What Is an SS-4?

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Many people who are just starting out forming their businesses, trusts, non-profits, or other organizations learn that they must fill out form SS-4. They often ask us, “What is an SS-4?” Form SS-4 is used to apply for an employee identification number (EIN), which is assigned to businesses and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes.

Who Needs Form SS-4?

If you are filing for an EIN for your sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, estate, trust, non-profit, or church, you will need to fill out Form SS-4. This form is required for any organization that needs an EIN and that is filing for the taxpayer identification number for the first time.

Why Do I Need an SS-4?

Form SS-4 needs to be filled out by any organization that requires an EIN. EINs are assigned by the IRS to identify entities for tax purposes. You must fill out Form SS-4 if you have never obtained an EIN for your organization and if:

  • Your organization pays wages to employees (one or more)
  • You need an EIN to use on any IRS return or statement, even if you don’t act as an employer
  • You are required to withhold taxes on income that is not wages or income paid to a non-resident alien
  • You are planning to file a Schedule C (Profit or Loss From Business), Schedule F (Profit or Loss From Farming), or Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return), and the IRS requires you to file employment, excise, tobacco, alcohol, firearms, or Keogh plan returns.


You May Need to File an SS-4 if You Don’t Have Employees

Even if you don’t have any employees, you might need to file an SS-4 if you are forming any of the following entities:

  • Trust (except certain revocable, IRA, and grantor-owned trusts)
  • Estate
  • Corporation
  • Partnership
  • Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMICs)
  • Non-profit organization
  • Personal service organization
  • Church-controlled organization

Filling out Form SS-4 can be confusing and time consuming. Irs-ein-tax-id.com Filing Solutions makes filing Form SS-4 easier, and we also offer the convenience of filing for your business organization.


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