How to cancel/deactivate an EIN with the IRS (“close an account”)

Home » How to cancel/deactivate an EIN with the IRS (“close an account”)

Cancelling/deactivating an EIN with the IRS is technically called “Closing a Business Account”, since EINs are never really cancelled. They just stop being used.

Notes: If you owe taxes for this tax year, you must file them first before mailing in the Cancellation Letter. And you don’t need to wait for this EIN to be closed before getting a new EIN.

1. Download EIN Cancellation Letter

Download our free Cancel EIN Letter below in either PDF or Microsoft Word format. They are both the exact same form:

2. Mail Cancellation Letter to the IRS

The Entity Department at the IRS doesn’t have a fax number. The only way to send your Cancel EIN Letter to the IRS is by mail.

Mail your EIN Cancellation letter to the IRS at:

Internal Revenue Service
Mail Stop 343
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0023
Attn: BMF Entity Department

(BMF stands for “business master file”)

Note: If you have your original EIN Confirmation Letter, please make a copy and include with the letter.

Confirmation of EIN cancellation:
The IRS will send a letter confirming their receipt of the updated information within 45 days or less. Our cancellation letter above makes this request for you.

3. Request confirmation if not received in 45 days

If you have not received the confirmation letter within 45 days, you can either mail or fax a copy of the original letter to the IRS again.

Send it to the same address listed above and write “Second Request” somewhere near the top (you can just handwrite it).

IRS Contact Information

If you have questions about your EIN account, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-4933. Their hours are 7:00am to 7:00pm local time. If you’re in Alaska or Hawaii, please follow Pacific time.

Tip: Calling the IRS can usually lead to hold times that are 15 to 30 minutes. We recommend calling as early as possible for fastest service.

IRS Phone prompts:

  • press option 1 (for English)
  • then option 1 (for Employer Identification Number information)
  • then option 3 (for other assistance)
Matt Horwitz

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

58 comments on “Cancel EIN”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

    • Awesome! Thanks for the lovely comment Cheyenne. Glad we can help :-)

  1. Does it have to be mailed? Can I send by fax? If so, what is the fax number?

    • Hey Nihat, great question. The IRS Entity Department doesn’t have a fax number, so the only way to send the letter is by mail. We just updated the lesson making this note. Thanks for helping us make the lesson better!

  2. Thanks so much for this! I thought it would be an arduous process but this info simplifies it amazingly.

    • You’re very welcome Aerick! Glad the process was easy :)

  3. I have an Ein number since 2016. The information at the Florida department of state division of corporations was wrong , they set it as an INC. I sent anew fee and the firm to corrected, but never happened, the Inc shows as inactive, the EIN # was assigned to the llc. It seems that the form wasn’t the correct one. I paid taxes as a self employed . I need to close it? And ask for a new one with a new name?

    • Hi Joseph, I don’t fully follow the entire story, but it sounds like you’ll want to dissolve the first entity (which is either an LLC or a Corporation) and then cancel the EIN. I recommend looking at our Florida LLC course for you new LLC. Hope that helps.

  4. Thanks Matt for the info love the way you explain it, so easy.

    • You’re welcome Umer! Thanks for the nice comment :)

  5. Matt,

    I have an Amazon business and if you get suspended you need a new EIN to open another account. I have already used my SSN, then a EIN I got for my sole proprietorship. Right now I formed a multi member LLC with my brother to get a new EIN to create a new Amazon account. I do everything and he is not actually involved in the business. Can I just put that he owns only 1% or that I take all of the profit? And also, if I cancel my EIN from my sole proprietorship can I get a new EIN with a single member LLC?


    • Hi Jose, yes, cancelling an EIN does not prevent you from obtaining another one. Regarding the 1%, the IRS doesn’t ask for ownership percentages. They just ask for the Responsible Party for the LLC. Hope that helps.

  6. I filed for an EIN March 14, 2018 and was given one. I understand from above that I need to send a letter to cancel/close this EIN. I also filed form 2553 for a subchapter S election, in April 2018. How do I cancel/close this?

    • Hi Liz, if you want to revoke the S-Corp election, you can find that info here: LLC revoking S-Corp election. If you want to also shut down the LLC, you’ll need to dissolve the LLC and have your accountant file a final return next year. Hope that helps.

  7. I read in the IRS website that you can I cancel and EIN number once it’s established you can close the account but you can’t cancel the EIN number . If you have any other information that can be verified with the IRS that is contrary to this please share

    • Hi Alford, that is correct. The EIN is never “deleted”, the account it simply marked as “closed”. This is for audit and historical purposes. Hope that helps.

  8. The LLC is using my SSN and other information. I want out of the business… however, I did not take off my name and SSN or cancel the EIN for year 2017. Am I still liable for the year? I did not receive any type of income. Thanks

    • Hi Sally, if this is Single-Member LLC, you can dissolve the LLC, file a final tax return, then cancel the EIN. If this is a Multi-Member LLC, you’ll want to have the other Member(s) file an IRS Form 8822-B and change the EIN Responsible Party. Hope that helps.

  9. Hello,

    I recently purchased an existing LLC business and went online to apply for a new EIN#. (The name of the business is not changing btw.) The online system rejected my application and directed me to call the IRS to find out why it was denied. As it turns out; as an LLC, I am not able to obtain a new EIN# unless the current existing one gets closed/cancelled. It takes about 45 days of processing time to accomplish this. My question is: Is there ANY way I can apply for a new EIN# for the same business (LLC) while waiting for the account closing confirmation? I have been told that I have to wait the full 40-45 days before I can apply for a new EIN#, but how am I supposed to operate and hold bank accounts if I don’t have an EIN#? Does the account stay active until the end of the paperwork processing time frame? It just doesn’t seem reasonable for business owners to maintain operation after acquisitions under these policies.

    • Do you remember which reference number (error message) you received at the end of the EIN online application? Because I don’t think the information you were given was correct. There could have just been a name conflict (meaning it was a common name) so the IRS is requesting that you apply for an EIN via SS-4. Hope that helps.

  10. I filed for an EIN close to ten years ago but never moved to establish the business related to the tax ID. It totally forgot about it. Fast forward..I did not file file taxes for a couple of years and the IRS estimated an egregious amount owed to them with interest of course. I paid what they say I owed because I had no way to dispute at the time. I recently filed for those past years in question. I am going cancel the EIN with the help of the PDF letter I downloaded from your site. Do you think it will be possible to recoup my over payment once proved I never actually use the number for business?

    • Hi Bev, you’ll want to speak with an accountant to get into the details and see if a refund or a credit is possible. We’re not sure. Hope that helps.

  11. Hi Matt,
    I have an EIN number connected with a sole proprietor. I recently moved states and closed down the business in the state I moved from. I am now in the state of Oregon and I want to restart the business under a little different name and form an LLC. Do I need a new EIN number to start the business with an LLC. Or can I still use the EIN number I have. I was told that the EIN number moves with you and you can use it if you move. I’m so confused. Help!
    I hired northwest registered agent LLC and put my EIN number and than called them to ask and they told I have to call the IRS and sort it out.


    • Hi Monica, if you write a letter to the IRS, the EIN can be transferred from the Sole Proprietorship to your LLC, however, is there a reason you want to keep it? It often makes for more organized records to get a new EIN after your LLC is approved. Hope that helps.

  12. HI MATT

    • Hi Tony, if you sent the IRS Form 8822-B, then you should have heard back from them regarding the update to your LLC EIN Responsible Party. We recommend calling the IRS business line and speaking with a representative for a status update. Call early in the morning for a shorter wait time. Hope that helps.

  13. Hi Matt,

    I have an EIN number connected with a sole proprietor. But never filed an LLC filed with the state of Texas. I used the EIN to open an eBay account which was being used during the year 2018 and I will be submitting my taxes for that year using that EIN. My question is going forward in 2019 if I am not using this EIN any longer and don’t have an LLC filed do I need to request to submit to close the EIN account with the IRS?



    • Hi Zack, you don’t have to close/cancel an EIN with the IRS. It’s optional.

  14. Hi Matt,

    I am from CO so I did my EIN on line. I put LLC after the LLC name, ie: Mountain Home LLC…was this incorrect?


    • Hi Anita, what is your full LLC name as filed with the Colorado Secretary of State? Whatever that is, is what should be used. Hope that helps.

  15. Hi Matt.
    I just deactivated my us dot and … as well as dissolve LLC for my transportation company. This 3-4 months old, sole-owner company is never been in business. Is there any other action for me to do regarding this process? … what about EIN number? do I need to report it to IRS?
    Thanks For All Your Help!
    I love Your Website Brother.

    • Hey John, thanks man! Since the Single-Member LLC was taxed in its default status (LLC taxed as Sole Proprietorship), there was no activity, and furthermore, there is no income, less, credits, or deductions to claim, then you don’t have to file anything with the IRS. There’s nothing you need to do with the EIN number either. The reason for this is that the LLC is a pass-through entity, so you’d file and pay taxes personally, if there was a tax liability to do so. But since there’s not, then no action is needed. Hope that helps!

  16. Hi Matt,
    I have obtained an EIN in December 2018 for an entity similar to an LLC in my country (a country from EU), which I intended to use to an online business in the US. With the LLC from my country, I couldn`t start the online business, so now I have formed an LLC in Wyoming. What should I do with the EIN that I have? Should I cancel? Can I use for the LLC registered now?

  17. Hey Matt,

    I found this website super helpful and I have one more question. So since I filed my LLC not to long and dissolved it like a day later…do I need to cancel my EIN? Or will it just go away?

    • Hi Sai, it won’t just go away. They technically always exist. But it is good practice to cancel an EIN that you no longer need. Think of it this way: it places the EIN into an “inactive” status. Hope that helps.

  18. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for this helpful subject. I have registered my LLC in Wyoming on September 1, 2020 and also fax the form s4 to get EIN, because I am based in Canada. After two weeks my Registered agent also applied for my EIN. I got the EIN for the application I have faxed. I have used this EIN to open accounts with US Suppliers and for Reseller license etc. Now my Registered agent also got my another EIN, that was applied by them. Can I also cancel the new EIN with the above procedure, please be aware that I have never file any tax so far. Please help.


    • Hi Shehzad, you’re very welcome. Yes, this isn’t a big deal. There are just 2 EINs attached to your LLC. And yes, you can cancel the EIN your Registered Agent got for your LLC by following the instructions on this page. Hope that helps :)

      • Thanks and much appreciated Matt for your reply. Now I am struggling to know, what forms and returns need to be submit to IRS for tax purposes or for the existence of my LLC. I have still not started any purchase or sell with the company. My question is who can help me for this ?. If we have 0 income or may have any income before this year end. Please let me know.

        • You’re welcome Shehzad :) Your LLC was formed in 2020, correct? In which state? And how many people own the LLC?

          • Hi Matt,
            My LLC was formed in September 2020. It’s in the state of Wyoming and single member foreign own. I am the only member. I am from Canada.


            • Hi Shehzad, your LLC needs to file Form 5472 by April 15th, 2021 (and then every year in April). It’s an informational return. We recommend speaking with an accountant familiar with Canadians doing business in the US. By default, I believe there is a “double tax” or sorts (for an LLC taxed in its default status.

  19. Hi Matt! So I’ve been watching videos on youtube on how to open an online store and the first thing they’ve all said was to get an EIN number and then a resellers certificate. long story short, I now have an EIN number but not an LLC, even though I chose I had an “LLC” instead of “sole proprietor” which I just now found out is what I should have chosen based off of my situation. I know I can’t delete my EIN, but do you think I can register for another EIN number while the EIN cancelation is still processing? I don’t want to get in any trouble I really just didn’t know!

    • Hi Diane! Yes, you can certainly get another EIN before the first one is cancelled. It’s totally normal and there is nothing to worry about. Keep in mind, if you decide to form an LLC, wait for the LLC to be approved, and then apply for an EIN for the LLC. Hope that helps :)

  20. Hi Matt, I registered a sole proprietorship in 2015, but the business never actually operated – it didn’t have any activity. I also requested and ein number and opened a bank account with it. I haven’t filed any taxes for the sole proprietorship, just my personal taxes for my regular job, because the business didn’t operate and I didn’t have any income from it. The business was closed 2019 formaly with the state, but after sending the letter to close my EIN account I never received any response, I have been waiting more than 7 months already and no response, any idea what whould be the problem? Thanks in advance for the answer.

    • Hi Adam, that is strange. What you can do it write another letter letting them know about the original letter you sent them. However, it may be easier to call the IRS first and check if they received the letter. There’s a small chance it never arrived (the IRS has to respond in writing to all requests). They are backed up right now, so it’s best to call around 7am-8am for the shortest hold time. 800-829-4933. Press option 1 for English. Press option 1 for Employer Identification Numbers. Press option 3 for “If you already have an EIN, but you can’t remember it”. Feel free to follow back up here with what you hear from the call.

  21. Hi matt, Thank you so much for the wonderful insight that posse with all this, thank you for making sense of it all to common people like myself. I downloaded the operating agreement and fallowed it perfectly. Then as I was looking around to see if I can find other help full tips to help me with my LLc things that I could have miss. I seen a tiny little phrase that caught my eye. Well my jaw hit the ground actually, what you said about Getting an LLc THEN an EIN number next Wait,What. it makes sense though. So I’ve been on hold for 30 minutes as I am typing this asking if i can transfer my EIN # or get a new one for my LLc before i actually hire people..shuu. thank you. ill tell you how it went.

    • Hi Johnny, you’re very welcome! If you applied for an EIN for your LLC and told the IRS it was an LLC and you used the same LLC name (and your LLC was later approved with the same name), then there’s nothing to worry about. The EIN can be obtained before the LLC is formed if the names match. Did you apply for an EIN and get an EIN Confirmation Letter? Does the name of your LLC appear at the top? If so, you’re good. If not, you can just form your LLC, wait for it to be approved, apply for another EIN and then cancel the first EIN. Hope that helps.

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