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How to Obtain a Tax ID Number for an Estate?

How to Obtain a Tax ID Number for an Estate?

The tax identification number issued to an estate is the same tax identification number issued to juridical entities that are required to pay taxes such as businesses. This is referred to as the Employer Identification Number or EIN. There are three ways to apply for an EIN which are as follows: by mail, by telephone, and online.

In order to apply for an EIN for an estate, the applicant must be the administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate appointed by the court or by the decedent himself. The personal tax identification number and the Social Security number of the decedent will also be required in the application.

The following are the steps in applying for an EIN by mail:

  1. Obtain an IRS Form SS-4 from the local IRS field agency. These forms may also be downloaded and printed from the IRS website.
  2. Fill in the forms which are intended for the applicant. Enter your name on Line 7a as the “responsible party” and check the box for “estate” on Line 9-a. Enter the decedent’s Social Security number on the space next to the box checked.
  3. Write your name as the third-party designee. Also, write down your complete address and telephone number.
  4. Write your name on the bottom of the form and sign the same.
  5. Mail the document to the IRS office.
  6. Wait for up to four weeks to receive the estate’s assigned EIN by mail.


Tax ID Number for an Estate

When applying for EIN via telephone, the applicant must:

  1. Call the IRS hotline and request to fill up an EIN for an estate by telephone.
  2. Answer the interview with a live IRS representative. Provide the representative with honest information regarding the decedent and his estate. Also, provide your personal information and your telephone number.
  3. After the interview, you will then receive a confirmation approval of the application. The EIN will then be given to the applicant via telephone.

Obtain a Tax ID Number for an Estate

When applying for EIN online, the applicant must:

  1. Visit the IRS website and find the online EIN application button. Select the option for “estate” and confirm the selection.
  2. State the full name and Social Security number of the decedent. Confirm the information on the next screen.
  3. Enter the date of death of the decedent or the date when the estate was legally funded. Also include the address of the estate.
  4. Enter your full name as the third-party designee. Also, enter your telephone number.
  5. Last, enter your name as the applicant and in another box for your electronic signature. The estate’s EIN will immediately be included in the confirmation screen.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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