When you formed your corporation, you applied for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. This number uniquely identifies your business, and it is used on federal tax filings and all other correspondence with the IRS. State government agencies also typically require the use of the EIN on tax filings and correspondence. If you are thinking about winding down the business of your corporation, you might wonder what will happen to your EIN and whether it terminates when your business is dissolved.
Your EIN Is Permanent
Once your corporation has been assigned an EIN, it is permanent. That EIN will never be reassigned to another business. The IRS may close your account and your tax filing obligations may cease, but the EIN will still be used to identify your corporation, even after it has dissolved. This allows the IRS to easily locate your tax records if questions arise concerning prior tax years.
Closing Your IRS Account
To close your corporate account, an authorized representative of your business must write to the IRS and request that the account be closed. Before the IRS will close the account, all taxes must be paid and returns filed. In addition, the IRS has published a checklist of actions that must be performed when closing a business. The checklist includes tasks above and beyond those required to close your IRS tax account.
Filing Form 966
An authorized representative of your corporation must file Form 966, Corporate Dissolution or Liquidation, with the IRS. This form provides contact information for the corporation as well as the EIN and details on when and where the business was incorporated. Form 966 must be filed within 30 days from the date the formal decision is made to dissolve the corporation.
Although writing to the IRS and submitting Form 966 will close your business account, it may not be sufficient to wind down your business in the state where you incorporated. It is important to review the dissolution requirements with the Secretary of State or a similar agency in the state where your corporation was formed. Most states have a specific form you file to dissolve the corporation. In addition, all business debts and other obligations must be satisfied before the corporation is dissolved.