An Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), is a unique number assigned to most business entities by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax and identification purposes. IRS-EIN-Tax-ID provides an online application EIN processing and filing service for businesses, estates, trusts, non-profit organizations, and church-controlled organizations.
Who is Required to Obtain an EIN?
Most businesses are required to obtain an EIN. You may be required by the IRS to apply for an EIN if you fall under any of these circumstances:
- You have employees.
- Your business is taxed as a partnership, C corporation or limited liability company.
- Your business has a Keogh plan.
- You withhold taxes on income paid to a non-resident alien.
- Your business is involved with estates, trusts, employee plans non-profit organizations, real estate mortgage investment conduits, or farmers’ cooperatives.
- You file excise taxes, or alcohol, tobacco, and firearm taxes.
You may still be required to apply for an EIN even if your business does not fall under one of those categories. This includes if you want to apply for a business loan or open a business bank account.
When Can I Use My EIN?
An EIN is used for many purposes. If you applied for an EIN electronically, this number can be used immediately for the following reasons:
- Filing tax return by mail
- Applying for business licenses
- Opening a bank account
However, it may take up to fourteen days before the EIN becomes a permanent record with the IRS. Until that time occurs, you are unable to make an electronic tax payment, file an electronic return, or pass an IRS TIN matching program.