Why do we need an Employer Identification Number (EIN)? You need to have an EIN if you are required to report taxes or give tax statements to employees or annuitants. The EIN is a 9 digit number the IRS issues. This number is used to identify tax accounts of employers. Your EIN should be used on all items that are sent to the IRS and the SSA (Social Security Administration).
If you don’t have an EIN you can apply online at IRS.gov/EIN. You may also apply by using form SS-4. It can either be mailed or faxed to the IRS. Do not use your SSN in place of an EIN.
You should only have one EIN. If you have more than one and aren’t sure which one to use, call 1-800-829-4933. You need to provide them with the numbers you have, the name and address to which each was assigned, and the address of your main place of business. The IRS will tell you which number to use.
If you have taken over a business, DO NOT use the prior owners EIN. You need to apply for a new EIN. If it comes time to file your return and you have not received your EIN, you should file a paper return and write “Applied For” and the date you applied for it in the space the number should go.
Hope this brief explanation is helpful to those needing to obtain an EIN.