As a business owner or self-employed individual, it’s important to have your Employer Identification Number (EIN) number on hand. This unique nine-digit number is assigned by the IRS and is used to identify your business for tax purposes. Whether you’re just starting out or have misplaced your EIN, finding it can be easier than you think. Follow these five easy steps and avoid common pitfalls to quickly find your EIN number.
Five Easy Steps to Finding Your EIN Number
There are several ways to locate your EIN number. Begin with these five steps to streamline your search:
Step 1: Check Your Previous Tax Documents
If you’ve filed taxes in previous years, your EIN number will be located on any tax-related documents you received from the IRS. This includes tax returns, W-2, 1099, and K-1 forms. Search through your files for these documents and look for the EIN number listed.
Step 2: Ask Your Employer or Business Partner
If you’re unable to find your EIN number in your tax documents, reach out to your current employer or business partner and request the EIN number. They should have access to this information and can provide it to you directly.
Step 3: Search Your Bank Statements
If your business has a separate bank account in its name, search through your bank statements for any transactions that included the name of your business. EIN numbers are sometimes included on these statements for verification purposes.
Step 4: Contact the IRS Directly
If you’re still unable to find your EIN number, contact the IRS directly. You can reach their Business & Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933. Be prepared to provide personal identification information and details about your business to receive the EIN number.
Step 5: Use an EIN Lookup Tool
There are several online resources available for EIN lookup, like the one found on the IRS website. Simply enter your business information, and your EIN number will be provided instantly. These tools can be especially helpful if you’re unable to locate previous tax documents or contact information for your employer or business partner.
The Importance of Knowing Your EIN Number and How to Find It
Having your EIN number on hand is crucial for several reasons:
Personal Liability Protection
With an EIN number, your business is legally recognized as a separate entity, which provides you with personal liability protection. This means that your personal assets and finances are protected from lawsuits, debts, and other legal matters related to your business.
Easier Accounting and Bookkeeping
Having your EIN number on hand can simplify your accounting and bookkeeping efforts. You’ll be able to accurately file taxes, create financial reports, and maintain accurate records for your business.
Simple Tax Filing
Your EIN number is required to file taxes for your business. By having this number on hand, you can avoid delays or penalties related to tax filing.
Explanation of the Various Things That the EIN Number is Used For
Aside from tax purposes, EIN numbers are used for several other reasons including opening a business bank account, applying for business credit, hiring employees, and applying for business licenses and permits. It’s essential to have your EIN number available for any of these situations that may arise.
Top Resources for Finding Your Missing EIN Number
How to Use the IRS Website
The IRS website offers a wealth of resources for businesses, including an EIN lookup tool. To use this tool, navigate to the IRS website and select “Apply for an EIN” from the Business tab. From there, choose “View Your EIN” and provide the necessary information. Your EIN number will be provided instantly.
Informational Guide to Contacting the IRS Directly
If you prefer to speak with someone directly, the IRS provides a Business & Specialty Tax Line that you can call. The website offers an informational guide on how to contact them, including what to expect during the call and what information to have on hand.
Online EIN Number Lookup Tools
In addition to the IRS website, there are several online resources available for EIN lookup, such as Feinsearch and EIN Lookup. These tools are especially helpful if you’re unable to locate previous tax documents or contact information for your employer or business partner.
Step-by-Step Guide to Retrieving Your EIN Number Online
Signing up for an IRS E-Services account
To access the EIN lookup tool on the IRS website, you’ll need to sign up for an IRS E-Services account. This is a secure login that will allow you to access necessary business-related information with the IRS. Follow the instructions on the website to set up the account, including providing personal identification information and creating a secure password.
Navigating the IRS Website
Navigate to the IRS website and select “Apply for an EIN” from the Business tab. From there, choose “View Your EIN” and provide the necessary information. Ensure that you’re providing accurate and up-to-date information to receive the correct EIN number.
Retrieving Your EIN Number
After providing the necessary information, your EIN number will be provided instantly. Double-check that the number is accurate, and save it in a secure location for future reference.
How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Locating Your EIN Number
While finding your EIN number can be a straightforward process, there are a few common mistakes to avoid:
Making Sure You Are Using Your Business Name and Address
When searching for your EIN number, be sure that you’re using your business’s legal name and address. If you’ve recently moved or changed your business name, be sure to use the most up-to-date information.
Double Check Your Math
When entering information on the IRS website or other online resources, be sure to double-check your math and ensure that you’ve provided accurate numbers and figures. Inaccurate information can lead to errors in your EIN number lookup results.
Whom to Reach Out to When Stuck
If you’re unable to locate your EIN number through the steps provided, consider reaching out to a tax professional or the IRS directly for additional support. They can provide further guidance on how to locate your EIN number and avoid common mistakes.
Having your EIN number on hand is crucial for your business’s legal protection, accounting, and tax purposes. Follow these five easy steps to quickly locate your EIN number and avoid common mistakes. Utilize top resources such as the IRS website and online EIN lookup tools to expedite your search, and don’t hesitate to reach out to experts for additional assistance. By prioritizing the search for your EIN number, you’re putting your business one step closer to success.