How to Get a Sales Tax ID Number

by Joshua Duvauchelle; Updated September 26, 2017

It is important to understand tax laws and regulations when it comes to conducting business from your home. Working from home gives you great flexibility, but handling the tax-side of the business can be confusing. One of the most important tax rules to consider governs the process of taxing sales. Home businesses that meet certain criteria are required to acquire a federal tax identification number. Thankfully, learning how to get a sales tax ID number is not as difficult as it sounds.

Determine whether your home business requires a federal employer identification number (EIN). Most businesses need an EIN unless you are the sole owner/proprietor (in such a case, you may use your social security number).

Apply for a federal EIN through the U.S. Internal Revenue Service at IRS.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html. If you are worried about submitting sensitive business data online, you can also call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Hotline at their national toll-free phone number (800-829-4933).

Contact your local county clerk to order the paperwork required to apply for a state-level sales tax ID number. This is generally a second form unless you live in the states of Georgia or New York. If you are unsure of how to contact you local IRS office, locate your state at IRS.gov/localcontacts/.

Submit all paperwork by the annual deadline. The processing time varies but may take several weeks. You will receive both your federal EIN and your state tax ID number upon the completion of all of the required forms. These numbers should then be used on your state and federal business tax returns.

Tips

  • Use your social security number (SSN) if you are the sole proprietor of your business.

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.

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