the form timely.

2. Is time sensitive, the REU must

  • Call the MWU to obtain the status needed to inform the applicant.

  • Ask the MWU to expedite their action.

  • Send copy to MWU, if needed.

  • The MWU will fax a processed copy to the REU and forward a copy of the approved or denied 4029 to the applicant.

b. If the database indicates that the 4029 is not at the MWU but was previously received and returned to applicant due to missing or incorrect information, inform the inquirer of the disposition.

c. If there is no specific information on the Religious Exemption database

• Check the Numident for the Q/FICA waiver indicator

• Search the correspondence file

1. If the Form 4029 was not found, or other evidence indicates the 4029 was approved or denied, send a new form and transmittal explaining that the 4029 is not in the file.

NOTE: IRS will back date the date on the in-lieu-of form if the 4029 submission was approved.  An in-lieu-of form is a form that cannot be located and are maintained in the 4029 database.

2. If the 4029 is found in the correspondence file, make a copy as needed and mail or fax as requested.

3. When a request for a copy of the 4029 is received:

a. Check the Numident. If a “Q/FICA” indicator is on the Numident, search the correspondence file.

1. If Form 4029 is in the file

  • Make a photocopy

  • Mail or fax to the applicant, as requested

2. If Form 4029 is not in the file

  • Verify with the IRS MWU if other documents located in the correspondence file indicates the Form 4029 was approved or denied

  • Send a blank Form 4029 and a letter explaining that no Form 4029 was found

4. The “Q/FICA” indicator is not on the Numident

If the Numident does not display a “Q” but you locate a Form 4029 in the Correspondence file, you must add a “Q” to the Numident. Refer to local ESCORR instructions.

D. Processing Third-Party Requests Received from the IRS MWU

A request for a copy of the 4029 received from any individual other than the applicant is a third-party request. All third-party requests must be processed through the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Ministers Waiver Unit (MWU).

1. When a third-party request is received from the IRS MWU, check the Numident for the Q/FICA indicator.

• If the indicator is not on the Numident, first search the 4029 database, then the correspondence file.

• If indicator is in the Numident, search the correspondence file.

2. After searching the correspondence file

a. If the Form 4029 is found in file, fax the entire contents (the approved/disapproved Form 4029 and revocation, if available) of the file to MWU and refile the material and folder.

NOTE: MWU forward results to requester. Routine requests only require a copy of Form 4029 and revocation documentation if available from the correspondence file.

b. If the Form 4029 is not found, SRB must inform the MWU via fax or phone that no 4029 was found and the MWU will forward the results to the requester.


RM 04906 BASIC - Final Processing - 12/29/2022