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My CPA applied EIN as third party designee, any problem?

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Tax law

Dear sir or madam,

I am a foreigner and just had a CPA set up a corporation in CA. Since I have no SSN or ITIN, CPA applied EIN for my company online as the third party designee. I signed SS-4 and a statement. During the application online, I noticed CPA used his SSN as the third party designee and I got the EIN immediately. My questions are:

1. Is it proper to use third party designee’s SSN to apply EIN for my company?
2. This does not mean CPA is the reasonable party of my company, right? But in the online application, Responsible Party and third party designee can be the same person?
3. What is the liability or rights of the third party designee for EIN purpose only?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

The Third Party designee on Form SS-4 only receives the ID number and can answer questions about the form on behalf of the taxpayer. This does not make the CPA a responsible party. The CPA should not have used their Social Security number. You should have obtained a taxpayer ID number and put that on the application. It sounds like the CPA was being more than a third party designee. CPA's should also not be setting up corporations since this is a legal process that should be done by a lawyer. For a corporation, the responsible party should be the principal officer of the corporation. The CPA did not have the authority to use his social security number or apply for this tax identification number unless he held this position. Also, applicants that are not in the United States cannot apply for a tax identification number online. It is a federal crime to obtain a tax ID number under false pretenses or to use an incorrect social security number to obtain an ID number. You should see a local attorney to correct this situation.

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Posted

I agree, largely, with the first answer.

Had your CPA known what he was doing, he could have gotten you an EIN with a phone call and a fax machine - please see the post at the first link below.

Where I disagree with the first answer is that you do not need to hire a lawyer, or anyone else, to correct this problem. The IRS page at the second link below tells you what to do.

Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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