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Home » Articles » Form SS-4: Everything you need to know

Form SS-4: Everything you need to know

Form SS-4 Everything you need to know

Starting a firm involves many tasks, which makes maintaining the organization difficult. Among the important issues that require immediate attention is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Whether starting your own firm, acting as an executor in an estate, serving as a trustee in a trust, or founding a non-profit organization, you must properly identify these entities to comply with tax responsibilities. 

What is Form SS-4?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides Form SS-4, an official document streamlining the application procedure for an employer identification number (EIN). 

Employers, businesses, estates, trusts, and other entities can use an EIN, nine digits, as a unique identity when filing taxes.

An EIN is a corporate identification number that functions similarly to a social security number for individuals. The IRS uses it to process tax payments and employee benefits. You must fill out Form SS-4 and send it in to get your EIN.

What is Form SS-4
What is Form SS-4?

Purpose of Form SS-4

Form SS-4 serves as an avenue to apply for an EIN. This serves various business entities when filing taxes and reporting financial information.

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The details provided within this document establish your business’s designated tax account.

As per the IRS regulations, employers, sole proprietors, corporations, estates, trusts, and individuals employ Form SS-4 to request an EIN for tax-related filing and reporting purposes. 

Your EIN and Form SS-4 play a crucial role in numerous financial operations within your business. This includes obtaining a business loan, opening a dedicated bank account, or employing staff members. 

All businesses operating within the United States can submit an SS-4 form, with most being required to do so.

Importance of an employer identification number (EIN)

The submission of SEC Form S-4 is mandatory for companies undergoing an exchange offer containing vital information pertaining to mergers or acquisitions. This filing is essential for investors seeking swift gains arising from mergers or acquisitions.

For those considering establishing a business entity, IRS Form SS-4 holds great importance as it serves as your business’s distinctive identifier within the IRS system.

This number is linked to various aspects of your business, including bank accounts and other critical operations.

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Two ways to register your Form SS-4

There are two ways you can register your Form SS-4:

1. Online registration

Applying for an EIN online is a convenient option.

If you possess a legal residence, principal place of business, or primary office within the United States or its territories, you can obtain an EIN online and immediately utilize it for filing tax returns or making digital payments

To complete the online application process successfully, the principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, trustor (and similar positions) must possess a valid taxpayer identification number (such as an SSN, EIN, or ITIN). 

Taxpayers using the online application feature can view, print, and retain their EIN assignment notice upon session completion. 

Instructions regarding authorized third-party designees can be found under Line 18.

Visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/Businesses and navigate to Employer ID Number (EIN).

2. By mail or fax

To apply by mail, complete Form SS-4 at least 4 to 5 weeks before you need an EIN. Sign and date the application and mail it to the appropriate address listed under “Delivery Location” or “Fax.” 

You will receive your EIN in the mail in approximately 4 weeks. See also “Third Party Agents” below.

Under the Fax TIN program, you can typically receive your EIN via fax within 4 business days. Complete Form SS-4 and fax it to the IRS using the app

How long does it take to complete an SS-4 Form?

Normally, it takes about fifteen to thirty minutes to complete an SS-4 Form, which is used for acquiring an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. 

How long does it take to complete an SS-4 Form
How long does it take to complete an SS-4 Form

The business or entity seeking the EIN must give basic details like its legal structure, aim and contact information. 

Although the form itself is easy, the time required may depend on how complicated the organization’s structure is and how clear one provides the information.

It should be noted that the IRS supports online completion of SS-4 Form which quickens its processing time compared to traditional mail. 

Upon submission, online forms are processed immediately by the IRS and EIN is given instantly after approval. 

This enhances efficiency and promotes a faster turnaround time for businesses that want their EINs through this particular form.


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