To obtain a nonprofit ID number identifying an organization to the Internal Revenue Service, also known as an employer identification number, or EIN, an applicant must fill out Form SS-4, following the instructions document provided. Both documents are available from the Internal Revenue Service website. Every nonprofit organization must apply and obtain an EIN, even if it does not have any employees.
Organizations should not apply for an EIN until they are fully formed, explains the IRS. If organizations do not file a return or notice for three straight years, their tax-exempt statuses may be repealed, and this three-year period begins the moment the EIN is assigned. This IRS number differs from the state tax-exempt number, which needs to be applied for separately in states that require it. It is necessary to contact the appropriate state agency to apply for this number.
The IRS states that nonprofit organizations can either apply for the EIN online at IRS.gov, over the phone by calling the IRS toll-free number, by fax or through the mail. To send an EIN application by fax, applicants must consult the instruction booklet Form SS-4 to obtain the fax number for their areas. The booklet also provides the address to mail a hard copy of the application.