New employer ID numbers now available instantly online

Taxpayers can now request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through a Web-based system that instantly processes requests and generates identification numbers in real time, the Internal Revenue Service has announced.

"This new and improved online application will reduce the time it takes taxpayers to get an EIN," said Richard Morgante, Commissioner of the IRS Wage & Investment Division. "Essentially they can get one while they wait – within minutes."

Here's how it works: A taxpayer accesses the Internet EIN system through the IRS web site and enters the required information. If the information passes the automatic validity checks, the IRS issues a permanent EIN to the taxpayer. If the information does not pass the validity checks, it is rejected. The taxpayer then has an opportunity to correct the information and resubmit the application.

The Internet EIN application is interactive and asks questions tailored to the type of entity the taxpayer is establishing. This is similar to popular tax processing software packages on the market.

The system provides help screens throughout the application process. This means taxpayers will no longer have to print the EIN instructions and separately search for answers while requesting an EIN.

When the EIN application process is complete, a taxpayer has the option to view, print and save his or her confirmation notice, as opposed to waiting for the IRS to mail it. Third parties authorized by the taxpayer can also be provided with the EIN, but the third party cannot view, print or save the confirmation notice. Instead, the confirmation notice is mailed to the taxpayer.

An EIN assigned through Internet submission is immediately recognized by IRS systems. Taxpayers can begin using the EIN immediately for most business purposes.

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