How to Obtain a Tax ID Number for an Estate

By Joseph Nicholson
Filling out tax forms.

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The estate of a decedent requires a separate tax identity under the IRS rules. Estate taxes and other liabilities will apply. It generally falls to the executor or personal representative of the estate to have an Employer Tax Identification Number established. With online access, the process is simple and straightforward.

Obtain the SS-4, which is a federal tax ID number application. It can be downloaded directly from the IRS website. If you print the form, it can be faxed or mailed to the IRS, and documents containing the tax identification number will be mailed back in a few weeks.

Gather necessary information. The tax identification application will require certain information, including the name of the estate, contact information of the estate and the Social Security number of the decedent.

Compete the online application. Instead of filing a paper version of Form SS-4, an applicant can use the online application portal for the IRS. The applicant is led through a series of interview-style questions, and the information provided is used to automatically generate and submit an SS-4.

About the Author

Joseph Nicholson is an independent analyst whose publishing achievements include a cover feature for "Futures Magazine" and a recurring column in the monthly newsletter of a private mint. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and is currently attending law school in San Francisco.