An EIN also called as Employer Identification Number, a FEIN (i.e. Federal Employer Identification Number), sometime called as Tax ID Number or taxpayer identification number for the business in United State. This is sort of a Social Security Number (i.e. SSN) for the business. Basically, both SSN and EIN are nine-digit unique number, but these two are written differently so as to help distinguish between these two. One can write the Employer Identification Number i.e. EIN as 12-3456789 while the Social Security Number i.e. SSN as 123-45-6789.
Do one need to have an EIN?
Nearly every business in US will be required to get an Employee Identification Number i.e. EIN. However, there are few exceptions. According to the IRS, you must need to obtain an EIN if –
- You formed a United State corporation or partnership.
- You have employees in your corporation or partnership.
- Your business must file the employment, excise or Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms tax returns.
- Your business withholds the taxes on income (other than wages) paid to a non-resident alien.
- You are involved with a trust, estate, real estate mortgage investment conduit, non-profit, farmer’s co-operation or plan administrators.
If you are forming a United States LLC and your business does not fall into any of the above categories, then you are not required to obtain an Employee Identification Number.
How to get an EIN?
There are four ways in which one can submit a Application Form SS-4 so as to get an EIN i.e. via online, by telephone, mail or by fax –
- Apply for an Employee Identification Number Online
This is one of the fastest and most preferred method to apply for an EIN by online. To qualify to use the online application for an EIN, your company need to be located in United States. This rule also applies to the corporations, partnerships and other entities that are applying for an EIN. One can get an EIN by online means instantly.
- Apply for an Employee Identification Number by Phone, Mail or Fax
You can also apply for an EIN by phone, mail or fax. Only the international applicants can apply for the EIN over the phone. For applying for EIN over the phone, you need to call the IRS customer care number and need to answer the few questions about your business which the IRS customer agent ask you over the phone. You can call the IRS customer care number from Monday to Friday between 07:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. IRS customer care agent will assign you your EIN at the end of the phone call. But if the applicant is residing outside of US, then you need to call IRS customer care number from Monday to Friday between 06:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
When you use the mailing option, you need to take the print out of the Application Form SS-4. Manually fill out this Application Form SS-4 with all the necessary details and mail the completed Application Form SS-4 to the IRS via mailing address –
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Basically, you will get the EIN in 4-6 weeks by mail.
Similarly, when you apply for the EIN over the fax machine, you need to send the completed application form SS-4 by a fax machine to the IRS.
What is the cost involved to get an EIN?
The Internal Revenue Service (i.e. IRS) provide an EIN. Getting an Employee Identification Number i.e. EIN is easy and there is no cost involved in getting this. You need to fill the Application Form SS-4 and send it to the IRS website. You can apply for the Employer Identification Number i.e. EIN free of cost in about ten minutes from the IRS website.
However there are many companies that offer you an EIN by charging you some fee. This fee may range from $25 to $149. These companies may include IRS Tax ID Number, SmallBiz, Bizfilings and Lawyers Aid Service.