What is an SS-4 form

An SS-4 form is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to regularly process and accept business applications for an employer identification number. This number is essential to operating a business in the United States, whether that business is based in the States or abroad. When you have an EIN issued to your business, you’ll want to have that information on hand when establishing new bank accounts and vendor accounts.

What is an EIN

This nine-digit number is used to identify corporations, employers, partnerships, trusts, proprietors and estates for tax reporting purposes. Each entity can only be granted one EIN number to limit confusion and any issues the IRS may face when processing tax documents. Essentially, the EIN is a critical component to establishing a tax account for your business.

The EIN Application Process

The process for applying for an EIN has never been easier and can be done relatively simply online. Note that to submit for an EIN online, the applicant must have a legal residence within the United States, a principal officer in states or have United States possessions (learn more at federal-ein-application.com). A prompt processing time is the primary benefit to applying for an EIN online. Once the EIN is received, it is immediately eligible to be used to make tax payments or file a tax return for your business. You’ll need to have your Taxpayer Identification Number on hand to complete the online application process. If applying online is not preferred, there are alternative options such as applying by mail, telephone or fax.

Applying by Fax Machine or Mail

A third application option is to apply by fax, which can be done any time of the day, any day of the week. Lastly, one can apply for an EIN number by mail. Allowing for at least 5 weeks is recommended to allow for the mailing and processing time.

What If I Am An International Applicant

As mentioned above, the online application process is only available to those in the United States. Fortunately, international applicants can process their application over the telephone. Simply call the IRS at 267-941-1099 from 6 am. to 11 pm. from Monday to Friday. The hours referenced are in Eastern Standard Time. An effective way to be prepared for this call is to fill out Form SS-4. While on the phone with the representative processing your application at the IRS, they will ask that information to get an EIN assigned to your business.

When Do I Apply for a Second EIN?

Oftentimes, a sole proprietorship may operate a number of businesses under one name. In situations such as these, only one EIN number is necessary. If the sole proprietorship enters into some time of partnership, merges with another business or is acquired, it will need to talk to the IRS about processing a new EIN number. A good rule of thumb move forward with a new application when the structure or ownership of your business has changed in any way.

What If My Application Is Still Pending?

The tax return deadline is quickly approaching yet you still don’t have an EIN number. If you find yourself in this scenario, simply indicate “Applied For” in the space on the form asking for your EIN number.