Employers flock to IRS online taxpayer number feature

The Internal Revenue Service has issued more than 498,081 employer identification numbers through its online application form since it became available in April, the tax agency said. By the end of last month, the IRS was receiving 37.5 percent of all EIN applications through the Internet.

The feature at IRS.gov immediately issues a new EIN, eliminating both paperwork and the usual four-to-10-day wait for paper processes. Because an EIN is required for a host of purposes, such as establishing a bank account, getting it quickly is important for someone starting a business, officials said.

'Making EINs available to IRS customers on an immediate and permanent basis is an important step in improving our partnership with the business community,' IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said.

The online application mimics the paper Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number. Applications faxed or mailed are often incomplete, contain errors and frequently require additional contact with the applicant by an IRS employee.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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