An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. It is also used by estates and trusts which have income which is required to be reported on Form 1041, U.S. The following form is available only to employers located in Puerto Rico, Solicitud de Número de Identificación Patronal (EIN) SS-4PRPDF. An EIN is necessary for certain businesses, as it allows the IRS to identify your business for tax purposes when it is not appropriate to use your Social Security number. The EIN can be used in various business activities such as opening business bank accounts and paying employment taxes. The IRS doesn’t provide a public database you can use to look up EIN numbers for your own company or others.

  1. If you’ve misplaced your EIN confirmation letter, then you’ll need to get a little more creative to find your business tax ID number.
  2. Colleges, banks, accounting firms often help applicants in obtaining an ITIN.
  3. Your business name must be approved by the state of operation prior to filling out your tax identification number application.
  4. Look back through your paper and digital business files.

Knowing your business tax ID number is important, but with all of the competing attention for a small business owner, you might forget or misplace your tax ID. The IRS has a detailed list of situations where you need a new EIN. A new EIN replaces your old EIN, so once you get the new tax ID, you would use that on tax returns and other business paperwork moving forward.

For this purpose, income from a marketable security consists of the following items. It allows you to seek employment in the United States and to obtain credit with banks and other lenders. You can file your annual tax returns with the IRS using your SSN. The agency that issues your TIN will provide you with an official document with your unique identifier.

Depending on your state, you may also need to acquire a state number or charter. Security Certification of the TurboTax Online application has been performed by C-Level Security. Tax obligations differ at the state and local levels, so you’ll need to check with your state’s websites. This article has been reviewed by tax expert Erica Gellerman, CPA. Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

When Should My Business Consider an EIN?

While EINs and SSNs are different, both are nine digits long. Kelly Main is staff writer at Forbes Advisor, specializing in testing and reviewing marketing software with a focus on CRM solutions, payment processing solutions, and web design software. Before joining the team, she was a content producer at Fit Small Business where she served as an editor and strategist covering small business marketing content. She is a former Google Tech Entrepreneur and holds an MSc in international marketing from Edinburgh Napier University. Magazine and the founder of ProsperBull, a financial literacy program taught in U.S. high schools. You can apply online via the IRS website to obtain an employer identification number.

A Social Security number is one form of TIN and is used by most taxpayers when filing their federal and state taxes. Included in the legal requirements to run a business or another type of organization, you must apply for a tax ID number. It’s necessary to have a TIN not only to file your taxes, but even to run your operations on a daily basis. The most common type of taxpayer identification number is the social security number. Issued by the Social Security Administration, U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain temporary residents are eligible for a social security number. There are several types of federal tax ID numbers, so identifying which type you’ll need to apply for is important.

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers with an ITIN can complete the registration process to access their IRS online account, which provides balance due, payment history, payment plans, tax records, and more. A Form 1040 return with limited credits is one that’s filed using IRS Form 1040 only (with the exception of the specific covered situations described below).

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As well as this form, you should prepare to submit proof of identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. If you need further information, you can read this article on applying for a personal taxpayer identification number. The IRS requires most types of businesses to apply for an EIN. The exceptions are some sole proprietors and owners of single-member LLCs, who can use their social security number instead of an EIN. But even small business owners who don’t have to get an EIN often opt to get one, so that they’re able to separate their business and personal finances.

Foreign Persons and IRS Employer Identification Numbers

This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity. The IRS has required the listing of a PTIN on each tax return filed since Jan. 1, 2011. Any preparer that charges to complete all or part of a tax return for another individual must have and use a PTIN.

We’re talking about either individuals you trust (like a family member or close friend) or professionals such as your accountant, attorney, or a paid tax preparer. It’s someone who’s familiar with your financial details and whom you trust to represent you accurately and responsibly. Filing the SS-4 form online comes with several advantages. Along with being free, it’s quicker and can be done anywhere, anytime. Once you submit the form, the information is processed immediately, and, if eligible, you’ll receive your EIN instantly.

We recommend employers download these publications from Copies can be requested online (search “Forms and Publications) or by calling 800-TAX-FORM. In order to get an SSN, you’ll need to fill out an application form. This form is known as SS-5, and can be found at the SSA’s forms page online.


Numerous websites can help you as well, but be wary about using this option. Make sure they’re not fraudsters before providing them with any of your personal information. A child must have an SSN before a parent can claim them as a dependent for income tax purposes tax identification number so parents voluntarily apply for the number on behalf of their children. A child with an ITIN can also be claimed as a dependent. The SSA processes applications for free but there are also fee-based services that offer to complete applications for new parents.

Free EIN Lookup: How Do I Find My EIN Online?

The IRS representative will ask you questions to confirm your identity. Most people know their social security number by heart, but not all business owners know their business tax ID number. Your EIN isn’t something that you use on a day-to-day basis, so keeping this number top of mind isn’t as easy as remembering your company’s phone number or address. EINs are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, LLCs, partnerships, non-profit associations, trusts, estates of decedents, government agencies, certain individuals, and other business entities. Having a TIN is necessary for individuals to work in the United States and you can’t file a tax return without one. Reach out to the IRS or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services if you’re not a U.S. citizen, don’t have a number, and you’re unsure how to proceed.

In order to get an EIN, you’ll also need to fill out an application form, but this time through the IRS. Applying for this number can be done online at the IRS’ EIN page online. If you need additional information, check out this article on Employer Identification Number or EIN. John and Kelly apply for an EIN online via the IRS EIN Assistant, free of charge. They provide information about themselves, as well as their business, and their EIN is available immediately upon verification.