As a daycare provider, you’re required to provide your tax identification number to parents who use your childcare services during the year. There is no minimum amount a family must spend on your service before you must give them the information, nor can you withhold your identification number if the family owes you money. Parents need this information to claim child care expenses they pay on tax returns. The IRS offers a few options for daycare providers to apply for and receive a free Employer Identification Number.

Download Form SS-4 from the IRS website.

Complete the form. When you answer questions, use the daycare business' information. This includes the name of the day care center, or your name if you’re a sole proprietor, the business address and the state where the business is registered. In the “responsible party” section on line 7, write your name and Social Security number. Describe the business structure of the daycare provider such as sole proprietorship, partnership, etc. State the number of employees and the amount of payroll tax you expect to incur.

Select a submission method. You can submit your EIN application to the IRS online, by phone, by fax or by mail.

Submit your application online through the IRS website. Enter “Apply for EIN” in the search field and click the online application link within the results. You’ll answer SS-4 questions electronically and receive your EIN instantly when you’re finished.

Apply by phone. Call the IRS business line at 800-829-4933 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. Listen to the voice prompts and select the option to speak with an agent. When the IRS agent answers, tell him you want to apply for an EIN over the phone. The agent will ask you the SS-4 questions and issue your EIN over the phone. An official letter with your EIN printed on it will follow in the mail.

Apply by mail or fax. You can fax your SS-4 application to the IRS at 859-669-5760 or mail it to: Internal Revenue Service Attn: EIN Operation Cincinnati, OH 45999 If you provide a fax number on your application, you’ll receive your EIN by fax within four business days from the date the IRS receives your SS-4. If you don’t provide a fax number, your EIN will be mailed to you within a few weeks.