In the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an irrevocable trust is a separate legal entity. As the grantor, or trust maker, you are responsible for completing and filing the trust’s annual income tax return. Before you can file your tax return, you must obtain a Tax Identification Number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can go online to the IRS website, complete the application and receive your EIN instantly. You can also download and complete the application by hand, then mail it to the IRS. It can take two to six weeks to get your EIN through the mail.
Gather the information you will need to complete the application. The information that’s required is the same whether you complete the application online or by hand. You will need the name and Social Security number of the grantor and the trustee. You must have the name of the trust spelled out exactly as it is written on the trust document; the city and state where the trust is located; and the date the trust was funded.
Go to the IRS website. Depending on your preference, either print out the SS-4 application form or pull up the online EIN application form. Using the online application form, start by selecting Trusts as the type of legal entity. On the next page, select Irrevocable Trust to identify the type of trust. Review and confirm the information before moving on to the next page.
Select Individual as the responsible party. The responsible party is the grantor. On the next page, enter the responsible party’s first and last name and Social Security number. On the next page, check the appropriate response identifying if the trustee is an individual or a business. On the next page, enter the trustee’s first and last name. Select whether you are the grantor, the trustee or the beneficiary, or if you are a third party.
Fill in the trust’s mailing address and telephone number on the next page. Verify the information on the next page and continue. Enter the name of the trust, the city and state where it’s located, and the date the trust was funded. Review the information and continue. Fill in whether the trust expects to have employees within the next 12 months and continue.
Select if you want to receive your EIN number online or by mail. On the next page, review all the information to be sure you entered everything correctly. Submit the application. A confirmation letter with the trust EIN will come up. Print two copies of the letter before exiting the application and leaving the IRS website.
- Keep a copy of the IRS EIN confirmation letter in a safe place.
- Have your information ready before you start the online application. You will be timed out and lose information already entered if you take too long looking for someone's personal information.
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.