How to Find a Payer's Federal Identification Number

By Judith Evans ; Updated June 05, 2017
Employer Identification Number (EIN).

If you have misplaced your federal Employment Identification Number, or EIN, you can find the number on tax returns or other Internal Revenue Service documents. You can find a company’s Federal Identification Number on tax forms, from the company’s payroll or other departments, or from databases maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission or Melissa Data. Any business that has employees must obtain a nine-digit federal EIN that enables the IRS to identify the business for tax purposes.

Find Your Own EIN

You can find your own lost or misplaced EIN in the original IRS confirmation of your application for an EIN. If you have already filed taxes for your business using your EIN, you can find the number on a previously filed tax return. If you opened a bank account or applied for a license for your business, you can also obtain the EIN from the bank or licensing agency.

If you still cannot find your EIN, call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 to request a search for the number. This assistance line is available Mondays through Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You will have to provide identifying information to confirm that you are authorized to receive this information.

Find a Third Party's EIN

You may need to find a third party's EIN for tax purposes or some other legitimate legal purpose. You can find your employer's EIN on your most recent W-2 form or from your employer's payroll, human resources or accounting department. If you are an independent contractor, your most recent 1099 form should contain the payer’s EIN.

Some federal identification number look-up tools are available online. The Securities and Exchange Commission maintains the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system, known as EDGAR, where you can find a publicly traded company's EIN on forms such as the company's 8-K or 10-K filings. Search for the company by name and select the document that you want to view. The company's EIN will appear on the selected document.

You can find a nonprofit organization's EIN online at Melissa Data. Select nonprofit organizations under the federal resources tab. Enter the organization's name to find the EIN on the organization's information page. If you search by entering the zip code, you will have to select the organization from a list of nonprofits within that zip code.

About the Author

Judith Evans has been writing professionally since 2009, specializing in gardening and fitness articles. An avid gardener, Evans has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Hampshire, a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School, and a personal trainer certificate from American Fitness Professionals and Associates.