Publication 583 - Employer Identification Number (EIN)
EINs are used to identify the tax accounts of employers, certain sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships,
estates, trusts, and other entities.
If you don't already have an EIN, you need to get one if you:
1. Have employees,
2. Have a qualified retirement plan,
3. Operate your business as a corporation or partnership, or
4. File returns for:
1. Employment taxes, or
2. Excise taxes.
Applying for an EIN. You may apply for an EIN:
- Online—Click on the EIN link at www.irs.gov/businesses/small. The EIN is issued immediately once the
application information is validated.
- By telephone at 1-800-829-4933 from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the applicant's local time zone.
- By mailing or faxing Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number.
When to apply. You should apply for an EIN early enough to receive the number by the time you must file a
return or statement or make a tax deposit. If you apply by mail, file Form SS-4 at least 4 to 6 weeks before you
need an EIN. If you apply by telephone or through the IRS website, you can get an EIN immediately. If you apply by
fax, you can get an EIN within 5 business days.
If you do not receive your EIN by the time a return is due, file your return anyway. Write “Applied for” and the date
you applied for the number in the space for the EIN. Do not use your social security number as a substitute for an
EIN on your tax returns.
More than one EIN. You should have only one EIN. If you have more than one EIN and are not sure which to
use, contact the Internal Revenue Service Center where you file your return. Give the numbers you have, the
name and address to which each was assigned, and the address of your main place of business. The IRS will tell
you which number to use.
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