How To Obtain An Employer Identification Number Safely? Part I

The transportation industry is swarming with long and confusing acronyms. IFTA, HVUT, IRP, UCR, MC, FMCSA, NY HUT, KYU, and the list is never ending. And among those abbreviations, one of these pesky three-letter acronyms is E.I.N. You’ve probably heard it bandied about before, but do you have any idea what it is?

The Employer Identification Number, also called the Federal Tax Identification Number, is required for filing many taxes and registrations, including Heavy Vehicle Use Tax. As such, registering for your E.I.N. is one of the first and most important steps for obtaining your own operating authority.

However, we have a bad news. There’s a slew of scams out there, charging outrageous fees for obtaining an E.I.N. And if you choose to file an EIN yourself, it is completely free. Crazy!

It’s time to get educated on the subject together so you can better protect yourself from the scams, lurking on the web.

What is an E.I.N.?

The Employer Identification Number is used by the Internal Revenue Service to identify your business. It is a unique 9-digit number used to file heavy vehicle use tax, or any other tax through the IRS. The EIN is also required to register for your International Fuel Tax Agreement license in many states.

The IRS used to accept social security numbers in lieu of EIN’s. However, as of May 2011, SSN’s are no longer allowed/ accepted. Your return will be rejected without a valid EIN.

When your business is assigned these 9 digits, they’re assigned to the exact business name and address you provide. This is known as “Name Control.” It’s crucial that when filing your HVUT you enter the EIN and the business name exactly as the IRS has it on record. It cannot just be your name, your business’s nickname, or just “what you’re known by around town.” You need to be little careful while you file, as if your business name and EIN doesn’t match exactly, your return is likely to be rejected.

Additionally, if you have an EIN, but you forgot your name control, we always suggest you to check with the IRS prior filing. Call 1.800.829.4933 to verify your name control.

How to Get One- The Right Way and the Wrong Way:

There are several ways to apply EIN yourself- for free! When filing directly with the IRS, you can apply online (preferred), or via fax or postal mail, and there is no charge. Just be sure you are applying through the IRS website directly, and not on a shady, third-party site.

If you choose to apply online, you must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number, which is a valid Social Security Number of Individual Taxpayer ID. When filing online, you’ll get immediate validation and you’ll be issued the EIN right away.

If you’re too short on time to file the EIN yourself, there is another way! Another safer way that won’t charge you hundreds of dollars and make you wait weeks to receive the EIN. One that won’t steal and sell your information either.

However, there are a few pitfalls to avoid with a freshly issued EIN; you need to wait till next week, when we post the second and the last part of this blog. We will talk about how to avoid rejection and what are the steps to be taken, when you lose your EIN.

Till then, keep reading our previous blogs, sleep on time and eat healthy. You’re as important to us as to the nation. Reach our Tax Experts @ Call us at 866-245-3918 or write to Happy trucking!