Think of an EIN (which stands for “Employer Identification Number”) as a social security number for an entity. EINs, also referred to as “taxpayer identification numbers” (TINs) or “Federal Tax Identification Numbers”, are assigned by the IRS to identify both for-profit and non-profit entities, including corporations, trusts and probate estates. An EIN is obtained by filing IRS Form SS-4, and is an essential step in organizing many types of businesses, probating an estate, or administering a trust.
Line 7a of IRS Form SS-4 requires that a “responsible party” be named for the entity. The responsible party is a person who has a level of control over the entity and who will communicate officially with the IRS. While completing the form is sometimes challenging, filing is a fairly simple process that can be done by mail, fax, or online. Once Form SS-4 has been filed and an EIN issued, both are typically filed away and never given a second thought. This has apparently led to a certain amount of frustration at the IRS when the “responsible party” named in the SS-4 is no longer in that position with the company or has moved on, leaving the IRS without a named individual with whom to communicate. Likewise, problems arise when a business moves or changes its mailing address without notifying the IRS.
In order to deal with this, effective January 1, 2014, any entity with an EIN that changes its mailing address, its business location, or the identity of its responsible party, must inform the IRS. Notification is made by filing IRS Form 8822-B within sixty (60) days of the change. The form, and instructions for its completion and filing, can be found here.
For changes that occurred before 2014, Form 8822-B should have been filed by March 1, 2014. If you missed that deadline and the mailing address, business location, or the identity of the responsible party for your organization has changed, you should complete and file Form 8822-B as soon as possible.
For more information, please visit the IRS websites concerning EINs and TINs. As always, feel free to contact Wright Beamer if you would like assistance in navigating these or any other business forms.