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What is an EIN, and why do I need one?

What is an EIN?

Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), also known as “Federal Tax Identification Numbers,” serve as identification numbers for the IRS. Any business with employees, and all corporations, are required to apply for EINs.

An EIN is different than an FEC ID number. A federal campaign committee must have both.

Why do I need an EIN?

Federal campaign committees are required by the FEC to have an EIN, even if they do not have any employees. Even state and local campaigns should consider applying for an EIN.

All organizations are required to have an EIN in order to set up a merchant account, which is needed to set up a WidgetMakr account.

How do I get an EIN?

Campaigns can apply for an EIN on the IRS’ website. Follow this link to get started. You can also apply by fax or mail.

On the EIN application, the campaign committee must designate a “responsible party.” According to the IRS, the “responsible party” should be the person responsible for managing the entity and its funds. For a business, the owner or general partner would generally serve as the “responsible party.” For a campaign, the candidate or treasurer would typically hold this position. The responsible party must provide a tax identification number, such as a social security number, as part of the application process.

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