Friday, June 2, 2017

How to Find Your Business Tax ID Number in 5 Easy Steps

A business tax ID number, like a Social Security number for an individual, identifies your business to the IRS. For businesses, it’s called an Employer Identification number (EIN), and you obtain it from the IRS. However, the IRS isn’t the only entity that cares about your business tax ID number. You might need this number to open a bank account for your business, obtain a business license, or file state business taxes.

Of course, since you don’t use it very often, your business tax ID number isn’t one of those things that’s easy to keep top of mind, like your phone number or bank PIN number. What happens if you need your business tax number and can’t remember it?

Step 1: Check Your Files

The easiest way to find your EIN is to dig up the original document the IRS issued when you applied for your business tax ID number. This is an important document, so ideally you filed it with other key paperwork, such as your business bank account information and incorporation documents.

Problem solved.

Perhaps, however, you didn’t realize how important your business tax ID number would be, and you misplaced the original IRS document or filed it somewhere you can’t remember. All is not lost: There are still a few ways you can find your business tax ID number.

Step 2: Check with Your Bank

Have you ever used your business tax ID number to open a bank account for your business? If so, contact the bank and see if they can retrieve the EIN for you.

Step 3: Look at Your Business License

Did you use your business tax ID number to get a business license? If you did, the licensing agency should be able to look up your EIN for you.

Step 4: Review Your Tax Returns

Have you filed federal tax returns for your business in the past? Dig up your copies of your previous tax returns—they will include your business tax ID number.

What if none of the above steps is an option for you? If, for instance, you’re still in the very early stages of your startup, these steps may not yet apply. There’s a catch-22 here: Without your EIN, you can’t take those steps. In this case, you have to go to the source.

Step 5: Call the IRS

Call the IRS’s Business & Specialty Tax Line at 800.829.4933 and get connected with someone who can retrieve your EIN for you. The Business & Specialty Tax Line is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Before you call, keep in mind the IRS needs to prove you’re actually authorized to retrieve the business tax ID number. For example, you’ll need to prove you are a corporate officer, a sole proprietor, or a partner in a partnership. The IRS assistor will ask you questions to confirm your identity.

Don’t get frustrated: This is simply a precaution to help protect your business’s sensitive data. After all, you wouldn’t want the IRS to give out your Social Security number to anyone who called, would you?

Once you’ve found your business tax ID number, put it in a safe place so you won’t have to go through these steps again.

The post How to Find Your Business Tax ID Number in 5 Easy Steps appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

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