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Your social security number is your identification number for many purposes including tax filing. Your employer identification number is the equivalent for all businesses. As a busy business owner, you may have lost your EIN.
Now you are panicking because you don’t know how to lookup up an EIN number. You might be cutting it close to a filing deadline and don’t know what to do. Don’t worry about it. We’ll help you find your EIN in no time so you can make that filing on time and avoid any penalties. Here are the steps you should follow to find your EIN today.
1. Search for Your EIN in Government Databases
If your company is publicly traded, you may find the EIN in certain government databases. You should search for your business identification number in the Securities and Exchange Commission database named EDGAR. In the database, you will find Forms 10-K for every corporation that’s publicly traded. Companies must include the EIN in these forms and other information. Using this database allows you to lookup an EIN number online.
2. Find It in Last Year’s Tax Return
Accounting professionals always recommend you keep copies of your business tax returns. If you have a copy of your business tax returns, you should lookup the company EIN number in the first page of your tax filing.
3. Call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line
The IRS issues your Employer Identification Number. If you lose or misplace your EIN, they can provide your number by calling the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line. Their representative will ask you certain security verification questions to verify your identity. During your call, you should reference the original notification the IRS sent you in regards to your EIN.
4. Get It From Any W-2 or Form 1099 Issued By Your Company
If you don’t have access to your old business tax returns, you may have on file copies of the issued W-2s or 1099s. You will find your EIN in Box b of the issued W-2s. When you search for your EIN in 1099 Forms, you may find it below the company name and address.
5. Search In the IRS Exempt Organizations Database If Applicable
This step only applies if your business is a nonprofit. The IRS makes EINs of nonprofits available to the public as evidence of their tax-exempt status. If your business is a nonprofit, you can search the Exempt Organizations database to use the free EIN lookup in the IRS.
6. Ask Your Accountant or Accounting Department
Many business owners hire accountants or accounting firms to run their payroll and other accounting operations. If you outsource these operations, you should contact the company in charge and ask for your EIN. They should have all your filing and tax-related information on file.