Trucking companies need a special tax ID number called an Employer Identification Number (or EIN) for a variety of different business purposes. If you’re just starting your business, you may be wondering if you need a Tax ID Number. To learn the essentials and to get tips on how to obtain your trucking EIN quickly and easily, keep reading.
Steps to getting a Tax ID (EIN) Number for a Trucking Business
- Prepare Owner Information
- Apply for a Tax ID (EIN) Number for a Trucking Business Online
- Apply for a Tax ID (EIN) Number for a Trucking Business via Mail or Fax
- When Do I Need a Tax ID (EIN) Number for a Trucking Business?
- How Do I Get a Tax ID (EIN) Number for a Trucking Business?
- How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax ID (EIN) Number for a Trucking Business?
To get an EIN for your trucking company, you have to provide several details about yourself and your business to the government. These details simply provide the government with some essential background information about your trucking company. You need the following:
- Legal and trade names for your trucking company
- Your name or the name of the responsible party
- Tax ID number, such as Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), or EIN of the responsible party
- Trucking business mailing address
- Fax number if applying over fax
- Structure of your trucking business (sole proprietorship, partnership, C-corporation, S-corporation, etc.)
- Date trucking company was acquired
- Closing month of your trucking company’s accounting year
- Number of employees as well as whether they work in agriculture, household, or other industries
- Anticipated payroll tax to be paid over the calendar year
- Date you first paid wages to employees
- Principal business activity, which is transportation and warehousing for most trucking companies
- Details of the services your trucking company provides to clients
You also need to note the reason your trucking company needs an EIN. You can choose from any of the reasons listed in the above section, or you can jot down your own specific reason on the application.
Do you need an EIN for your trucking company as soon as possible? Do you need to onboard a new employee? File an excise tax return? Apply for a business loan? Or take other actions quickly? Then, you should consider applying for your trucking company EIN online.
When you work with a tax ID obtainment service online, you simply need to gather the details listed above. Then, you turn on your computer and easily complete the application from your home or office. If you have an internet connection, you can even do an online application from your truck while you’re resting at a truck stop.
If you don’t want to apply for a trucking company EIN online, you can apply over fax or through the mail. Unfortunately, you can’t apply over the phone unless your business is primarily based in another country. For instance, if your trucking company is based in Mexico or Canada and you need an EIN for tax documents or business dealings in the United States, you may be able to apply over the phone. You need the information detailed above, and you need to be sure to check the time difference so you call during open hours.
As explained above, EIN stands for Employer Identification Number, so you definitely need this number before you hire your first employee. As your trucking company takes on new employees, you put this number on their W-2 slips, and you also use it on the forms you send to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when you remit your payroll taxes.
However, this tax ID number is certainly not just for employers. You also need an EIN if you want to hire an independent contractor who is not a U.S. resident because you may have to withhold taxes even if you are paying them as a 1099 contractor. You need an EIN for excise tax forms, as most trucking companies have to pay excise tax related to highway usage and to claim tax credits related to using biofuels or other fuel alternatives.
On top of that, your trucking company needs an EIN if you plan to apply for small business loans or open a bank account in your business’s name. Additionally, if you want to incorporate your trucking business, you need an EIN, and in most cases, you need an EIN if you want to change the legal structure of your business. For example, if you’re shifting from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or from a partnership to an S-corporation, you also need this number.
To get a tax ID (EIN) number for a trucking business, you can choose one of the following options:
- Apply online
- Mail an application
- Fax a request for an EIN
- Call and request an EIN (only available to foreign companies)
Thanks to the online option, you don’t have to drive to the post office, worry about printing out paperwork, or deal with other hassles. In most cases, you get your EIN the very day you apply. Note, however, that you can only apply for a single EIN per day, so if you are putting in multiple applications, you may not receive your number the same day you apply. However, in all cases, applying online is faster than the alternatives.
As indicated above, U.S.-based trucking companies can fax or mail their EIN applications. Both options take longer than applying online, so if you need to hire an employee, apply for a loan, or remit a tax document, be sure to leave ample time for processing. With faxed applications, trucking companies can receive their new EIN in as few as four business days, but to ensure that happens, you need to supply a return fax number. If you don’t have a fax machine, you may be able to set up a proxy number through your business computer. In the absence of a return number, the government will mail your EIN back to you, and that can take a few weeks.
If you mail in your trucking company EIN application, you should expect to receive your tax ID number within about four weeks. Note, however, that if you don’t provide all the required details on your application, you may not receive your number immediately because the government may need to contact you for more information.