An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine digit number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to keep track of entities that have to file tax returns. These entities can include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, non-profits, government bodies, churches, and even trusts and estates. Employees often need to find the EIN of their place of employment in order to complete their taxes. Sometimes the person assigned an EIN for their business has forgotten or misplaced their EIN. The procedures for an employee searching for an EIN are different than those of the EIN holder.
Finding Your Employer's EIN
Examine the W-2 form you should have received from your employer. The EIN is recorded in box b. This is the simplest way to obtain an EIN. If you do not receive a W-2 from your employer you should contact them and request one. Contact the IRS if you are still unable to obtain one from your employer.
Examine other documents you have received from the company. If you are unable to contact the company, their EIN may be found on pay stubs and invoices. Sometimes companies also provide the EIN on their website.
Locate the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The U.S. Department of Labor suggests finding these filings using the SEC searchable database, EDGAR. This is a free system. You should look for forms 10-K and 20-F, as these both contain the company's EIN.
Finding Your Own EIN
Look at the confirmation notice the IRS sent when you applied for the EIN. The nine-digit number will be located on this notice.
Contact any bank you opened an account with using the EIN. The bank should be able to provide the EIN after you verify your identification.
Contact any state agency where you used the EIN to apply for a license or certification. They should provide your EIN if you have the proper identification.
Request your EIN from the IRS. The IRS provides a phone number, (800) 829-4933, in which to call to request your EIN. You do not have to complete any forms, though the assistant will ask you for identification information. The line is open 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. in all time zones, Monday through Friday.
- An EIN is also referred to as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
- id form image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com