You need an EIN if you are the owner of a business which employs any number of people. The need for an EIN is irrespective of the number of people employed. Also if the business you are running is a corporation or partnership-based, you need to get yourself an EIN issued. EIN is primarily used for tax returns, so if you are a filer of employment, excise, alcohol, tobacco or firearms tax returns, then you must have an EIN. Other than wages paid to your employees, if you withhold taxes on incomes which are paid to a non-resident alien, then you need to have an EIN. Any individual or business having a Keogh plan must also have an EIN. Apart from this, if you have involvement with any organization which is listed on IRS site then you must have an EIN. These organizations may be trusts, estates, non-profit organizations, farmers’ cooperatives or plan administrators. EIN is safer than SSN as it can be shared with business associates, given to employers or clients, and even uploaded on the web without the risk of getting your identity stolen. In a way, it is a better replacement of SSN, though it does not serve all the purposes of SSN.
How to Get a Federal Employment identification Number?
EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is free of charge. One must be careful of the websites internet that charge for this free facility. There are various ways to apply for your EIN which are listed below:
The easiest way to get your EIN is by applying online. You will be required to fill an online form with the required detailed. The completed application form can be submitted and is verified during the same online session and an EIN is issued. The eligibility criterion to get an EIN is that your business, office, agency or legal residence should be in the United States or United States territories. To use this online application, you must have a Social Security Number.
Apply by Fax
Similarly, the application form can be duly filled and faxed to the concerned office. Make sure that the form is filled with all the required data and no mandatory blank is left out. If you provide your fax number along with the application then your EIN will be issued to you via fax within 4 working days given that your form was complete and no discrepancy was noted.
Apply by Mail
You can also apply to get your EIN by sending them a mail. Please note that this method is time-consuming as compared to the others as it takes 4 weeks to process an application and issue the EIN using the mail method to apply. Please make sure that the Form SS-4 is completely filled and no mandatory information required is left missing. Upon verification and processing, your EIN will be sent to you through your mail.
Apply by Telephone – International Applicants
There is a provision for International applicants that they may apply for their EIN by calling the IRS on their designated number 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. The person making the call must be authorized to receive the EIN and must have the information required to fill the form and must be able to convey it across.