Tax ID or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Any student group that will raise money and, therefore, spend money, will need to maintain proper financial accounts for the group. These accounts should not be the same as any one individual’s account and should be set up by applying for a Tax ID or EIN specific to the group. Each taxpayer, or RSO, must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). The organization should file Form SS-4 with the IRS or submit an electronic request to apply for this number. Any financial accounts created or maintained for the organization should be managed under this number.
Unincorporated Associations: If your organization is going to handle funds, it is recommended you obtain an EIN for the organization so that you can open a bank account under the organization’s name. It is not recommended opening a bank account in an individual’s name. If your organization will not be handling any funds, an EIN is probably not necessary.
Corporate Nonprofits: Organizations must have an EIN number before applying for tax-exempt status.
Applying for an Employee Identification Number
- Go to the Online EIN Application
- Read instructions and click on “Apply Online Now”
- Read instructions and click on “Begin Application”
- Scroll to bottom of list and select on “View Additional Types including Nonprofit/Tax-Exempt Organizations,” click “Continue”
- Choose either “Community or Volunteer Group” or “Social or Savings Club” depending on which best describes your group. Click “Continue”
- Read description to confirm your selection. Click “Continue”
- Fill out remainder of required information
- Print out and retain a copy of your CP575 Confirmation. Your current and future officers will need this document for tax filing purposes.
Once you have received a Federal ID Number, keep a record of it in your organization’s permanent files.
In accordance with the IRS website groups who don’t have the EIN they obtained over the Internet should:
Ask the IRS to search for your EIN by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday. An assistor will ask you for identifying information and provide the number to you over the telephone, as long as you are a person who is authorized to receive it. Examples of an authorized person include, but are not limited to, a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, a corporate officer, a trustee of a trust, or an executor of an estate.
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