What is an EIN?
An Employer ID Number (EIN) is a tax identification number for a business. An EIN is a nine-digit number in the form xx-xxxxxxx. This number is required for some business purposes and useful for other purposes.
What is an EIN Used for?
- Opening a business bank account. Most banks require an EIN as an identifier for a business bank account.
- Applying for business licenses. For local and state business licenses, you will be asked for your EIN for identification purposes.
- Filing tax reports. An EIN is required on all federal income tax forms and federal payroll/employment tax forms.
- Filing electronic returns. Most federal tax payments must be made electronically using the federal tax filing system (EFTPS), and an EIN serves as the identifier on all tax returns.
- State taxes. For state sales tax, income tax, and other state taxes, you will need an EIN. In some states, you may also need a state EIN.
When your business must have an EIN
The IRS requires that a business have an EIN in the following circumstances:
- If you have employees,
- If your business is operated as a partnership or a corporation
- If you file any of these tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
- If you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien
How Do I Get an EIN?
Go to the IRS website and look for the link to Form SS-4. You may complete the EIN application online, by fax, by phone or by mail. If you apply online, you can have your EIN within a few minutes. Before you apply, print out a copy of the SS-4 and answer the questions to save time.