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Irrevocable Trust - Use TIN or SSN?

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We have a customer who has an Irrevocable Trust and she wants to use her Social Security number for it (her daughter is the trustee). We told her that an Irrevocable Trust needs to have its own TIN. Her lawyer says she can use her own SSN citing IRC 677a. I looked into it and everything I found says to use a TIN. Can they use her SSN or do they have to get a TIN?

I recommend you stick to the requirements provided on page 4 of the form W-9, which indicates that for a valid trust you must obtain the name and TIN of the legal entity. If the attorney obtains a letter from the IRS stating that the trust may use the grantor's SSN instead of obtaining its own TIN, you can accept the SSN. Otherwise, I believe you should stick to your guns and require that an TIN be used.

First published on 6/02/08

First published on 06/02/2008

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