How to find an Employer Identification Number without a W2

Learn effective methods to locate your Employer Identification Number (EIN) without a W2, including using IRS confirmation notices and bank records. Retrieve your EIN from previous tax returns or by contacting the IRS directly.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Introduction

When you first start your business, you receive a lot of documentation and reference numbers – all of which are important, but you may not understand what they’re for. If you’ve misplaced your EIN (Employer Identification Number), don’t worry you’re not alone. There are a few simple ways you can find your Employer Identification Number without a W2.

IRS Confirmation

When your application for an employer identification number is successful, the IRS issues a confirmation notice. This document will have your employer identification number listed, so it’s a good place to start when finding your EIN.

Previous Year’s Tax Return

You will have put your employer identification number on your previous tax returns, so if you have filed tax returns in the past, that is a good place to find your employer identification number. Your current or previous accountant will also likely have a record of your employer identification number. They’re a good place to start if you can’t find it on your own.

Your Business Bank Account

If you opened your business bank account while you were an employer, they will have your employer identification number on record. Try checking your bank records or contacting your bank to find your employer identification number.

Licensing Agencies

This may be an unorthodox way to find your employer identification number, but if you applied for state or local licenses, they will have your EIN on file. Check your paperwork or contact them to find your EIN.

Contact the IRS

If you really can’t find your employer identification number, then call the IRS. They will ask you questions to identify that you are authorized to receive information about your business. Call the IRS’s Business and Specialty Tax Line to find your employer identification number.

If you are uncertain about your EIN’s validity, read our post on “How to Verify an EIN Number“.

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