EIN Lookup: How to Find My EIN
An EIN lookup is necessary for more occasions than one might think. Just as every citizen in the U.S. has a social security number to identify them, a business has a unique identifier too. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required for many businesses and for some business types, required by law.
What is an EIN?
An EIN lookup will tell you that an EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. This term falls under the umbrella of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Additionally, EIN is also referred to as a “Tax ID number” or a “Federal tax identification number.” An EIN or any TIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a 9 digit number issued to identify your business. The requirement of an EIN is not based on where you operate your company, but on how. Specifically, an EIN identifies a business and is used for tax purposes. However, just because you own a business, does not mean you must have an EIN. The law does not require certain business structures, such as sole proprietorships, to have one. If your business does not need an EIN, the business owner can use their social security number for tax purposes.
EIN vs TIN
When thinking about EIN vs TIN, it’s important to note that an EIN is not the same as a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number). A TIN is an umbrella term that includes three types of numbers the Internal Revenue Service uses for tax purposes:
- Employer identification number (EIN): This number identifies a business.
- Social security number (SSN): This number identifies an individual.
- Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN): This number identifies non-US citizens.
As you can see, an EIN is a type of TIN.
How to Find Your EIN: 7 Places to Look
If you have lost or misplaced your federal tax identification number, try one of the following options:
- Call the Business and Specialty tax line and have the IRS help you track it down. Their number is 800-829-4933
- If you applied for a state or local license, ask the licensing agency to look it up for you
- Did you open up a bank account using your EIN? Contact the bank so they can assist you in finding your tax ID number
- Did you request a credit report for your business? The report should include your EIN
- After applying for your EIN, you should have received a computer-generated notice as a receipt. Try to track that down
- Find one of your previous tax returns that would have used the EIN. All tax returns will include this number
- Did you file for a business loan? Review those documents and find the EIN used
Review tax paperwork
As mentioned before, one of the fastest and easiest ways to recover your Employer Identification Number is by reviewing your business’s tax paperwork. This number appears on all of your tax documents. Your accountant is a great person to call in case you’ve misplaced your latest tax documents or need an EIN lookup.
Contact the IRS
For more information, please contact the IRS website at www.irs.gov and/or you can call the IRS Business and Specialty tax line by dialing 800-829-4933. Their office is open from Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM EST. After placing your call, a representative will ask you a few questions to verify your identity and to ensure you are authorized to receive the EIN. All of this is for the safety and protection of business owners.