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How to Get a Federal Tax ID Number in the U.S.

Updated on July 4, 2014

It is not complicated to get your EIN number. The easiest way is to get it online.This Federal Identification Number stands for Employer Identification Number. By definition alone, "employers" will have employees working for them. Therefore, this is the employer's identification with Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

EIN is the business entity's identifying number. Generally, when your business structure or ownership has changed, like from single proprietorship to corporation, you need to get a new EIN. For first timers, you need to apply for EIN if you are or will become one of the following:

  • You have employees or will hire employees
  • You will open a bank account in the United States
  • You will operate your business as a corporation or a partnership
  • You will file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
  • You will withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien
  • You will have a Keogh plan (retirement plan for the self-employed)
  • The Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
  • An Estate
  • A real estate mortgage investment conduit
  • A Non-profit organization
  • A farmers' cooperatives
  • You will be a Plan administrator

How to apply for EIN?

1)Through the website at:

2) By mailing the SS-4 form to:

(US residents only)

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

(Non-US residents only)

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN International Operation
Philadelphia, PA 19255

3) By phone: tel# (800) 829-4933

4) By fax

US residents : Fax-TIN: (859) 669-5760

Non-US residents: Fax-TIN: (267) 941-1040

Important reminder:

If you are mailing the photocopy of your passport as proof of your identification, have it certified as true copy by your issuing government agency.

You need to do is fill out the SS-4 form. This form can be downloaded from the IRS website. After filling out the SS-4, the responsible party has to sign it.

The IRS has modernized their application process. If you don't have time to mail the SS-4, you can now call IRS directly for your application information.

Information required to complete the IRS SS-4 application

First, you have to have a business name if you plan to use a different one from your legal name.

Second, you need to provide your business address. Your address will help you determine if you are an entity operating in the United States or outside the country.

Third, you need to indicate the type of business entity, like single proprietorship, partnerships, corporation, etc.

The IRS will also ask the reason why you are applying for an EIN. There are several choices written on the form. If your reason is not one of the choices, check the box that says "others".

Another important information is that you have to give the name of the person responsible for the application of SS-4.

Copyright © 2012 The Girls. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without permission prohibited.


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    • profile image

      Minimi 3 years ago

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    • the girls profile image

      Theresa Ventu 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Thank you pitzele. You are absolutely right. There are different requirements and forms to register your business with the Federal and State. Every business needs to register twice - EIN (federal) and State (State I.D.). Happy holidays :-)

    • the girls profile image

      Theresa Ventu 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Happy holidays hawaiianodysseus! I am glad to be of help :-)

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I like these kinds of hubs that share with others--especially those who are new to our country--the protocol and procedures involved in these significant matters. Kudos to you for presenting in reader-friendly fashion a subject that has confused even the business tax authors themselves. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    • pitzele profile image

      pitzele 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Please also let your readers know that an EIN is not the same thing as registering with the state in which they are doing business.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

      Contact the IRS