How to Get Your Organization's Tax ID Number

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Every business and organization should have a tax ID number. You'll use this number in reports to various agencies. For instance, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires ID numbers to process and analyze tax returns. Lending institutions, such as banks and credit unions, request tax ID numbers in order to open business checking accounts. Government and private grants also require organizations to disclose their tax ID numbers before they'll disburse funding.

Gather information about your organization. You must submit the organization’s legal name, mailing address, and business structure (partnership, corporation, or church, for instance). Avoid inconsistencies in information by always using the same full company name on all documents.

Complete a tax ID application, IRS Form SS-4. You can download an application for free and mail it to the IRS or you can submit a request online and immediately receive a tax ID number. Alternatively, you can request a tax ID number from a local IRS office or by calling the IRS directly at (800) 829-4933 (from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.). IRS representatives handle calls in English and Spanish.

Contact your organization’s bank if your tax ID number is simply misplaced. The bank will disclose the information to you after you correctly identify yourself. You can also contact your organization’s tax preparer. Tax professionals usually keep client records for several years. Finally, you can look at filed Form 1099s or W-2 forms that are given to independent contractors or employees—both of these will list your tax ID number. Tax ID numbers generally remain the same throughout an entity’s life.

Tips

  • Those who do not qualify for a social security number (resident and non-resident aliens) can request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS. Foreigners file federal taxes using the ITIN but do not qualify for all credits.

Warnings

  • Keep your your tax ID number safe—just as you would a social security or bank account number. Some individuals will use a company’s tax ID number fraudulently to open accounts or wire money.