IRS Form SS-4 "Application for Employer Identification Number"

What Is Form SS-4?

IRS Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), is a legal document filled out by various businesses that want to be assigned an employer identification number (EIN), also known as the tax identification number or federal employer identification number, for identifying and tax reporting. Without this number, it is impossible to track federal income tax payments and determine the amount of tax owed. It will be linked to your Internal Revenue Service records and bank accounts. An EIN is used by all types of businesses - trusts, estates, government agencies, partnerships, corporations, etc. - even if they do not have any employees.

Alternate Name:

  • Employer Identification Number Application.

This form was released by the IRS. The latest version of the form was issued in December 2019 with all previous editions obsolete. You can download a fillable Form SS-4 PDF through the link below.

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SS-4 Instructions

Provide the following details in the SS-4 Form:

  1. Write down your legal name and trade name (for businesses). Identify a designated individual who will receive tax information and the entity's responsible party - a person who controls or owns the business. Add your mailing and street addresses an entity's primary physical location;
  2. If your business is a limited liability company, check the appropriate box, record the number of its members, and state whether it was organized in the U.S.;
  3. Indicate the type of entity you are filing for. If it is a corporation, enter the state or foreign country where it is incorporated;
  4. Check one applicable box to select the reason for applying - you have started a new business, hired employees, changed the type of organization, or require the EIN for banking purposes;
  5. Enter the date business started or was acquired and the closing month of the accounting year;
  6. State the highest number of employees you expect in the next year;
  7. Check the box if your employment tax liability will be $1,000 or less during the taxable year and you want to file Form 944, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return, in order to pay employment taxes once a year;
  8. Indicate the date when the business with employees began paying annuities and wages;
  9. Describe the principal activity and line of products, services, or merchandise the entity works with, produces, or provides;
  10. If you have ever applied for the EIN, check the box and write down your previous EIN;
  11. Authorize the identified individual to receive the business's EIN and provide their contact details;
  12. Enter your name and title, sign and date the form.

The second page of the form provides taxpayers with detailed information about the items on the application that must be completed in various situations. If you are looking for more information on the form, you may consult the separate Official Form SS-4 instructions, also issued by the IRS.

Where to Mail SS-4?

Form SS-4 mailing address depends on your location:

  • If your legal residence or principal place of business is located in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia, submit the form to the Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN, Operation
    Cincinnati, OH 45999;
  • If you do not have a legal residence or principal office in any of the states or the District of Columbia, file the application to the Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN International Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.

Send the application at least four to five weeks before you will need to use the EIN. You or an authorized individual will receive the EIN in the mail in approximately one month.

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Download IRS Form SS-4 "Application for Employer Identification Number"

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SS-4
Application for Employer Identification Number
OMB No. 1545-0003
(For use by employers, corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates, churches,
Form
EIN
government agencies, Indian tribal entities, certain individuals, and others.)
(Rev. December 2019)
Go to www.irs.gov/FormSS4 for instructions and the latest information.
Department of the Treasury
See separate instructions for each line.
Keep a copy for your records.
Internal Revenue Service
1
Legal name of entity (or individual) for whom the EIN is being requested
2
3
Trade name of business (if different from name on line 1)
Executor, administrator, trustee, “care of” name
4a
Mailing address (room, apt., suite no. and street, or P.O. box) 5a
Street address (if different) (Don’t enter a P.O. box.)
4b
City, state, and ZIP code (if foreign, see instructions)
5b
City, state, and ZIP code (if foreign, see instructions)
6
County and state where principal business is located
7a
Name of responsible party
7b
SSN, ITIN, or EIN
8a
Is this application for a limited liability company (LLC)
8b If 8a is “Yes,” enter the number of
(or a foreign equivalent)?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
LLC members .
.
.
.
.
.
Yes
No
8c
If 8a is “Yes,” was the LLC organized in the United States?
.
.
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.
.
.
.
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.
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.
.
.
.
.
Yes
No
9a
Type of entity (check only one box). Caution: If 8a is “Yes,” see the instructions for the correct box to check.
Sole proprietor (SSN)
Estate (SSN of decedent)
Partnership
Plan administrator (TIN)
Corporation (enter form number to be filed)
Trust (TIN of grantor)
Personal service corporation
Military/National Guard
State/local government
Church or church-controlled organization
Farmers’ cooperative
Federal government
Other nonprofit organization (specify)
REMIC
Indian tribal governments/enterprises
Other (specify)
Group Exemption Number (GEN) if any
9b
If a corporation, name the state or foreign country (if
State
Foreign country
applicable) where incorporated
10
Reason for applying (check only one box)
Banking purpose (specify purpose)
Started new business (specify type)
Changed type of organization (specify new type)
Purchased going business
Hired employees (Check the box and see line 13.)
Created a trust (specify type)
Compliance with IRS withholding regulations
Created a pension plan (specify type)
Other (specify)
11
12
Closing month of accounting year
Date business started or acquired (month, day, year). See instructions.
14
If you expect your employment tax liability to be $1,000 or
less in a full calendar year and want to file Form 944
13
Highest number of employees expected in the next 12 months (enter -0- if
annually instead of Forms 941 quarterly, check here.
none). If no employees expected, skip line 14.
(Your employment tax liability generally will be $1,000
or less if you expect to pay $5,000 or less in total wages.)
Agricultural
Household
Other
If you don’t check this box, you must file Form 941 for
every quarter.
15
First date wages or annuities were paid (month, day, year). Note: If applicant is a withholding agent, enter date income will first be paid to
nonresident alien (month, day, year) .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
16
Check one box that best describes the principal activity of your business.
Health care & social assistance
Wholesale-agent/broker
Construction
Rental & leasing
Transportation & warehousing
Accommodation & food service
Wholesale-other
Retail
Real estate
Manufacturing
Finance & insurance
Other (specify)
Indicate principal line of merchandise sold, specific construction work done, products produced, or services provided.
17
18
Has the applicant entity shown on line 1 ever applied for and received an EIN?
Yes
No
If “Yes,” write previous EIN here
Complete this section only if you want to authorize the named individual to receive the entity’s EIN and answer questions about the completion of this form.
Third
Designee’s name
Designee’s telephone number (include area code)
Party
Designee
Address and ZIP code
Designee’s fax number (include area code)
Applicant’s telephone number (include area code)
Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this application, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete.
Name and title (type or print clearly)
Applicant’s fax number (include area code)
Signature
Date
SS-4
For Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Notice, see separate instructions.
Form
(Rev. 12-2019)
Cat. No. 16055N
SS-4
Application for Employer Identification Number
OMB No. 1545-0003
(For use by employers, corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates, churches,
Form
EIN
government agencies, Indian tribal entities, certain individuals, and others.)
(Rev. December 2019)
Go to www.irs.gov/FormSS4 for instructions and the latest information.
Department of the Treasury
See separate instructions for each line.
Keep a copy for your records.
Internal Revenue Service
1
Legal name of entity (or individual) for whom the EIN is being requested
2
3
Trade name of business (if different from name on line 1)
Executor, administrator, trustee, “care of” name
4a
Mailing address (room, apt., suite no. and street, or P.O. box) 5a
Street address (if different) (Don’t enter a P.O. box.)
4b
City, state, and ZIP code (if foreign, see instructions)
5b
City, state, and ZIP code (if foreign, see instructions)
6
County and state where principal business is located
7a
Name of responsible party
7b
SSN, ITIN, or EIN
8a
Is this application for a limited liability company (LLC)
8b If 8a is “Yes,” enter the number of
(or a foreign equivalent)?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
LLC members .
.
.
.
.
.
Yes
No
8c
If 8a is “Yes,” was the LLC organized in the United States?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Yes
No
9a
Type of entity (check only one box). Caution: If 8a is “Yes,” see the instructions for the correct box to check.
Sole proprietor (SSN)
Estate (SSN of decedent)
Partnership
Plan administrator (TIN)
Corporation (enter form number to be filed)
Trust (TIN of grantor)
Personal service corporation
Military/National Guard
State/local government
Church or church-controlled organization
Farmers’ cooperative
Federal government
Other nonprofit organization (specify)
REMIC
Indian tribal governments/enterprises
Other (specify)
Group Exemption Number (GEN) if any
9b
If a corporation, name the state or foreign country (if
State
Foreign country
applicable) where incorporated
10
Reason for applying (check only one box)
Banking purpose (specify purpose)
Started new business (specify type)
Changed type of organization (specify new type)
Purchased going business
Hired employees (Check the box and see line 13.)
Created a trust (specify type)
Compliance with IRS withholding regulations
Created a pension plan (specify type)
Other (specify)
11
12
Closing month of accounting year
Date business started or acquired (month, day, year). See instructions.
14
If you expect your employment tax liability to be $1,000 or
less in a full calendar year and want to file Form 944
13
Highest number of employees expected in the next 12 months (enter -0- if
annually instead of Forms 941 quarterly, check here.
none). If no employees expected, skip line 14.
(Your employment tax liability generally will be $1,000
or less if you expect to pay $5,000 or less in total wages.)
Agricultural
Household
Other
If you don’t check this box, you must file Form 941 for
every quarter.
15
First date wages or annuities were paid (month, day, year). Note: If applicant is a withholding agent, enter date income will first be paid to
nonresident alien (month, day, year) .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
16
Check one box that best describes the principal activity of your business.
Health care & social assistance
Wholesale-agent/broker
Construction
Rental & leasing
Transportation & warehousing
Accommodation & food service
Wholesale-other
Retail
Real estate
Manufacturing
Finance & insurance
Other (specify)
Indicate principal line of merchandise sold, specific construction work done, products produced, or services provided.
17
18
Has the applicant entity shown on line 1 ever applied for and received an EIN?
Yes
No
If “Yes,” write previous EIN here
Complete this section only if you want to authorize the named individual to receive the entity’s EIN and answer questions about the completion of this form.
Third
Designee’s name
Designee’s telephone number (include area code)
Party
Designee
Address and ZIP code
Designee’s fax number (include area code)
Applicant’s telephone number (include area code)
Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this application, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete.
Name and title (type or print clearly)
Applicant’s fax number (include area code)
Signature
Date
SS-4
For Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act Notice, see separate instructions.
Form
(Rev. 12-2019)
Cat. No. 16055N
2
Form SS-4 (Rev. 12-2019)
Page
Do I Need an EIN?
File Form SS-4 if the applicant entity doesn’t already have an EIN but is required to show an EIN on any return, statement,
or other document.
1
See also the separate instructions for each line on Form SS-4.
IF the applicant...
AND...
THEN...
started a new business
doesn’t currently have (nor expect to have)
complete lines 1, 2, 4a–8a, 8b–c (if applicable), 9a,
9b (if applicable), and 10–14 and 16–18.
employees
hired (or will hire) employees,
doesn’t already have an EIN
complete lines 1, 2, 4a–6, 7a–b, 8a,
including household employees
8b–c (if applicable), 9a, 9b (if applicable), 10–18.
opened a bank account
needs an EIN for banking purposes only
complete lines 1–5b, 7a–b, 8a, 8b–c
(if applicable), 9a, 9b (if applicable), 10, and 18.
changed type of organization
either the legal character of the organization or its
complete lines 1–18 (as applicable).
ownership changed (for example, you incorporate a
sole proprietorship or form a partnership)
2
doesn’t already have an EIN
complete lines 1–18 (as applicable).
purchased a going business
3
created a trust
the trust is other than a grantor trust or an IRA
complete lines 1–18 (as applicable).
trust
4
created a pension plan as a
needs an EIN for reporting purposes
complete lines 1, 3, 4a–5b, 7a–b, 9a, 10, and 18.
plan administrator
5
is a foreign person needing an
needs an EIN to complete a Form W-8 (other than
complete lines 1–5b, 7a–b (SSN or ITIN as applicable),
EIN to comply with IRS
Form W-8ECI), avoid withholding on portfolio assets,
8a, 8b–c (if applicable), 9a, 9b (if applicable), 10,
withholding regulations
and 18.
or claim tax treaty benefits
6
is administering an estate
needs an EIN to report estate income on Form 1041
complete lines 1–7b, 9a, 10–12, 13–17 (if applicable),
and 18.
is a withholding agent for
is an agent, broker, fiduciary, manager, tenant, or
complete lines 1, 2, 3 (if applicable), 4a–5b, 7a–b, 8a,
taxes on nonwage income
spouse who is required to file Form 1042, Annual
8b–c (if applicable), 9a, 9b (if applicable), 10, and 18.
paid to an alien (that is,
Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of
individual, corporation, or
Foreign Persons
partnership, etc.)
is a state or local agency
serves as a tax reporting agent for public assistance
complete lines 1, 2, 4a–5b, 7a–b, 9a, 10, and 18.
recipients under Rev. Proc. 80-4, 1980-1 C.B. 581
7
is a single-member LLC (or
needs an EIN to file Form 8832, Entity Classification
complete lines 1–18 (as applicable).
similar single-member entity)
Election, for filing employment tax returns and excise
tax returns, or for state reporting purposes
8
, or is a
foreign-owned U.S. disregarded entity and needs an
EIN to file Form 5472, Information Return of a 25%
Foreign-Owned U.S. Corporation or a Foreign
Corporation Engaged in a U.S. Trade or Business
is an S corporation
needs an EIN to file Form 2553, Election by a Small
complete lines 1–18 (as applicable).
Business Corporation
9
1
For example, a sole proprietorship or self-employed farmer who establishes a qualified retirement plan, or is required to file excise, employment, alcohol, tobacco, or
firearms returns, must have an EIN. A partnership, corporation, REMIC (real estate mortgage investment conduit), nonprofit organization (church, club, etc.), or farmers’
cooperative must use an EIN for any tax-related purpose even if the entity doesn’t have employees.
2
However, don’t apply for a new EIN if the existing entity only (a) changed its business name, (b) elected on Form 8832 to change the way it is taxed (or is covered by the
default rules), or (c) terminated its partnership status because at least 50% of the total interests in partnership capital and profits were sold or exchanged within a 12-
month period. The EIN of the terminated partnership should continue to be used. See Regulations section 301.6109-1(d)(2)(iii).
3
Don’t use the EIN of the prior business unless you became the “owner” of a corporation by acquiring its stock.
4
However, grantor trusts that don’t file using Optional Method 1 and IRA trusts that are required to file Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return,
must have an EIN. For more information on grantor trusts, see the Instructions for Form 1041.
5
A plan administrator is the person or group of persons specified as the administrator by the instrument under which the plan is operated.
6
Entities applying to be a Qualified Intermediary (QI) need a QI-EIN even if they already have an EIN. See Rev. Proc. 2000-12.
7
See also Household employer agent in the instructions. Note: State or local agencies may need an EIN for other reasons, for example, hired employees.
8
See Disregarded entities in the instructions for details on completing Form SS-4 for an LLC.
9
An existing corporation that is electing or revoking S corporation status should use its previously-assigned EIN.
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