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Thread: US emigrants- requiring an EIN for shipment?

  1. #1
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    Default US emigrants- requiring an EIN for shipment?

    (Employer Identification Number) Anyone else run in to this? I've just received this email from the moving company--

    "I have just been advised that I will need an EIN # from you. This number is provided to the shipping line instead of your social security number to protect your social security number. You can apply for it online. I have been told it only takes about 10 minutes to complete. Attached are instructions on how to apply for one. "

    In the instructions it states that this has been in effect since last year, but this is the first I've heard of it and I don't recall anyone else mentioning it.
    I think it's a bit weird as we had our stuff picked up about a month ago (supposedly it's in LA now) and they're only mentioning this now??

    sigh.
    Last edited by GreenMeansGo; 23rd February 2010 at 10:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    And here are the instructions as per the attachment to the email:



    To ( ),

    I wanted to advise you of an upcoming change that will require an additional step for transferees to complete before being able to forward an export shipment. The U.S. Census Bureau has amended the foreign trade regulations to eliminate the reporting of a Social Security Number (“SSN”) as an identification number when filing electronic export information in the Automated Export System (“AES”). This rule became effective on September 4, 2009 and the implementation date for the rule is December 3, 2009.

    To ensure that the SSN of a transferee or a United States Principal Party of Interest (“USPPI”) is protected in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a, the transferee's SSN will no longer be accepted as an identification number when registering an export shipment. The transferee will now be required to apply for an individual Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) which will be used as the identification number for the transferee with regard to the shipment.

    A transferee who is a U.S. citizen will need to register for an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). A transferee can complete an online application for an EIN using the IRS website which is found at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...102767,00.html. A transferee can also apply for an EIN by calling the IRS at (800) 829-4933 and following the instructions.

    The online application process will take 10-15 minutes and an EIN will be assigned to the transferee at the end of the application process. The EIN will become a permanent part of the transferee's IRS records.

    After December 3, 2009, if a transferee is a U.S. citizen, an EIN must be used as the identification number for registering the export shipment(s) and neither the transferee's SSN or the transferee's U.S. Passport number may be used for this purpose.

    After December 3, 2009, if a transferee is a foreign citizen and holds a foreign passport, then the foreign passport number may be used for registering the export shipment(s).

    How to obtain the EIN number with the IRS:

    1. Go to the IRS website http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/...102767,00.html.

    2. At the bottom of the page, locate the APPLY ONLINE NOW link and click once.

    3. Click once on the Begin Application button.

    4. Transferees applying for an EIN for the purpose of filing their export information with the AES system should select “Sole Proprietor” as the legal structure on this page. Once selected, click the Continue button once.

    5. On the next page, again select “Sole Proprietor” and click the Continue button once.

    6. Confirm your selection by clicking the Continue button once on this new page.

    7. This page requires you to choose a reason for applying for an EIN. Select “Banking Purposes” and click the Continue button once.

    8. Fill out the name and SSN fields. Select sole proprietor and click the Continue button once.

    9. Fill out the address and phone number fields and click the Continue button once.

    10. Leave the field for Trade Name blank. If the remaining fields have not been filled in already, enter the county and state where the transferee resides, enter the current date as “Sole Proprietor Start Date”, and click the Continue button once.

    11. Answer “No” to the five questions on this page and click the Continue button once.

    12. Select “Other” for “What does your business or organization do?” This should not be associated with your employer. Click the Continue button once.

    13. Select “Other” as your business's activity and enter “Relocation” in the blank field. Click the Continue button once.

    14. On this screen, select “Receive letter online” and click the Continue button once.

    15. Review your data on this screen and print a copy for your records. Click the Continue button once.

    16. Your EIN number will appear on the following screen. Print your EIN conformation letter from this screen and save that letter for your records.

    Please ensure that the EIN is provided to us in order to avoid any delays in routing your shipment(s). If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at ( ).

  3. #3
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    It must've been annoying. Thanks for warning everyone else.

  4. #4
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    Interesting.

    So as tax revenue is falling, the IRS is closely monitoring the escapees....

  5. #5

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    This looks very strange, I can't understand why a moving company needs an EIN from a private non business customer, or even why the government would have this type of regulation for something that's a private service provided by a private company.

    I'm sorry but I think you are the victim of a serious fraud, hopefully it's just a scammer that got your email, if it's the "shipping company" then perhaps they're not a shipping company at all. Did you check them out before handing over your belongings to them ?

    The "Census Bureau" has absolutely nothing to do with foreign trade regulations. I smell a rat, you should be very suspicious and look into it further before doing anything their asking.

    This reminds me of a story about a guy in NM that hired day laborers, made them obtain EIN's, then fraudulently issued 1099's to claim on his taxes that he paid the people with these EIN's lots more money than he actually did, so that he could rip off the IRS. It was a huge mess and the poor day laborers ended up with huge tax liability and problems with the IRS, it took years for the IRS to go after the guy and get it sorted.
    Last edited by constablechuck; 23rd February 2010 at 11:48 AM.

  6. #6
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    I agree with Constablechuck. EIN is to employers what SSN is to individuals and I can't see how anybody could suggest getting the EIN for a purpose clearly not intended by the IRS!

  7. #7

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    I'm just hoping that some scammer got their email and the whole "moving company" isn't a scam. It would be terrible for these poor people to have had whatever money they paid for shipping stolen and to have had all of their belongings stolen in the process.

  8. #8
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    As much as I would like to believe constablechuck's version, my version (monitoring escapees) is really more likely.

    I have checked the regs at census.gov and this is legitimate. A link

    A couple of excerpts from this link:

    "DUNS are available only to business entities, and EINs are
    available to both businesses and individuals."



    "Background

    The Census Bureau is responsible for collecting, compiling, and
    publishing export and import trade statistics for the United States
    under the provisions of Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter
    9, Section 301(a). To implement this responsibility, the Census Bureau
    developed the Automated Export System \1\ (AES), an electronic filing
    system, to allow exporters to submit certain information directly with
    U.S. Customs Border and Protection (CBP) and the Census Bureau. The AES
    is also used for export control purposes to detect and prevent the
    export of certain items by unauthorized parties, destinations or end
    users. Under the FTR, 15 CFR 30.60(e), this information is exempt from
    public disclosure unless the Secretary of Commerce or his designee, the
    Director of the Census Bureau, determines that withholding such
    information would be contrary to the national interest under the
    provisions of Title 13, U.S.C., Chapter 9, Section 301(g)."

  9. #9

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    It still sounds strange, but I do have a suspicious mind. This is a situation where I would be happy to be wrong.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by constablechuck View Post
    It still sounds strange, but I do have a suspicious mind. This is a situation where I would be happy to be wrong.
    Oh I totally agree that it sounds strange. And clearly, I have a suspicious mind as well. Although for me, it is the US govt that I do not trust...

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