Employer Identification Numbers
Businesses, charities, others with Employer Identification Numbers must update responsible party information within 60 days of any change.
Calling it a key security issue, the Internal Revenue Service today urged those entities with Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) to update their applications if there has been a change in the responsible party or contact information.
IRS regulations require EIN holders to update responsible party information within 60 days of any change by filing Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party – Business. It is critical that the IRS have accurate information in cases of identity theft or other fraud issues related to EINs or business accounts.
The data around the “responsible parties” for business-type entities is often outdated or incorrect, meaning that the IRS does not have accurate records of who to contact for identity theft issues. This means a time-consuming process to identify the point of contact so the IRS can inquire about a suspicious filing.
As a result, the IRS intends to step up its awareness efforts aimed at businesses, partnerships, trusts and estates, charities and other entities that are EIN holders. Starting in August, the IRS will begin sending letters to approximately 100,000 EIN holders where it appears the responsible party is outdated.
All EIN applications (mail, fax, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (Social Security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor.
The IRS defines the responsible party as the individual or entity who “controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets.”
Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual, not an entity. If there is more than one responsible party, the entity may list whichever party the entity wants the IRS to recognize as the responsible party.
Canceling an EIN – Closing Your Account
The IRS cannot cancel your EIN. Once an EIN has been assigned to a business entity, it becomes the permanent Federal taxpayer identification number for that entity. Regardless of whether the EIN is ever used to file Federal tax returns, the EIN is never reused or reassigned to another business entity. The EIN will still belong to the business entity and can be used at a later date, should the need arise.
If you receive an EIN but later determine you do not need the number (the new business never started up, for example), the IRS can close your business account.
To close your business account, you must send a letter that includes the complete legal name of the entity, the EIN, the business address and the reason you wish to close your account. If you have a copy of the EIN Assignment Notice that was issued when your EIN was assigned, you should include that and mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Cincinnati, Ohio 45999
Accredited Tax Advisor
News from Cook & Co. Tax Advisors at 124 South Main Street in Arab, Alabama. Greg Cook is an Enrolled Agent, licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He is also a Certified Public Accountant licensed by the states of Alabama and Tennessee.