Caring for special needs children can be challenging in and of itself, without worrying about to financially provide for them. Establishing a special needs trust fund is one way you can safeguard your child’s financial future before the need arises. Part of creating a special needs trust fund requires obtaining an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service. Social Security numbers are only issued to individuals, which is why the trust is assigned an EIN.
Go to the IRS website and type in “Apply online for EIN” in the search box. Click on the first selection that search return, scroll halfway down the page and click on the “Apply Online Now” button. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Begin Application” button.
Scroll down the “What type of legal structure is applying for an EIN?” page and select “Trusts” before clicking on the “Continue” button.
Go to the bottom of the page entitled “Identify the type of trust” and select “Trust (All Others)” before continuing to the next page.
Review and make any changes to the information you entered as shown on the “Please confirm your selection” page. Click on the “Continue” button when you are finished.
Select whether the responsible party is an individual or an existing business. The responsible party will control or manage the funds or assets in the trust for the beneficiary. When finished click on “Continue.”
Fill in the responsible party's legal name and Social Security number or business EIN. When finished, click on the continue button at the bottom of the page.
Click on either the individual or business selection on the “Who is the Trustee of the Trust” page, then continue.
Fill in the trustee’s name and select if you are the grantor, trustee or beneficiary, or if you are a third party, then proceed to the next page.
Fill in the mailing address and telephone number for the trust and continue.
Verify the address you entered on the previous page is correct, then continue.
Enter the trust’s legal name, county and state where the trust is located, and the date the trust was funded on the “Tell Us About the Trust” page. Continue to the next page.
Select whether the trust currently has or intends to have any employees within the next twelve months or not on the “Tell Us More About the Trust” page, then continue.
Choose whether you want to receive the EIN confirmation letter online or have it mailed to you. Be aware that it can take up to four weeks to receive the letter by mail. Continue to the last page.
Print at least two copies of the EIN confirmation letter and keep them in a safe place.
- Only the grantor, trustee or beneficiary with a material interest in the trust can directly apply for an EIN. If you are not one of those three people, obtain written permission from one of them before applying.
- You only have 15 minutes to complete the form before it times out, so have your information ready before you start. Also, you cannot save any information entered online so if you have to stop before the application is completed, the information entered will be lost.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.