How to Change or Cancel an Employer ID Number (EIN)

The IRS has procedures in place for most changes

Man looking at clipboard
••• Getty Images

An employer ID number often referred to as an EIN, is required for your business if the business has employees or if it's taxed as a corporation or partnership. It might need one for a handful of other less common reasons as well. But what if you make a mistake when you're applying for your EIN? Is it fixable? Yes, and you can amend or deactivate your EIN for a number of other reasons, too.

IRS Changes EIN Requirement to Increase Security

Effective May 13, 2019, the IRS requires individuals applying for an EIN to use a Social Security Number or ITIN for the responsible party on the form. 

How to Make Changes to an Employer ID Number

If you made a mistake on your EIN application, such as if you listed a non-owner or officer in Item 3 or elsewhere, do not submit a new EIN application, Form SS-4. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you should submit a letter instead, preferably on your company letterhead.

Provide the name and the taxpayer identification number of the current principal officer, general partner, grantor, owner, or trustor. Be sure to include the entity's complete name, EIN, and mailing address so the IRS can correctly identify your IRS account.

How to Change Your EIN If You Make Changes to Your Business

If the name or address of your business changes or you change your business type, you would file these change notifications with the IRS. Exactly how you would make the change depends on its nature and, in some cases, your business type. 

  • If your business name changed, you can note the change on your business tax form when you file. The IRS explains how to change your business name on its website, depending on your business form.

If your business address changes, you can simply notify the IRS using Form 8822-B, Change of Address-Business. This form is used if you change your business mailing address or location, or the identity of your responsible party

  • If you want to change your business entity type, such as from a single-member LLC to a multiple-member LLC, complete IRS Form 8832. This is the same form would use if you wanted to change your tax status. For example, if you have an LLC and you want your business to be taxed as a corporation, you would need to file Form 8832. There are some restrictions on when you can make these entity elections. 

For all other changes, send a letter to the IRS at one of the following locations depending on where your business is located. 

IRS Locations for EIN Changes

If your principal business, office, or agency is located in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin, you can send a ​​letter to the Internal Revenue Service at Stop 343G, Cincinnati, Ohio 45999 or fax to 859-669-5748.

If your principal business, office, or agency is located in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, or any place outside of the United States, send a letter to the Internal Revenue Service at M/S 6273, Ogden, Utah 84201 or fax to 801-620-7116.

How to Cancel an Employer ID Number

When an employer ID number is given to a business, that EIN is not reused for any other business ever. It stays with and continues to belong to the business that applied for it and for which it was used for tax purposes. This means you can't really "cancel" an EIN. But if you decide that you don't need the number anymore, you can cancel your account with the IRS.

You can close your business account with the IRS by writing to Internal Revenue Service, Cincinnati, Ohio 45999. State the reason why you want to close the account and include the complete legal name of your business, the EIN, and the business address. If you have a copy of the confirmation letter you received from the IRS when you set up your EIN, include it. 

You must pay any taxes for which you are liable before you close the account. This includes income taxes according to your business type, payroll taxes, and other employment taxes, including unemployment taxes.