An EIN (employer identification number) is a private number. This means that not everybody can know how to verify an EIN number, or at least not everybody can complete the necessary steps. Indeed, only the company representatives can do it.

What Is an EIN Number?

An EIN number is a unique tax identification number made up of nine digits. It is issued by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). All tax numbers, be they for businesses or individuals, are private numbers. EIN numbers cannot be verified easily, unless you have the relevant authorization. The exception is for some exempt organizations, such as registered nonprofits.

How to Verify an EIN Number:

If you have the right authorization, it is important that you know how to verify an EIN number. The IRS allows those listed as authorized to simply call them to relocate or confirm a business EIN. They consider as “authorized”, company officers, partners, and sole proprietors. Trusts also receive an EIN number, and the estate’s executor or trustee is authorized to retrieve an EIN.

The process in this case is very easy. All you have to do is call (800) 829-4933, which is the IRS. A representative will then ask for your identifying information, after which the EIN number will be provided to you over the telephone.

However, should you not be considered as authorized, then you have to go through some more complex steps. This starts by completing IRS Form 2828 Tax Information Authorization, which is used to process it. Interestingly, you will find yourself in a bit of a catch-22 situation, because you have to enter the EIN number on this form. Hence, if you have lost the number, only the authorized individual can retrieve it. If you only want to confirm whether the number you have is right or not, you can simply double check it through Form 2848.

Exempt Organizations:

If you want to verify the EIN number of en exempt organization, you can do so by completing an Exempt Organization Select Check through the IRS website. These organizations have nonprofit status, meaning that all information is available as a public record. The search tool is very easy to use and will demonstrate the EIN number as well as the status of the nonprofit.

The system will also show whether they have filed Form 990-N. If they haven’t, their tax exempt status will be revoked. This is because even tax exempt organizations must report their income. If they don’t, they may lose their charitable status.

How Else to Verify an EIN Number

EIN numbers are private, but most employers will confirm the number to their employees on request. Additionally, it is generally listed on the 1099s for contractors and on payroll checks. Additionally, when providing contract work, employers also list it. An incorrect EIN can be rejected by the IRS if a tax return, business or personal, is filed because data checks are deemed inconsistent. At this point, it is important to verify the EIN so that all parties state the correct income.