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The following is an overview of the information included in the above links:
- Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, has been revised and applicants must disclose the name and taxpayer identification number of the true "responsible party" for the entity requesting an EIN.
- For an EIN applicant that is publicly traded or is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the "responsible party" is the principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner of a disregarded entity, owner, or trustor, depending on the business entity of the applicant.
- For all other entities, the "responsible party" is the person who can control, manage, or direct the entity and the disposition of the entity's funds and assets.
- A nominee is an entity with delegated authority to act in name only and can never be the "responsible party" for the Form SS-4 application.
- The SS-4 must be signed by an individual with the authority to legally bind the entity; therefore, it cannot be signed by a nominee.
- Entities that used nominees on their applications in the past should consider updating the information shown on the original application.
- There is no form available for updating information on previous applications; instead the entity should send a letter to IRS. Information on how to do this is included in the "Updating Incorrect Business Entity Information" link.
- Third party designees filing online applications must retain a complete copy of the paper Form SS-4, signed by the responsible party, and a signed authorization statement, for each EIN application filed with the IRS.
- Using nominees in the EIN application process prevents the IRS from gathering appropriate information on entity ownership and may also facilitate tax non-compliance by entities and their owners. Clearly identifying an entity's true owner makes it difficult for taxpayers to conceal their income and assets.