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  Top Questions about the EIN Assistant
 
  1. Do I need an EIN?
  2. When will I get my EIN?
  3. Can I save my work and continue at a later time?
  4. How much time do I have to complete this application?
  5. When will I be able to use my EIN?
   
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Do I need an EIN? Back to top
You need an EIN if you:

  • Started a new business
  • Hired or will hire employees, including household employees
  • Opened a bank account that requires an EIN for banking purposes
  • Changed the legal character or ownership of your organization (for example, you incorporate a sole proprietorship or form a partnership)
  • Purchased a going business
  • Created a trust
  • Created a pension plan as a plan administrator
  • Are a foreign person and need an EIN to comply with IRS withholding regulations
  • Are a withholding agent for taxes on non-wage income paid to an alien (such as an individual, a corporation, or a partnership)
  • Are a state or local agency
  • Are a federal government unit or agency
  • Formed a corporation
  • Formed a partnership
  • Administer an estate formed as a result of a person's death
  • Represent an estate that operates a business after the owner's death.


Do I need a new EIN? Back to top
Sole Proprietors

You will be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:

  • You are subject to a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • You incorporate.
  • You take in partners and operate as a partnership.
  • You purchase or inherit an existing business that you operate as a sole proprietorship.
You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:
  • You change the name of your business.
  • You change your location or add other locations.
  • You operate multiple businesses.
Corporations

You will be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:

  • A corporation receives a new charter from the Secretary of State.
  • You are a subsidiary of a corporation using the parent's EIN or you become a subsidiary of a corporation.
  • You change to a partnership or a sole proprietorship.
  • A new corporation is created after a statutory merger.
You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:
  • You are a division of a corporation.
  • The surviving corporation uses the existing EIN after a corporate merger.
  • A corporation declares bankruptcy.
  • The corporate name or location changes.
  • A corporation chooses to be taxed as an S corporation.
  • Reorganization of a corporation changes only the identity or place.
Partnerships

You will be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:

  • You incorporate.
  • Your partnership is taken over by one of the partners and is operated as a sole proprietorship.
  • You end an old partnership and begin a new one.
You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:
  • The partnership declares bankruptcy.
  • The partnership name changes.
  • You change the location of the partnership or add other locations.
  • A new partnership is formed as a result of the termination of a partnership under IRC section 708(b)(1)(B).
  • 50 percent or more of the ownership of the partnership (measured by interests in capital and profits) changes hands within a twelve-month period (terminated partnerships under Reg. 301.6109-1).
  • You operate multiple businesses under your existing partnership agreement.
Estates

You will be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:

  • A trust is created with funds from the estate (not simply a continuation of the estate).
  • You represent an estate that operates a business after the owner's death.
  • You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statement is true:
  • The administrator, personal representative, or executor changes his/her name or address.
Trusts

You will be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:

  • One person is the grantor/maker of many trusts.
  • A trust changes to an estate.
  • A living or intervivos trust changes to a testamentary trust.
  • A living trust terminates by distributing its property to a residual trust.
  • You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:
  • The trustee changes.
  • The grantor or beneficiary changes his/her name or address.
Limited Liability Companies

You will be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statement is true:

  • A corporation files papers with the state to convert to an LLC and will use the default classification of partnership. (The corporation is treated as if it has liquidated in this case.)
You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if the following statements are true:
  • A corporation files papers with the state to convert to an LLC and will elect via Form 8832 to be taxed as a corporation.
  • The number of members in the LLC changes from more than one member to a single member.
  • The number of members in the LLC changes from a single member to more than one member.
  • A sole proprietor files papers to become a state recognized entity, organizes as an LLC, and will file Form 8832 or Form 2553 to elect to be treated as a disregarded entity or taxed as a corporation or small business corporation.


How long does it take to apply for and receive an EIN online? Back to top
Applying online should take less than 15 minutes from start to finish. Taxpayers and authorized third party designees will receive an EIN immediately upon completion of the application.


How much time do I have to complete this application? Back to top
There is no time limit to complete the application as a whole. However, if you stay on any one page for 15 minutes, your session will expire. Be sure you input the information on any one page and move to a new page within a 15 minute time span. 


Will I receive a confirmation letter or notice containing my EIN? Back to top
If you are the taxpayer/authorized individual, you can opt to receive a confirmation letter either online or by mail. Whatever format you choose, it will serve as your official IRS record. If you opt to receive your letter online, you will not receive it by mail. We strongly recommend that you print the letter for your permanent records, or if you do not have access to a printer, that you save it for later printing. If you opt to receive your letter by mail, please allow up to four weeks for delivery.


What if I do not know what type of legal structure or organization to choose? Back to top
You can click on any underlined word or phrase to get a definition of each legal structure or organization type. If you still don't see your organization type, click on "View Additional Types including Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt Organizations" to view more types.


When will I get my EIN? Back to top
You will get your EIN immediately upon completing this application. However, if you are an unauthorized third party completing this application for someone else, although the IRS will issue the EIN immediately, it will only disclose the number, in writing, to the addressee.


When will I be able to use my EIN? Back to top
This EIN is your permanent number and can be used immediately for most of your business needs, including:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Applying for business licenses
  • Filing a tax return by mail.
However, it will take up to two weeks before your EIN becomes part of the IRS's permanent records. You must wait until this occurs before you can:
  • File an electronic return
  • Make an electronic payment
  • Pass an IRS Taxpayer Identification Number matching program.


Does the system save the information I have entered? Back to top
No. You must complete this application in one session, as you will not be able to save and return at a later time.


Can I save my work and continue at a later time? Back to top
No. You must complete this application in one session, as you will not be able to save and return at a later time.


What if I need to make changes to the information I submitted? Back to top
If you need to make changes to your organization's information, you must do so in writing. Mail the changes to the address provided at http://www.irs.gov/file/article/0,,id=111138,00.html.


Why did my session time out? Back to top
For security purposes, this application times out after 15 minutes of inactivity. If you do not move to a new page within 15 minutes, your session will expire and you will need to start over.


Is this a secure application? Back to top
Please refer to our Privacy Policy.


What if I do not have some of the required information? Back to top
All of the information is required to process the application. If you submit an incomplete application, you will receive an error message telling you what fields are required and you will not be able to continue until you provide that information. If this occurs, please obtain the necessary information or call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933. TTY/TDD: 1-800-829-4059.


How do I enter a military address? Back to top
If your current place of residence contains one of the following armed forces address, complete the required address fields and use the abbreviations listed below in the state dropdown field:

  • Armed Forces Africa (AE)
  • Armed Forces Americas (AA)
  • Armed Forces Canada (AE)
  • Armed Forces Europe (AE)
  • Armed Forces Middle East (AE)
  • Armed Forces Pacific (AP).

Your military address should be treated like a domestic address. APO or FPO should be entered in the city field and AA, AE, or AP should be selected in the State/U.S. territory field. Please use the following example as a guide:

Address: CMR 408 BOX 329
City: APO
State/U.S. territory: Armed Forces Europe (AE)
Zip code: 09182


What is the Care-of name? Back to top
The Care-of name is a specific person or department within your organization to which the mail should be directed.