BASIC (02-95)

RM 01103.013 Employer Identification Numbers (EIN's) - General

A. Introduction

About 6 million employers file employment tax returns with IRS and wage reports with SSA each year. To help in accounting properly for these returns and reports, employers are assigned an employer identification number (EIN) by IRS to be shown on all returns and reports. Both IRS and SSA records have been established so that they can be accessible by EIN.

B. Policy

1. Who Needs an EIN?

An EIN is required for:

  • Every partnership, corporation, estate, or trust (other than a trust whose income is taxed entirely to the grantor of the trust); and

  • Sole proprietors who pay wages to one or more employees; or who must file any pension or excise tax return.

EXCEPTION: Sole proprietors who do not meet the above conditions should use their SSNs as identification numbers.

2. When to File For a New EIN

The assigned EIN is used throughout the life of a reporting entity regardless of changes in trade name, corporate name, or business location. A new EIN is required when:

  1. A change in organization occurs as listed below:

    • Sole proprietorship incorporates,

    • Sole proprietorship takes in partners and operates as a partnership,

    • Partnership incorporates,

    • Partnership is taken over by one of the partners and is operated as a sole proprietorship; or '

    • Corporation changes to a partnership or to a sole proprietorship.

  2. A change in ownership occurs as listed below:

    • An existing business is purchased or inherited and will be operated as a sole proprietorship,

    • After the owner's death, a business will be operated by the estate, or

    • An old partnership is terminated and a new partnership is begun.

3. Only One EIN to Be Used

Employers should use only one EIN. If an employer is using more than one EIN or asks which of two or more EINs to use, suggest that he or she contact an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center for guidance. Taxpayer Assistance Center contact information is available from the IRS website.

EXCEPTION: Each of several affiliated corporations may have a separate EIN since each corporation is a separate reporting entity.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0101103013
RM 01103.013 - Employer Identification Numbers (EIN's) - General - 08/01/2012
Batch run: 08/01/2012
Rev:08/01/2012