An employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS that is used to identify the tax accounts of employers and other entities. An entity obtains an EIN for various reasons. For instance, if you operate your business as a corporation or a partnership or if you are an entity with employees, it is recommended that you obtain an EIN. If you file an employment, excise, alcohol, tobacco or firearms tax return, then you should obtain an EIN. If you withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien, then you should obtain an EIN. If you have a Keogh plan, then you should obtain an EIN. You should obtain an EIN if you are involved with any of the following types of organizations:
- Trusts, except certain grantor-owned revocable trusts, IRAs, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns
- Real estate mortgage investment conduits
- Non-profit organizations
- Farmers’ cooperatives
- Plan administrators.