How to check my tax identification number

An Employer Identification Number, also known as a tax ID, is used to identify a business for tax reasons. Tax ID numbers must be registered for a business to apply for a bank account, report employment tax and establish income tax reports. A tax ID number defines a business just as a Social Security number defines a person. The Internal Revenue Service issues tax ID numbers to ensure that business taxes are paid efficiently.

Contact the IRS directly. Call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 or visit IRS.gov to check the status of your business EIN number. Authorised company owners and representatives are legally allowed to check the status of the tax ID number.

Research the GuideStar database at GuideStar.org. GuideStar provides tax ID information if your business is a non-profit organisation. Enter the complete tax ID number in the requested field to access information about your business. If your business completes IRS Form 990, it will be included in the GuideStar directory of companies.

Visit your local IRS tax centre. Research IRS.gov to find the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center closest to you. Some states make information available online through their TAC website so you can research the EIN online without having to visit the office in person.

Search SEC.gov to check your business EIN. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission has a large public database, called EDGAR, with information about registered businesses in the United States. Enter your business EIN in the required field to locate information. Publicly registered companies are required to submit annual forms to the SEC. Find the tax ID number at the top of Forms 10-K and 20-F.

Tip

Check more than one source for EIN information. Databases are updated at different times, so one source could be more current than another.

Warning

Enter the complete EIN number when checking the status of your business tax ID. Wrong entries could result in faulty data or rejected requests.

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About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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