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Revised Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, requires identification of responsible party

Updating Incorrect Business Entity Information

Change in Application for Employer Identification Number, target id:219210, target content type:Article

Use of Nominees in the EIN Application Process

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 publically 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.