Most businesses need—or will at some point need—an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You include your EIN on documents like Form W-2 and business tax returns. To get an EIN, you must apply with the IRS. In response, the IRS will send you an EIN confirmation notice called Form CP-575.
The IRS will only ever send you one Form CP-575. You cannot get a copy of it if you lose it (but don’t panic if you do—there’s another option, which we’ll discuss later). Read on to learn more about this one-of-a-kind form.
- What is an EIN, and do you need one?
- What is Form CP-575?
- What to do if you lose the CP-575 IRS form
- Form CP-575 at a glance
What is an EIN, and do you need one?
An EIN identifies your business for tax purposes, similarly to how a Social Security number identifies a person.
Not all businesses need an Employer Identification Number, but most do. The IRS provides a series of “Yes” or “No” questions to help you determine if you need an EIN. You need an EIN if you:
- Have employees
- Operate your business as a corporation or partnership
- File Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tax returns
- Withhold taxes on income, other than wages, paid to a non-resident alien
- Have a Keogh plan
- Are involved with certain types of organizations, such as trusts, estates, or nonprofit organizations
You may not need an EIN if you’re a sole proprietor with no employees. Instead, you can use your Social Security number.
To apply for an EIN, you must include the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (e.g., SSN) of the principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, or trustor. You can apply for an EIN online or by faxing or mailing Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN). After applying for an EIN, the IRS will issue Form CP-575.
What is Form CP-575?
Form CP-575 is an IRS notice businesses receive after applying for a Federal Employer Identification Number. The CP-575 assigns you a nine-digit EIN and includes your business name, address, and tax forms you must file.
Keep the CP-575 IRS form in your records. It is the only version you will ever receive from the IRS. You can reference it when you need your EIN and official business name and address information.
Again, the CP-575 includes your business’ newly assigned EIN and your official company name and address. The letter contains other information, like what forms you need to file. It also reminds you that the IRS will only issue the CP-575 once and advises you to store it in your records.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides the following CP-575 example on its website:
Does the IRS send CP-575 online or in the mail?
How the IRS sends CP-575 depends on how you apply for an EIN:
- Online: If you apply for an EIN online, you’ll receive a digital form with your EIN immediately.
- Fax: If you fax Form SS-4, you’ll receive a fax back with the EIN within four business days. It can take about two weeks if you don’t include a return fax number.
- Mail: If you mail Form SS-4, you’ll receive Form CP-575 via mail within four or five weeks.
|How You’ll Receive CP-575||When to Expect CP-575|
|Fax||Faxed to you||4 business days|
|Mailed to you||4 or 5 weeks|
What to do after receiving the IRS EIN notice
After receiving the EIN confirmation notice, keep a copy in your permanent records. The IRS will never reissue the form.
You may need to make a copy of Form CP-575 for anyone asking for proof of your EIN. In other cases, providing the information found on Form CP-575 (EIN, official business name, and official business address) is enough.
Securely store your CP-575 letter so you can easily:
- Make copies: Banks, lenders, and payroll providers may ask for a copy of the notice as proof of your EIN.
- Find your EIN: Include your assigned EIN on forms the 941, 940, W-2, and business tax forms (e.g., Form 1120-S).
Is it secret? Is it safe?
If you receive your CP-575 online, consider printing a hard copy to store in a secure, locked cabinet. If you receive a paper CP-575, consider securely uploading a digital copy. That way, you have both physical and digital copies.
What to do if you lose the CP-575 IRS form
If you misplace your IRS EIN notice, you can request a replacement—Letter 147-C. The 147-C letter provides your Employer Identification Number. You can use the 147-C as proof of your EIN and related information instead of the CP-575.
To get the 147-C letter, call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at 800-829-4933 and ask. They are available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. local time. Be ready to provide identifying information. The IRS will also provide your EIN over the phone.
Form CP-575 at a glance
- The CP-575 is an EIN confirmation notice businesses receive after applying for an EIN.
- Form CP-575 assigns you your Employer Identification Number and includes your business name, address, and tax forms you must file.
- Banks, lenders, and payroll providers may request a copy of your CP-575.
- The IRS will only ever send one copy of the CP-575.
- If you lose your CP-575, you can call the IRS at 800-829-4933 and ask for a 147-C letter.
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