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What is an EIN?

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Quick Answer

An EIN is an Employer Identification Number, issued by the Internal Revenue Service to identify a business entity. It may also be referred to as a federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

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What is an EIN?
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Full Answer

A business must have an EIN if it has employees, has a Keogh plan or files any employment, excise or alcohol, tobacco or firearms tax returns. Partnerships, corporations, some trusts and estates, farmers' cooperatives and real estate mortgage investment conduits are required to have an EIN. An existing business that changes its form, such as from partnership to corporation, has to get a new EIN. EINs are provided free of charge. By completing an online application on the IRS website, a business owner or responsible party can get an EIN immediately.

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