Can we get an EIN without giving a name and SSN?

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Carol,
First, I would like to thank you for writing the very informative book “The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization”.

I am president of a small homeschool organization (15 families, 50 children) in North Carolina. I respect the need for an identity with government, so (after reading your book) I have decided to pursue incorporation in North Carolina.

The question I have is regarding having a tax ID number (Megan is referring to an Employer Identification Number, EIN) for the group in order to open a bank account, etc. Do we apply for a tax ID after we are incorporated?

Also, all methods of applying for a tax ID that I have seen involve applying using my Social Security Number (SSN). I have to admit that using my personal information for the group makes me uncomfortable. Is there any way to get a tax ID for the group without using an individual’s SSN?

Thank you in advance for your time and attention.

Megan D in NC

Megan,
Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad the book was helpful!

You apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN) after you are incorporated in NC.

I completely understand your reluctance to put your Social Security Number  on any application. We need to be careful to protect our SSNs in this day of identity theft.

But the IRS requires an EIN to be tied to a human being.

This came about because the IRS found that businesses were applying for EINs with a temporary name listed. Sometimes filings services such as attorneys or Legal Zoom were putting their names on the EIN, but were not the real person(s) responsible. I’ve also read that terrorist organizations were applying for EINs with fake names.

So, the IRS needed to tie the true responsible person to the nonprofit organization. They now require a responsible party name and Social Security Number on the EIN application to stop any misrepresentation or deception.

Carol Topp, CPA

P.S. You can change the responsible party name and SSN on the EIN at a later date if you are no longer involved with the nonprofit. File IRS Form 8822-B to change the responsible party.

Comments

  1. So if I give my SSN to get the EIN for a non profit will there be tax issues involved? Will I be responsible for taxes on the money deposited into the non profits bank account? Will we have to file taxes for the non profit?

    Thank You

  2. Carol Topp says:

    Kelli,
    Thank you for contacting me.

    Nonprofits usually apply for tax exempt status from the IRS.
    Sometimes the tax exempt status is granted automatically for some groups.

    There are required annual reports to file with the IRS, but if you receive tax exempt status, there is not federal income tax to pay.

    These blog posts should be helpful to you:
    http://homeschoolcpa.com/are-homeschool-support-groups-automatically-tax-exempt/
    http://homeschoolcpa.com/do-you-know-about-irs-required-filings-for-homeschool-groups/
    http://homeschoolcpa.com/what-business-structure-and-tax-forms-are-needed-for-a-new-homeschool-co-op/

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