You can obtain an EIN (aka FEIN) or Tax ID without a Social Security Number. Documentation will be required to complete the request, depending on whether you are a U.S. or non-U.S. resident.
If you plan on forming a new company or have just created one, you will most likely need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number. This EIN is the corporate equivalent of your social security number. It is required if you intend to hire employees, open a bank account, or file a tax return.
What is an EIN?
It’s best to be sure your organization is formed legally before you apply for an EIN. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN) and is used to identify a business entity. According to the IRS:
- An individual may have a Social Security number (SSN). If the individual does not have and is eligible for an SSN, they must use Form SS-5 to get an SSN. The Social Security Administration will tell the individual if they are eligible to get an SSN.
- An individual may have an IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). If the individual does not have and is not eligible for an SSN, they must apply for an ITIN by using Form W–7.
- Any person other than an individual and any individual who is an employer or engaged in a U.S. trade or business as a sole proprietor must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
What is ITIN?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues to an individual who needs to report income but is ineligible to obtain a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration.
An ITIN consists of nine digits, beginning with the number nine (i.e., 9XX-XX-XXXX). The IRS issues ITINs to taxpayers and their dependents who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number (SSN) so that they can comply with tax laws. An ITIN does not authorize someone to work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits. They are issued regardless of immigration status, because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code. ITINs do not serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting.
How do I apply for an EIN as a U.S. Citizen?
If you are a U.S. citizen, applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service.
All EIN applications (mail, fax, or electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the actual principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, or trustor. This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.
How do I apply for an EIN as a non-U.S. Citizen?
You can apply for an EIN if you are a non-U.S. citizen by completing a Form SS-4 and submitting it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
According to the IRS, International applicants can apply by phone. International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN. The person making the call must be authorized to receive the EIN and answer questions concerning the Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number.
The Third-Party Designee section authorizes the named individual to receive the entity’s EIN and answer questions about completing Form SS-4. Form 8821 authorizes any individual, corporation, firm, organization, or partnership you designate to inspect and/or receive your confidential information verbally or in writing for the type of tax and the years or periods you list on Form 8821. The designee will need the following information:
- Your legal name
- Phone number
- Title within the company
- A clean, clear black & white copy of your passport
- Your financial year-end date
- Company’s purpose- cannot be a general purpose, but be detailed
- Expected number of employees
The designee’s authority terminates when the EIN is assigned and released to the designee. You must complete the signature area for the authorization to be valid.
How long does it take to obtain an EIN?
For those with a SSN it can be obtained within a few hours or less. However, the average turnaround time to get an EIN for those without a Social Security number is 2-3 weeks, depending on the time of year and the agency’s volume of work. There is NO expedited service available.
Need help getting an EIN for your new business?
Accumera understands the process of preparing your newly formed entity to begin to do business. We will obtain your EIN so that you don’t have to wait on hold or fill out the paperwork. We will prepare the required SS-4 application for Employer Identification Number and provide it to you for your records. Simple and easy!
Contact us, and we will obtain your EIN so that you can concentrate on starting that new business!