An employer identification number is also known as a federal tax ID number. A company's EIN appears as a nine-digit number that helps banks and the Internal Revenue Service identity the business quickly for taxation and banking purposes. Once the IRS assigns an EIN to a business the number cannot get cancelled by phone or in any manner.

Lost EIN

When a company loses its EIN, there are other ways the company can obtain its EIN without attempting to cancel or obtain a new one. For example, you can look at the company's tax returns from previous years, or bank documents that may contain the company's EIN. In addition, you can call the bank to get the company's EIN, or you can call the IRS business and specialty tax line at 800-829-4933 to retrieve an EIN. You can call the IRS between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. Retrieving the EIN is easy if you can locate the notice of confirmation sent by the IRS.


Instead of cancelling its EIN, a business can close its account with the Internal Revenue Service. Reasons why a company may close its account with the IRS include never having started the business at all, or closing the company. Even when you cancel your EIN account with the IRS, the number will always belong to the business. If you decide to start the business again at some time in the future, you will get assigned the same EIN you had in the past.


Before a business can close an EIN account, it must have achieved good standing with the IRS. The company must have filed all necessary tax returns and paid any applicable fees and penalties due to the IRS. The company cannot close its EIN account until the IRS has received payment for any tax amounts the company may owe. In addition, an EIN account cannot get closed over the phone. Instead, you must write a letter and mail it to the IRS if you want to close the company's EIN account.

EIN Letter

In the letter to the IRS, the company must indicate the reason for closing its EIN account. The letter must include the company's EIN, business address and the legal name of the company. Closing your EIN account becomes an easier task if you submit the EIN assignment notice you received when the EIN was initially assigned to the business. Send the letter to the Internal Revenue Service, Cincinnati, OH 45999. There is no cost for a company to close its EIN account with the IRS.