Businesses use Federal Tax Identification Numbers, also known as Employer Identification Numbers, when filling out tax documents, says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Each EIN is nine digits long, issued by the IRS and used to identify the company. Employees will need to enter their employer's Federal Tax ID number when completing their tax return, so it's essential to know where to find the EIN. Fortunately, there are several ways to go about locating it.
Start With Your W-2
If you're wondering "how to find Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)," start with Form W-2: Wage and Tax Statement, which you should receive from your employer by January 31. On the form, you will find the EIN in box b, which is on the left-hand side and the second line. It's just below the employee's Social Security number box and just above the employer's name, address and zip code box.
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In many cases, company letterheads, including those of non-profits, feature the EIN on their correspondence. Company websites also sometimes list this information on their legal pages. Make a quick check there before continuing your search.
Consider Also: W-2 Forms: What It Is, Who Gets One & How It Works
Contact the Payroll Department
In the event that you can't locate your W-2 form, call the company's payroll, benefits or human resource department and ask for the EIN. You can also request a copy of your W-2 at the same time. Many businesses have begun using employee portals, which allow employees to create an account and then log in to view, download and print important tax documents.
Ask the company if they offer this and, if so, request to have an account set up. Once you enter the portal, you'll be able to find the EIN on any of the tax documents.
Use the EDGAR Database
Wondering where to find federal tax ID numbers? If the company you work for is publicly traded, you can use the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) EDGAR database to locate the EIN. When companies go public, they are required to share their financial documents with the SEC, which means you can review the documents to find the EIN for use on your own tax return.
To search EDGAR, type the company name or the company's ticker symbol into the box and click the gray "Search" box. Under the "Selected Filings" section, look for the following documents, as they will contain the employer's Federal Tax ID number: 8-K (current reports), 10K (annual reports) or 10-Q (quarterly reports).
Consider Also: About the Different Types of 1099 Tax Forms: What You Should Know
Search the GuideStar Database
When it comes to how to look up a federal tax ID number, you can use GuideStar if the company is a non-profit. Type the company's name in the search box on the homepage and then click the yellow "Search" box. Choose the company from the results page and then look at the right-hand side of the screen. The EIN is reported right next to the ruling year.
You can also click on the "Financials" tab on the top left-hand side of the screen to access the company's IRS Form 990, but GuideStar charges a fee for this.
Consider Also: Charitable Contributions: Tax Deductions & What You Need to Know
Submit a W-9 Request
If all else fails, you can fill out and submit Form W-9: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification to the individual or business who is paying you for a service. This form allows both individuals and businesses to request an EIN, so they can properly file taxes at the end of the year. It is typically used by freelancers and subcontractors.