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How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax ID Number?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax ID Number?

Does getting a Tax Identification Number (TIN) seem like a puzzle? And just how long does it take anyway? To answer all your questions on this topic, this blog post will cover:

  • The different types of Tax ID numbers, including Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs)
  • Detailed timelines for obtaining EINs and ITINs through various application methods
  • Step-by-step breakdowns of the application processes for both EINs and ITINs
  • Factors that can affect TIN processing time and tips to expedite the process
  • Common reasons for delays in receiving a Tax ID number and how to avoid them
  • The importance of Tax ID numbers for legal compliance, business operations, and financial planning
  • Guidance on what to do while waiting for your Tax ID number to be issued
  • The role of specialized financial service providers in assisting with Tax ID-related matters

From aspiring entrepreneurs to newcomers to global citizens navigating the U.S. tax landscape, this article is your guide through the often perplexing world of Tax ID numbers. Unlock the secrets behind these powerful digits and learn how they can shape your financial future, open doors to new opportunities, and help you confidently stride through the intricate dance of American taxation and commerce.

For many individuals and businesses, obtaining a Tax Identification Number (TIN) is a crucial step in their financial journey. Whether you're starting a new business, hiring employees, or need to file taxes, understanding the Tax ID number application process and TIN processing time is essential. In this article, we'll explore how long it takes to get a tax ID number and what you can expect during the application process.

Understanding Tax ID Numbers

Before diving into the timeline, it's important to understand what a Tax ID number is. Also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for businesses or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for individuals who aren't eligible for a Social Security Number, a TIN is a unique identifier used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax administration purposes.

Types of Tax ID Numbers

1. Employer Identification Number (EIN): This is a nine-digit number assigned to businesses for tax filing and reporting purposes. It's sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number.

2. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): This is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number (SSN).

3. Social Security Number (SSN): While not technically a Tax ID number, SSNs are used for tax purposes for most U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax ID Number?

The time it takes to receive your TIN can vary depending on the type of Tax ID number you're applying for and the method of application. Here's a breakdown of the typical processing times:

1. EIN (for businesses):

   - Online application: Immediate issuance

   - Fax application: About 4 business days

   - Mail application: Up to 4 weeks

2. ITIN (for individuals):

   - Standard processing: Up to 7 weeks during tax season (January to April)

   - Up to 9 weeks during peak tax season or if applying from abroad

   - Up to 11 weeks if submitted during off-peak tax season (May to December)

Tax ID Number Application Process

The application process for a Tax ID number varies depending on whether you're applying for an EIN or an ITIN. Here's a general overview:

For EIN:

1. Determine your eligibility

2. Choose your application method (online, fax, or mail)

3. Complete Form SS-4

4. Submit your application

5. Receive your EIN


1. Complete Form W-7

2. Gather required documentation

3. Submit your application by mail or in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center

4. Wait for processing and issuance of your ITIN

Detailed EIN Application Process

1. Determine Eligibility: To be eligible for an EIN, your business must be located in the United States or U.S. Territories, and the person applying must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, or EIN).

2. Choose Application Method:

   - Online: The IRS's online EIN application is the fastest method, available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

   - Fax: Complete Form SS-4 and fax it to the appropriate IRS fax number.

   - Mail: Send a completed Form SS-4 to the IRS mailing address for your state.

3. Complete Form SS-4: This form requires information about your business, including its legal structure, the reason for applying, and the principal officer or owner's details.

4. Submit Application: Follow the instructions for your chosen method of application.

5. Receive EIN: If applying online, you'll receive your EIN immediately upon completion. For fax or mail applications, you'll receive your EIN by mail.

Detailed ITIN Application Process

1. Complete Form W-7: This form requires personal information and the reason for your ITIN application.

2. Gather Documentation: You'll need to provide proof of identity and foreign status. Acceptable documents include a passport, national ID card, or other government-issued identification.

3. Submit Application: You can mail your completed Form W-7 and supporting documents to the IRS, or submit them in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center or through an IRS-authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent.

4. Wait for Processing: The IRS will review your application and issue your ITIN by mail if approved.

Factors Affecting TIN Processing Time

Several factors can influence how long it takes to receive your TIN:

1. Application method: Online applications for EINs are the fastest, while mail applications take the longest.

2. Completeness of application: Errors or missing information can delay processing.

3. Time of year: Applications submitted during tax season may take longer due to high volume.

4. Type of TIN: EINs generally have faster processing times compared to ITINs.

5. Verification process: For ITINs, the IRS may need to verify submitted documents, which can extend processing time.

6. International applications: ITIN applications from abroad may take longer due to international mail processing.

Tips to Expedite the Process

To minimize TIN processing time and receive your Tax ID number as quickly as possible:

1. Apply online if eligible (for EINs)

2. Double-check your application for accuracy and completeness

3. Apply during off-peak seasons if possible

4. Consider using expedited shipping when mailing your application

5. Use high-quality copies of documents for ITIN applications to avoid rejection

6. Consider using an IRS-authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent for ITIN applications

Common Reasons for Delays

Understanding potential pitfalls can help you avoid delays in receiving your Tax ID number:

1. Incomplete applications: Ensure all required fields are filled out correctly.

2. Missing signatures: Don't forget to sign your application where required.

3. Insufficient documentation: For ITINs, make sure all necessary supporting documents are included.

4. Applying at the wrong time: If possible, avoid applying during peak tax season.

5. Using outdated forms: Always use the most current version of Form SS-4 or Form W-7.

What to Do While Waiting

While waiting for your Tax ID number, there are several steps you can take:

1. For businesses awaiting an EIN:

   - Open a business bank account using your pending EIN status

   - Begin setting up your accounting systems

   - Research business licenses and permits you may need

2. For individuals awaiting an ITIN:

   - Gather necessary documentation for tax filing

   - Research tax obligations and potential deductions

   - Consider consulting with a tax professional for guidance

Importance of Tax ID Numbers

Understanding the significance of Tax ID numbers can help contextualize the application process:

1. Legal Compliance: Tax ID numbers ensure proper reporting of income and payment of taxes.

2. Business Operations: EINs are necessary for hiring employees, opening business bank accounts, and applying for business licenses.

3. Credit Building: EINs can help businesses establish a credit history separate from the owner's personal credit.

4. Tax Filing: ITINs allow individuals who aren't eligible for SSNs to fulfill their tax obligations and claim certain tax credits.


Understanding how long it takes to get a tax ID number is crucial for proper financial planning. While the process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks, being prepared and submitting a complete, accurate application can help expedite the process.

For those seeking expert guidance on Tax ID numbers, ITIN loans, or other financial services, Prysma offers comprehensive support tailored to your unique needs. Our team of financial professionals understands the intricacies of the Tax ID number application process and can provide valuable insights to streamline your experience.

Whether you're a business owner looking to secure an EIN or an individual in need of an ITIN, Prysma is here to help you navigate the complexities of tax identification and financial planning. Visit Prysma.com today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in achieving your financial goals. With Prysma's expertise by your side, you can confidently take the next steps towards building a strong financial foundation for yourself, your business, and your future.


"Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number" IRS,

"Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online" IRS,

"Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Program" National Immigration Law Center,

"Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number" IRS,