An estate Tax ID Number is a unique identification number assigned to an estate by the Internal Revenue Service. If you've already been assigned an estate tax ID number but you don't remember what it is and can't find it in your records, you can look it up through the IRS.
The ID number allows you, as the executor of the estate, to handle the decedent’s estate taxes. You must complete an application with the IRS for an employer identification number or EIN when you open the estate. Despite what the name implies, an EIN is the same as a TIN.
Through the Bank
Gather the personal information of the decedent, including his Social Security number and the address of the estate, along with proof of your identity, such as a driver’s license or state-issued photo identification. You may also need to provide documentation, such as the decedent's will, showing your status as executor.
Visit the bank or credit union where the estate’s bank account is currently located. Provide a bank representative with the account number of the estate’s account. Confirm the name of the decedent and provide your identification and other documents to prove you're the executor handling the estate’s affairs.
The representative should be able to provide you with the estate tax ID number listed for the bank account. The ID number may also be referred to as either an EIN or a TIN.
Read More: Can an Executor of a Will Close a Bank Account?
Through the IRS
You can also ask the IRS for the number. Again, you'll have to gather your personal information, including your Social Security number, and the personal information of the decedent, including his full name, date of birth, date of death, and his Social Security number. You'll also have to provide the address of the estate. This is usually the physical address of the property the decedent owned and maintained as his primary residence, but you may have changed it to your own when you began acting as executor.
Contact the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line by calling (800) 829-4933. The line operates between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is also an automated system that you can use when live help is unavailable if you have the appropriate information available.
Confirm that You Have the Right to the Information
Otherwise, provide the IRS agent with your personal information and the information of the decedent, specifically his Social Security number. Provide the address of the estate and the estate’s bank account number. You may be asked to fax a signed document confirming that you're the executor, or other estate-related documents that prove it, before the agent will provide you with the estate tax ID number.
You must be the executor of the estate to look up an estate tax ID number. Neither the bank nor the IRS will provide this information to anyone who isn't entitled to have it.
Carrie Ferland is a practicing civil litigation defense attorney in the Philadelphia Area. As an author, her work has been featured in various legal publications for over 10 years. Ferland is a 2000 graduate of Pennsylvania State University and completed her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration with the Dickinson School of Law. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in English.