Why You Need an EIN, Employer Identification Number

You hear a lot about identify theft these days. One way to help protect yourself is by getting an EIN number – Employer Identification Number.

Having an EIN number is a good idea not only if you’re planning on registering for affiliate programs but also for using  just about anywhere else you would use or need your SS number.

Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a unique 9-digit EIN number to use. Don’t let yourself get confused either, the EIN goes by more than one name and depending on the form, application, registration process, etc. you may see it as . . .

TIN – Tax Identification Number

FEIN – Federal Employer Identification Number

FTIN – Federal Tax Identification Number . . .

they are basically all the same, and valid in all states for tax filing, banking and other business purposes. Also, once you’ve been assigned your EIN number, it will not expire nor will it be re-issued.

Who Assigns EINs?

These numbers are assigned to individuals and  businesses by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for the purpose of identification.

One distinction can be made regarding the multi-names, when the EIN number is used for identification rather than employment tax reporting it  is referred to as TIN; when the number is used for reporting employment taxes  it is referred to as EIN.

EIN and Affiliates

In my opinion, having an EIN number is particularly important if you are planning on registering for any type of affiliate program.   To register with an  affiliate program you will be required to fill in a form with certain information – name, address, SS number, etc. Your EIN number – rather than your SS number –  will then be used by affiliates to report earnings to the IRS,  who in turn use that number  to identify you with regard to commissions earned.

Affiliate programs may also ask you to fill in a W-9 Form, sign, and then fax or mail it back. This W-9 form is a Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification.   It is just another instance where you can protect your SS number by using an EIN number and still keep everything acceptable and legal.

While you – as an individual – can use your EIN in place of your SS number when registering as an affiliate, for tax returns and other various business tax issues,  it can also be used by:

  • Sole Proprietors
  • LLC (Limited Liability Companies)
  • Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Non-profit Trusts
  • Non-profit Estates
  • Government Agencies

So, What’s the difference between SS and EIN Numbers?

Your SS Number can be validated as to year of issue, origin and state; EIN numbers have no such history.

Think there might be confusion when using an EIN vs. your SS number?

No . . . they are easily distinguishable and there is no problem for say a credit bureau to tell the difference between an EIN number and a SS number.

For example – a credit application would require your actual SS number where it would be scrutinized in a protected and secure manner.   To the contrary, EIN numbers are not considered sensitive and may be more freely used. Less worry for you.

EIN numbers can be applied for on line. It’s easy and quick. To get your EIN number online …. click here.

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