Open TurboTax

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
Announcements
Your taxes, your way. Get expert help or do it yourself. >> Get started
Close icon
Do you have a TurboTax Online account?

We'll help you get started or pick up where you left off.

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
kdawg6
Returning Member

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

I have no reason to get an EIN. I don't own a business, nor do I work.

 

However, I don't want to give someone my SSN when I receive a one-time payment from someone for over $600.

I can't trust them to keep my info confidential.

 

Can I get an EIN anyway, and use the EIN to give to people for tax purposes?

 

Will the IRS care that I don't run a business (or anything even close to a sole prop or llc) ?

 

Basically, I want to use my EIN as a proxy to my SSN.

10 Replies
VolvoGirl
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

What is the payment for?  You may have to report it as self employment business income.

Opus 17
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

If you receive a payment over $600 as compensation for services performed, that's small business income and you must report it.  You can obtain an EIN for that if you prefer, for the reasons you suggest.

 

You may not use an EIN as a general proxy for your SSN, for example on a W-2G for casino winnings, or a 1098 for a taxable scholarship. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
kdawg6
Returning Member

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

it's not for services

 

it's a rebate payment , for which I have to fill out a W9

 

the utility company is using a 3rd party rebate processor to pay out rebates.

Mike9241
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

the "E" in EIN stands for Employer (ie a business) if you are not a business you do not qualify to get an EIN.

to be one of the following is required:

Sole proprietor (SSN)

Estate (SSN of decedent)
Partnership

Plan administrator (TIN)
Corporation

Trust (TIN of grantor)
Personal service corporation

Military/National Guard

State/local government
Church or church-controlled organization

Farmers’ cooperative

Federal government
Other nonprofit organization

REMIC

Indian tribal governments/enterprises

 

should you get one then you should expect the payors to file 1099's with the IRS.  the IRS will then expect the payments to be reported on your tax return. Failure will result in either a notice as to why no reporting or a bill because it will assume it's unreported taxable income.

 

 

kdawg6
Returning Member

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

the IRS says that anyone can get an EIN. I can say that I'm self employed, even though I'm retired.

 

the question is whether I can use the EIN to report my rebate income.

 

I just don't want to give any stranger my SSN.

 

and i'm not trying to evade taxes

tagteam
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

@kdawg6 

 

Read the instructions for completing a W-9 (link below).

 

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf

 

It is fairly clear that you need to enter a TIN that matches the name on Line 1 of the form (which would be your name). Failure to do so would result in backup withholding.

 

@AmeliesUncle 

kdawg6
Returning Member

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?

I will be using my legal name as my sole proprietor name.

 

and then using an EIN for Part 1 of the w9

 

seems like there is no issue with that, since the IRS knows the EIN is linked with my SSN.

tagteam
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?


@kdawg6 wrote:

....the IRS knows the EIN is linked with my SSN.


That is correct; it is linked to your SSN.

Opus 17
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?


@kdawg6 wrote:

it's not for services

 

it's a rebate payment , for which I have to fill out a W9

 

the utility company is using a 3rd party rebate processor to pay out rebates.


I don't believe this will be a proper use of an EIN.  However, I can't find a regulation or penalty, and you seem to take the view that it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.  I'm not sure any more needs to be said.

 

Separately, you haven't discussed what kind of rebate this will be.  If this is a one-time rebate (such as, the utility pays you to install a more efficient furnace) then the money is not taxable, even if they issue a 1099-MISC.  Instead, the rebate reduces your cost basis, and reduces the adjustment you can take for capital gains when you sell.  There are two ways of dealing with this situation when you file your return.

  1. Leave the 1099 off your return.  File by mail instead of e-filing.  Attach a copy of the 1099 and a letter of explanation as to why this is not taxable.
  2. Add the 1099, then add another item of "other income" with a negative amount to cancel out the income from the 1099.  You can e-file, but the IRS may send a letter asking for the reason for the adjustment.

 

If this is an ongoing payment related to solar energy (RECs, or residential energy credits), the money is taxable "other income."  And you don't reduce the cost basis of the solar installation by the amount of the payments. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
tagteam
Level 15

Can I get and use an EIN to protect my SSN?


@Opus 17 wrote:
I don't believe this will be a proper use of an EIN.  

I agree, based upon the following language in the instructions for Form SS-4:

 

An EIN is for use in connection with your business activities only. Don't use your EIN in place of your social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

 

See https://www.irs.gov/instructions/iss4#idm139898072318128

About Community

Learn about taxes, budgeting, saving, borrowing, reducing debt, investing, and planning for retirement.

3.48m
Members

2.61m
Discussions

Manage cookies
v