Find a Federal Tax ID Number

U.S. tax identification numbers (TINs) are assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There are many kinds of TINs given to various individual and group entities for the purpose of official identification on any number of public and private documents.[1] TINs can take the form of Social Security Numbers (SSNs), Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), or Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), and can be issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as well as the IRS.[1] A TIN must be used whenever you are filling out tax-related documents for the IRS (e.g., tax returns and tax statements).[1]


Finding the Federal Tax ID Number of a Third Party

  1. Check your records. If you need to find a company's EIN and you have done business with them, that number may appear on any invoices you've received or other records you have of your transactions with them.[2]
    • For example, you may need the EIN of your child's babysitter or child care facility so you can claim the child care deduction on your taxes. It is customary for child-care services to put their EIN on invoices and sometimes even on letterhead.
    • Nonprofit organizations also typically list their EIN on any official correspondence. If you have made a charitable contribution and need the EIN for tax purposes, the number may be located on the receipt you received from the organization.
  2. Check the business's website. If the business or organization for which you need an EIN has a website, they may list their EIN there. This is typically true of publicly traded companies as well as nonprofit organizations.[3]
    • On the company's website, look for an "about" or "legal information" page. That's typically where you'll find the EIN if they've published it on their website.
  3. Call the business or individual and ask. Businesses typically are understanding of the fact that you might need their EIN to claim a deduction on your taxes. If you call the business and speak to someone in human resources or accounting, they should be able to give you the EIN.[4]
    • If the company has gone out of business, there will be someone in charge of wrapping up the business, typically an attorney or one of the owners. You can find their contact information by searching the business directory of the website of the secretary of state for the state where the company was located.
  4. Use an online service. There are official websites that maintain directories of active EINs for publicly traded companies and nonprofit organizations. You can use those directories free of charge to find a company's EIN.[4]
    • For a publicly traded company, use the EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). EINs can be found on the company's 8-K, 10K, or 10-Q reports.
    • Melissa Data provides information about nonprofit organizations, including their EIN. Make sure you search using the corporate office's zip code rather than the zip code of a local office.
    • You also may be able to find a business's tax ID number using the website of the relevant tax authority of the state where the business is located.[5]
  5. Contact the IRS directly. If you can't contact anyone in the company or find the EIN through other means, you may be able to find out the company's EIN from the IRS. Find contact information on the IRS's main website at[6]
    • When you talk to an IRS agent, explain your situation and the steps you've taken to attempt to find the company's federal tax ID number. The agent should be able to help you, or will at least give you some additional assistance in how to find it yourself.
  6. Hire a private investigator or attorney. If the company has gone out of business, or if you are otherwise unable to find the EIN by any other means, you may need a professional to assist you with finding the company's EIN.[6]
    • Before you hire someone, consider whether the deduction or other benefit you would receive are worth paying a private investigator or attorney. Keep in mind you may be charged several hundred dollars for this service to be performed for you.
    • Attorneys also will have access to legal search engines, which they may be able to use to help you find the EIN of a private company.[7]

Finding Your Individual Tax ID (SSN or ITIN)

  1. Check your W-2 form for an SSN. Anyone with a Social Security Number (SSN) can use it as a tax ID.[1] Your employer is required to send you a W-2 form each year by the end of January. This form lists your SSN as "Employee's social security number" in box "a" at the top of the page.[8]
  2. Ask your employer. If you do not have any W2 forms, you can request a copy from any current or past employer. All employers are required to keep this information for at least four years after you leave the company.[9]
  3. Request a replacement SSN card. If you cannot find your social security card, you can apply for a new one online using a driver's license or state ID.
  4. Check your old tax forms for an SSN. All individual tax forms (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) list the taxpayer's SSN in the top right corner of the first page.
  5. Check recent tax forms for an ITIN. If you do not have an SSN but have filed taxes in the past, those forms used an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number).[11] Any ITIN used in 2013 or later is still valid, unless the IRS has sent you a letter telling you to renew it.[12] The ITIN is entered in the box labeled "social security number." For example, your old Form 1040 lists your ITIN on the first page, in the top right corner.[13]
    • If you received a letter telling you to renew your ITIN, or if you have not used an ITIN since before 2013, fill out form W-7 to request a new ITIN. It takes about 7 weeks to get a new one.[13]
  6. Call the IRS about an ITIN. If you cannot find your ITIN, call 1-800-908-9982. This number is only available from the US.[14]

Finding the ID for Your Employer (EIN)

  1. Check your W-2. Any W-2 form your employer sent you lists the employer's identification number in box "b", near the top left corner of the form.
  2. Call your employer’s payroll division. You may be able to get your EIN by requesting it directly from your employer's payroll division. Even if you have recently left the company, they may be able to help you.[15]
  3. Check the SEC filing for a public company. If your employer is a publicly traded company, check the investor section of its website for its SEC filings. Open the most recent quarterly report or the document named "current SEC filing report." The employer identification number is usually listed near the top of the first page.

Finding the ID for Your Business (EIN)

  1. Look at the business' tax records. Every W-2 a business sends to its employees lists its employer identification number (EID). Find a W-2 from any year and look in box "b", near the top left corner of the page. Any other tax documents the business has filed should also include the EID, usually near the top of the first page.
    • A business switches to a new EID if it goes bankrupt, changes ownership (for sole proprietorships or partnerships), or has a major change in organization (for instance, it incorporates or merges).[16] Do not rely on forms from before one of these events.
  2. Check with your bank. You can obtain your EIN from your bank if you are a business owner and used the EIN to open a bank account for your business.[17]
  3. Ask local or state governments. If you used your EIN to obtain any kind of license for your business, try contacting the city, county, or state government that issued the license.[17]
  4. Call the IRS. Call the IRS business and specialty tax line at (800) 829-4933. The IRS can search for your number and give it to you if you have lost it. You may have to provide your name, position, and SSN to prove you are authorized to obtain this information.[18]
    • This telephone line operates from 7:00am to 7:00pm in your local US time zone, Monday through Friday.
  5. Check your records. The IRS sent an automatic notice when your business first applied for an EIN. Check both digital and physical records, as you may have received this notice over email.
  6. Get-a-Federal-Tax-ID-(USA). If your business went through a major change (such as transfer to a new owner), you will need a new EIN. You can apply online from the IRS website, or fill out Form SS4 and mail it to the IRS. This is a free service.[19]


  • Have access to your tax documents while you make any of the phone calls suggested above.
  • Anyone who is paid to prepare someone else's taxes needs a preparer tax identification number (PTIN).[20] Gather the requirements listed here, then apply online here. This takes about 15 minutes and costs $50.[20]
  • People who have adopted a child who does not yet have an SSN need an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) to claim the child as a dependent on their federal income tax return.[21] You can request one by filling out Form W-7A or by calling 1-800-829-3676.

Related Articles

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  4. 4.0 4.1
  6. 6.0 6.1
  13. 13.0 13.1
  17. 17.0 17.1
  20. 20.0 20.1