Any entity, business or otherwise, that deals with money must file a tax return. Therefore, it must have an IRS EIN number. These entities can be businesses, non-profit organizations, or even the estate of a deceased individual tax ID number. Tax ID numbers for these types of entities are called Employer Identification Numbers (EIN). It might seem strange at first that an estate would have an EIN, since it is not an employer. EIN is just the term that the IRS uses for Tax ID numbers for most types of entities. Real people have social security numbers; everything else has an EIN.
What Is an Estate and Why Does It Need an EIN?
An estate is the wealth of a deceased person. It needs an EIN because it engages in financial dealings. Specifically, the estate transfers its assets to the heirs specified in the deceased person’s will. At least one person is put in charge of the estate to make sure that the assets are distributed according to the deceased person’s instructions. The other major financial dealing of an estate is that it must file a tax return, whether or not it has income. Some estates earn income on investments made by the deceased person when he was alive.
How to Find the EIN of an Estate
If the estate has its own bank account, you can find the EIN by calling the bank where the account is held. If you do not know where it has a bank account, you can find the EIN by calling the IRS. Specifically, you should call the Business and Specialty Entity line at the IRS.
It is easy to find the EIN of an estate. The only caveat is that you may have to spend some time on hold on the phone.