The Internal Revenue Service has become aware that nominee individuals are being listed as principal officers, general partners, grantors, owners, and trustors in the Employer Identification Number (EIN) application process. A nominee is not one of these people. Rather, nominees are temporarily authorized to act on behalf of entities during the formation process. The use of nominees in the EIN application process prevents the IRS from gathering appropriate information on entity ownership, and has been found to facilitate tax non-compliance by entities and their owners.
The IRS does not authorize the use of nominees to obtain EINs. All EIN applications (mail, fax, phone, electronic) must disclose the name and Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN) of the true principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner or trustor. This individual or entity, which the IRS will call the “responsible party,” controls, manages, or directs the applicant entity and the disposition of its funds and assets.
To properly submit a Form SS-4, the form and authorization should include the name, Taxpayer Identification Number and signature of the responsible party. Third party designees filing online applications are reminded of their obligation to retain a complete signed copy of the paper Form SS-4 and signed authorization statement for each entity application filed with the IRS. Nominees do not have the authority to authorize third party designees to file Forms SS-4, and should not be listed on the Form SS-4.
If a nominee is used in the state formation process and the true responsible party has not yet been identified, the entity must identify that individual before applying for an EIN.
The IRS will continue to pursue enforcement actions to prevent the misuse of EIN applications.
If you used a nominee for the EIN Application process, visit Correcting Business Information Where a Nominee Was Used to learn how to correct your information.