As the name suggests, businesses must have an EIN before hiring employees, and even some businesses that don't have employees may wish to obtain one.
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You cannot file your tax returns without a number that identifies you or your business to the IRS. Whether you use your SSN or another identifier, you include the number on your tax filings and any checks you send to the IRS.
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If you have employees or file excise or pension tax returns, you must apply for an EIN. If you are filling out a business form, use your EIN if you have one. It's often a good idea to get an EIN to keep your business records separate from your personal ones even if you don't technically need one. It can also help to limit the number of places you must send your SSN for security's sake. Some companies looking to work with independent contractors will require or prefer dealing with businesses with established EINs to help confirm that they're not legally employees for tax purposes.
Social Security and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN)
Besides the IRS, many businesses also use your number for identification purposes. As an individual, your SSN is tied to your credit reports, school transcripts and employer's files. Businesses use their EIN when opening accounts with other businesses and when reporting wages to their employees.
The Federal Trade Commission calls this practice "file segregation" and warns that it is illegal. If you apply for personal credit, you must use your SSN. Additionally, you can apply over the phone by calling Online or phone applicants receive an EIN immediately.
Do I need a TIN?
Faxed applications take four business days, and mailed applications take up to four weeks. Specializing in business and finance, Lee Nichols began writing in At the center of everything we do is a strong commitment to independent research and sharing its profitable discoveries with investors.
The first three digits identify where the card was issued, which is typically where the individual lives. The next two digits were originally for filing information. The final set of numbers have four digits, which are the person's individual identifying numbers. Federal Tax ID numbers are also nine digits, though they are broken down in two sections.
Tax Identification Number Vs. Social Security Number
The first two digits indicate the office that issued the number, while the remaining seven digits are the business identification numbers. Your personal information, such as your name and your age, are attached to your Social Security number.
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Keep this number private and only share it when necessary, such as with government agencies. In contrast, Federal Tax ID numbers are typically readily available, as a company must share that number with employees, contractors and anyone else who may need the number for their own business or tax purposes. Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports.
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She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.
Obtain a Federal Tax ID or EIN for Your Business | BizFilings
Social Security Numbers Social Security numbers can be ordered along with a baby's birth certificate. Uses Your personal information, such as your name and your age, are attached to your Social Security number. Video of the Day. Brought to you by Sapling. Resources Social Security Online: History.