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EIN for an estate account always required?

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Are there situations in which an estate would not be required to obtain an EIN? If so, do we use the administrator/executor's SSN? And, can it continue to be an estate account?

Up until October 1, 2003, you can open a non interest bearing account for an estate with no taxpayer identification number. All it does is trigger additional record retention requirements under BSA. If the account is interest bearing you either obtain the taxpayer identification number or impose backup withholding.

On and after October 1 you must obtain a taxpayer identification number as a condition of opening an account.

Regardless of the time frame, Revenue Ruling 8473 indicates: The identifying number to be used by an estate or trust is an employer identification number. It must be furnished to any payer of interest or other person required to make a return with respect to the estate.

A Revenue Ruling has force of law; it is not a suggestion or a request.

First published on 9/8/03

First published on 09/08/2003

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