Getting an EIN for your Unit

Every unit will eventually need to have a checking account. To do that, you'll need a federal tax number. But, you don't want to use your personal Social Security number since that would connect all of your unit's financial activities to your personal records. Instead, here are two approaches:

Plan A
Due to the charter agreement and tax laws, units are subordinate to your chartered partner. Some chartered partners are willing to allow units to use their tax number so their unit will be able to obtain a checking account. This is perfectly legal, but some chartered partners have concerns.

If your chartered partner does not feel they can help you in this fashion, go to Plan B. If your chartered partner is a business, public school or PTO, go to Plan B.

Plan B
This is the best plan to follow when you are faced with the need for a checking account (the bank needs a federal tax number and your chartered partner doesn’t feel they can help you accomplish the task). What follows are specific instructions for units to complete IRS form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number).

Filing Options

CLICK HERE to complete an online form (This is the preferred method of the IRS)

By mail
CLICK HERE to get the SS-4 form
Send your completed SS-4 form to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Expect a 30 day turnaround

By fax
Fax your form to (215) 516-3990. Request a fax back. You will probably experience a five day turnaround

By phone
Call 1 (800) 829-4933 to complete Form SS-4 and receive your EIN immediately

For more information, please visit the IRS website

What You'll Get Back

You will receive a letter from the IRS that includes your organization name and address, and your EIN. This is the number you'll need to open an organizational checking account.

You also may receive other forms, such as Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption, under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Your unit should not use Form 1023 to apply for recognition of exemption. Among other reasons, this is due to the normally prohibitive cost, and the requirements for your unit to provide articles of incorporation or articles of organization with the application, annual Form 990 filings, minutes of meetings and annual audits, many other compliance items and penalties for non-compliance.