Main IRS Website
Revised Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number
Change in Application for Employer Identification Number
Use of Nominees in the EIN Application Process
Updating Incorrect Business Entity Information
Pension Protection Act of 2006 made two important changes affecting tax-exempt organizations
IRS Offers One-Time Special Filing Relief Program for Small Charities Oct. 15 Due Date to Preserve Tax-Exempt Status

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The following is an overview of the information included in the above links:

  • Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, has been revised and applicants must disclose the name and taxpayer identification number of the true "responsible party" for the entity requesting an EIN.
  • For an EIN applicant that is publicly traded or is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the "responsible party" is the principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner of a disregarded entity, owner, or trustor, depending on the business entity of the applicant.
  • For all other entities, the "responsible party" is the person who can control, manage, or direct the entity and the disposition of the entity's funds and assets.
  • A nominee is an entity with delegated authority to act in name only and can never be the "responsible party" for the Form SS-4 application.
  • The SS-4 must be signed by an individual with the authority to legally bind the entity; therefore, it cannot be signed by a nominee.
  • Entities that used nominees on their applications in the past should consider updating the information shown on the original application.
  • There is no form available for updating information on previous applications; instead the entity should send a letter to IRS. Information on how to do this is included in the "Updating Incorrect Business Entity Information" link.
  • Third party designees filing online applications must retain a complete copy of the paper Form SS-4, signed by the responsible party, and a signed authorization statement, for each EIN application filed with the IRS.
  • Using nominees in the EIN application process prevents the IRS from gathering appropriate information on entity ownership and may also facilitate tax non-compliance by entities and their owners. Clearly identifying an entity's true owner makes it difficult for taxpayers to conceal their income and assets.