How To Get A Tax ID Number


How do I apply for my tax ID Number? How long does it take to receive it? What documents do I need?

Tax ID numbers are issued by the IRS to individuals who want to file their taxes. They are also known as Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN). The ITIN is a unique identifier assigned to each taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for purposes of filing federal income tax returns.

You can apply for a tax ID number at or call 800-829-1040. Your application should include proof of identity, such as a driver's license or passport, Social Security card, birth certificate, etc.

Keep on reading to find out more!

Also read: Are Home Improvements Tax Deductible?

Table Of Contents

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What is a Tax Identification Number?

A Tax ID Number is an identification number that allows you to identify yourself when filing your tax return. It’s used in place of your Social Security number and other personal identifiers on your tax forms.

It is a unique 9-digit number that allows the IRS to identify you. Although social security numbers are the most commonly used, there are also the ITIN (as mentioned above), the EIN (Employer Identification Number), Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ATIN) and PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number).

Also read: Do You Have To Pay Back FAFSA?

Types Of Tax Numbers


This is a nine-digit tax ID number for nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who do not qualify to have a Social Security number.


This is a tax ID number for businesses that have employees that are corporations or partnerships as well as those that file firearms, tobacco, and alcohol tax returns. 


This is a temporary nine-digit tax ID number that you have to apply for when you are in the process of adopting a child. IT is needed for the parent to claim the child as their dependent. 


A PTIN  is for anyone who assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation. This number must appear on clients' tax returns. 

Also read: What Is FUTA Tax - All You Need To Know

How Do You Get A Tax ID Number?

To obtain a Tax ID Number, you must complete Form W9C (Application for Employer Identification Number), which includes information about your business activities and financial affairs. If you are not required to have one, you may use this form to request a Tax ID Number.

If you are requesting a Tax ID Number because you are self-employed, you will be asked to provide additional information about your business activities. For example, if you own a consulting firm, you would answer questions about how much you earn from your business, what type of services you offer, and whether you pay wages to employees.

If you are requesting a Tax ID Number for your sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or any other entity, you will be asked whether you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. In addition, you will be asked about your citizenship status, country of residence, and foreign address.

Once all the information has been entered into the appropriate fields, click “Submit Application.” This completes the process. You will then receive a letter confirming your application.

The IRS issues Tax IDs within 30 days after receiving your completed application.

Also read: Payroll Tax Vs Income Tax - The Ultimate Guide


All that you need to do to get an ITIN is to fill out a W-7 Form. Additionally, you will need to prove your foreign nationality and supply a federal income tax return. 

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You can easily apply for an EIN online or alternatively, fill out Form SS-4 from the IRS and mail it to them (this process takes longer). 


For an ATIN, you will need to fill out Form W-7A. Accompanying the form, you will need to attach a copy of the placement documentation and the child must be placed there legally. If the child is coming from another country, there are additional rules so be aware of this. 


This number can be obtained from the IRS online within 15 minutes or you can fill out a W-12 form which can take up to six weeks to obtain. 

Also read: How Much Is Social Security tax?

When Can I Use My Tax ID Number?

Your Tax ID Number allows you to file your federal tax return using the Electronic Filing System (EFS). You can also use your Tax ID Number to:

How Long Does It Take To Receive My Tax ID Number? 

It takes approximately three weeks for the IRS to issue your Tax ID Number. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive your Tax ID Number immediately.

What Are Some Benefits Of Having A Tax ID Number? What Is An EFIN?

Having a Tax ID Number helps protect your privacy and security. The IRS does not require employers or banks to ask for your Social Security number or other sensitive information.

Having a Tax ID Number makes it easier for the IRS to collect taxes owed by individuals who owe back taxes.

With a Tax ID Number, taxpayers can open bank accounts without providing their Social Security numbers.

A Tax ID Number lets you establish an electronic payment system called eFTP.

Final Thoughts

Tax ID Numbers are very useful when filing your taxes. They make life easier and help protect your personal information.

We hope you found this information helpful for getting ready to file your tax return.


Do I Need A Tax ID Number?

Yes! Without one, you cannot file your federal tax returns.

Can I Get A New Tax ID Number?

No. Once issued, a Tax ID Number is valid for 10 years. After 10 years, you may renew your Tax ID Number at a cost of $50.00.

If you have lost your Tax ID Number, contact the IRS. They will provide you with a new Tax ID Number.

Is There Any Cost For Getting A New Tax ID Number Or Renewing One?

There is no charge for getting a new Tax ID Number or renewing one.

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Where Do I Apply For A Tax ID Number? How Much Does It Cost?

You can apply for a Tax ID Number in person at any IRS office or online.

What are you going to do about these taxes? If you're still unsure whether or not to get help with your taxes or go solo, don't worry; we have plenty more information just waiting for you over at our blog page, where we discuss taxes and related subjects! In the meantime, do try out our paystub creator now.

Frequently Asked Questions

You cannot change or cancel a Tax ID Number once it has been assigned. If your business undergoes significant changes, such as a change in structure or ownership, you may need to apply for a new EIN.

Yes, each separate legal entity or business you own needs its own Tax ID Number for tax filing and reporting purposes.

You can apply for a Tax ID Number online, by mail, or by fax. The easiest and quickest method is the online application, available on the IRS website.

If you apply online, you'll receive your Tax ID Number immediately upon completion of the application. For mail or fax applications, it usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive your EIN.

No, the IRS does not charge a fee for applying for a Tax ID Number. However, some third-party services may charge a fee for assisting with the application process.

You'll need to provide your business name, organization type, address, responsible party's name and SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and other relevant details about your business.

A Tax ID Number, also known as Employer Identification Number (EIN), is a unique identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses and organizations for tax filing and reporting purposes.

If you lose or forget your Tax ID Number, you can find it on previously filed tax returns, business bank account statements, or state business registration records. If you still can't find it, you can call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933 for assistance.

Businesses, non-profit organizations, trusts, estates, and other legal entities operating in the United States need a Tax ID Number. Sole proprietors may use their Social Security Number (SSN) instead but are encouraged to obtain an EIN for added security.

A Tax ID Number is required for various business activities such as filing tax returns, opening a bank account, applying for business licenses, and hiring employees. It also helps the IRS identify your business and track its financial activities.
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How To Get A Tax ID Number
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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