Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another blurb on FEINs

So, based on the last post, a test-taker like yourself might conclude that sole proprietors don't receive FEINs. That's certainly what the folks who write test questions are hoping--they love assumptions that people bring to the testing center. They exploit them again and again. Do sole proprietors receive FEINs?
Not automatically, the way a corporation or an estate would.
But if you look closely at the questions the IRS asks in the previous post, you begin to see that it could easily include sole proprietors. A word like "excise" is easy to just skim over because it's boring and, let's face it, so is most of the Series 65/66 material. But a trucker would have to pay "excise" taxes and, therefore, need an FEIN. And a restaurant could be owned by a sole proprietor, but if he has 20 waitresses and 10 cocktail servers, he's going to either admit he has "employees" now or wait for the revenue collectors to issue a ruling plus penalties and interest. He needs an FEIN. So, as always, don't make assumptions. Think through your answer choices clearly--is this always the case? Are there exceptions to this general rule? Did anybody ever actually say that, or did I just sort of assume that?
That's what the test demands of you--an ability to think clearly, from many angles, using creative problem solving and solid reasoning.

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