My EIN Number Lookup: Everything You Need to Know
You can get the EIN information of a business through a number of methods, including calling up the IRS service, checking tax forms, searching the SEC filings.3 min read
How do I perform my EIN number lookup? You can get the EIN information of a business through a number of methods, including calling up the IRS service, checking tax forms, searching the SEC filings, and contacting the company in question.
How to Look Up an EIN
The IRS assigns a tax ID, commonly known as Employer Identification Number (EIN), for the purpose of tracking federal tax compliance of business entities. You'll need an EIN for purchasing or setting up a new business, changing the type of organization, and creating a trust, among others. An EIN provides business owners with an easy way of separating business tax compliance from their personal taxation.
Since most of the businesses including nonprofit organizations and state government agencies possess an EIN, you can use it to search for information about a particular business. You can use different resources for this purpose. However, note that illegal or unauthorized use of tax information that you collect may constitute a federal crime. You should request EIN information only for legal use.
If you regularly need to look up EINs, you may want to subscribe to a commercial database service. Several commercial database providers often come up with special offers and let you conduct a few free searches before requiring you to sign up.
Check the Tax Forms
Businesses often provide their EIN to their employees and contractors, who may require the number for filing their annual tax returns. You can check the latest Form 1099 or W-2 provided by the business. You will find the EIN at the top right corner of these forms alongside the name and address of the business.
Ask the Company
You can even call the company directly and ask for its employer identification number. Many companies do not mind providing the EIN details over the phone in order to help their employees and contractors with tax filing.
Most of the public companies include their EIN information in their financial documents like an earning statement. However, smaller businesses often prefer to keep their EIN details confidential in order to prevent potential tax fraud.
Search the SEC Filings
Public companies are required to file periodic returns and earning updates with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The EIN appears at the top of these documents. You can view the public documents filed with the SEC through EDGAR — the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system database. The database contains all the SEC filings of publicly traded companies. It's a free tool to look up an EIN of a listed company.
Contact the IRS
If you are a business owner, you can call the IRS at 800-829-4933, Monday through Friday. You'll be required to complete the telephonic verification in order to receive the EIN details.
If you are an employee or a contractor or have some other legal right to receive the EIN details, you can call your local IRS service. You will not be provided the information over the phone, but the IRS will ask the concerned business entity to send you a copy of Form W-2 or 1099.
Receiving Lost EIN Details From the IRS
If you have lost or misplaced your EIN, you can call the IRS to help you relocate the details. However, you must be an owner, partner, or an authorized representative in order to receive the EIN information. The IRS representative will provide you the information over the phone after confirming your identity.
Alternatively, you can ask an authorized representative of the business to submit Form 2848 to the IRS. You can then call the IRS along with this form.
EIN Lookup for Nonprofit and Exempt Organizations
Information pertaining to exempt organizations is available to the public. The IRS website has a specialized tool for performing a search on exempt organizations. Use the Exempt Organization Select Check to search for an organization by name. This will help you find the EIN and other details about the organization (amount of income, whether the exemption has been revoked, etc.).
Other Ways to Verify an EIN
- Although businesses prefer to keep the EIN information private, employers rarely turn down a request for EIN confirmation.
- You can often find the EIN mentioned on payroll checks and Form 1099 issued to contractors.
- If authorized to do so, you can also run a credit report with an EIN in order to check whether the used EIN is correct.
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