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What is an EIN Number?

Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers who are required to file various business tax returns like 2290. EIN is also known as Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or the Federal Tax Identification Number.


Example of EIN Number

EIN is unique for each individual /entity. The first two numbers of the EIN are separated from the last seven numbers. Here is an example of how the EIN digits are formatted:

Sample: 12-3456789

What is the difference between EIN and TIN?

TIN stands for Taxpayer Identification Number. It is the same as the Employer Identification Number. Both refer to the nine-digit number issued by the IRS for your business.

How to apply for an EIN?

You can apply for Employee Identification Number in four different ways:

  1. Online
    You can apply for a new EIN online on the IRS website. The service is available for all entities whose principal business, office or agency, or legal residence (in the case of an individual), is located in the United States or U.S. Territories.
  2. Apply by Fax
    You can fax the completed Form SS-4 PDF application to the appropriate fax number. If your fax number is provided, a fax will be sent back with your new EIN within four business days.
  3. Mail
    You can mail your completed Form SS-4 PDF by mail. The processing timeframe for an EIN application received by mail is four weeks. If you requested a new EIN, you will be assigned one and the details will be mailed to you.
  4. Telephone (for international applicants)
    If you are an international applicant, you can apply for EIN over the telephone by calling the IRS on 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number). You must be authorized to receive the EIN and must be able to answer questions concerning your Form SS-4 PDF.

What is an EIN Number used for?

An EIN number is used to identify business entities operating in the States. EIN includes information about your business, which state you are operating in, and the corporation you are registered with. Following are the uses of EIN number:
  1. File tax returns
    Your business needs an EIN in order to file taxes. EIN is used as an identification number when you file your taxes with the IRS. Every financial decision made on your business’s behalf will be tied to its EIN.
  2. Hire employees
    If your business has employees, you will need to get an EIN to set up payroll and to register for the State's employer taxes like paying for workers’ compensation and withholding income taxes on behalf of your employees. The IRS will use the business’s EIN to track payroll taxes.
  3. Maintain corporate veil
    If you’re a single-member LLC, an EIN helps you maintain your corporate veil. Corporate veil protects business owners from personal liability for the business’s debts.
  4. Prevent identity theft
    If you’re a sole proprietor without an EIN, you need to disclose your SSN to clients or vendors, which will put you at high risk for identity theft.
  5. Open a business bank account
    Most banks require an EIN for approval of business banking account opening and business credit card application.
  6. Build business credit
    Credit agencies use EIN to track your business’s credit record.
  7. Qualify for more business loans
    Many lenders prefer a company that has EIN as it will help them verify your business credits.

Most Frequently Asked Questions around EIN Number

Q. Is it possible to file Form 2290 without EIN?

A. You must have an established Employer Identification Number to file IRS Form 2290. Your form will be rejected if you do not mention the EIN while filing offline. If you are filing online through an e-filing provider like eForm2290, you will not be able to proceed to further steps if you fail to specify your EIN.

Q. Is it possible to use SSN instead of EIN for Form 2290 filing?

A. SSN cannot be used for filing form 2290 instead of EIN. You can only file HVUT Form 2290 using an EIN.

Q. When do you need an EIN?

A. If you are a sole proprietor of a heavy vehicle, Corporation, LLC, or partnership that manages a heavy vehicle fleet, you will need a new EIN for:

  • Filing form 2290 for HVUT
  • Claiming tax for a suspended vehicle
  • Filing Schedule 1 og HVUT
  • Changing ownership or business structure
  • Forming a partnership or shifting to a sole proprietorship
  • Paying salary to employees
  • Filing other tax returns
  • Working with other organizations

Q. Who can apply for an EIN?

A. All forms of businesses can apply for Employer Identification Numbers. This includes entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), sole proprietorships, non-profit organizations, government agencies, corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts, etc. Even a company with just one employee is eligible for an EIN.

Q. What are the requirements for EIN Number?

A. You must provide your name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor.

Q. How to verify EIN number?

A. You can verify your EIN by calling the IRS’ Business & Specialty Tax Line. the IRS will only share EIN with authorized personnel such as the sole proprietor, corporate officer, partner in a partnership, or other similar roles.

Q. What if I don’t have an EIN?

A. You can apply for an EIN online or offline if you don’t have one. You cannot pay federal taxes, hire employees, open a bank account, or apply for business licenses and permits without an EIN.

Q. Where can i find my EIN number?

A. You can find your EIN on the following documents:

  • Business tax return from a previous year
  • The document you received from the IRS when you applied for EIN or the original document of your receipt
  • Your state’s business division website, if you registered your partnership, LLC, or corporation
  • Business bank account application form, business loan application form, or business credit card application form
  • Copy of a state/local license or tax permit

Q. How do I recover my EIN if I forget or lose it?

A. You can call the IRS EIN Department and speak with one of their representatives to get details of your EIN.

Q. How to renew EIN number?

A. To renew your EIN, you should submit a completed Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and all required identification documents to the IRS. Only originals of identification documents or certified copies of the documents from the issuing agency will be accepted.

Q. Is an EIN public?

A. Unlike the SSN, the EIN is not considered sensitive information and is freely distributed by many businesses through publications and the internet. But you must keep your EIN secure like any other official documents so that no one attempts to commit fraud by using your EIN.

Q. If you have multiple EINs, which one should you use?

A. Each business is allocated a separate EIN. If you have multiple businesses that are taxed differently, you need to use the EIN uniquely generated for that particular business to file your tax. If you use the wrong EIN, the filed form will get rejected.


Final Thoughts

Whether you are a sole proprietor, a business entity or an LLC, having an employer identification number is imperative while carrying out crucial tasks such as filing your Form 2290 online, hiring employees and applying for loans and licenses. Moreover, having your EIN at disposal brings down tax filing hassles and chances of rejections.

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