IRS Announces Rapid TIN Service
The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc. 
Taxpayers can now obtain a taxpayer identification number (TIN) almost instantaneously using the toll-free telephone number, (866) 816-2065, said IRS Modernization Team Executive Debbie Gascard. The telephone service will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time. Faxed requests currently take 48 hours to fill, said Ms. Gascard.
EINs are issued through the IRS's 10 service centers, according to Ms. Gascard. They use different procedures; for example, some accept faxed requests. The new hotline will standardize the process. The new system will start on January 2, when EIN requests are at their highest volumes.
Requests will continue to be accepted by fax or mail. Faxes will be accepted 24 hours a day for every day of the year at three locations: Brookhaven, New York (631)447-4991; Cincinnati, (859) 669-5760; and Philadelphia, (215)516- 3990.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that, starting December 1, practitioners have been able to get an EIN on their client's behalf by completing a new "Third Party Designee" portion of Form SS-4 , Application for Employer I.D. Number. They no longer need Form 2848, Power of Attorney, or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, according to the Service.