If you working on a federal campaign, you will come across requests for the campaign’s Employer Identification Numbers (EIN). This nine-digit number is issued by the IRS and operates as a type of “Social Security” number for any business with employees, corporation, or federal campaign and committee. Keep in mind that this is a separate number from the identification number issued by the Federal Election Commission after Statement of Organization papers are filed.
While not required, we recommend that all state and local campaigns apply for an EIN through the IRS’ website. In order to complete the WidgetMakr set-up and start raising money online, you will need to obtain a Merchant Account, which requires an IRS-issued EIN. A merchant account is a type of bank account that enables your campaign to accept donations through credit or debit cards. These accounts process the credit or debit card payments in order to charge your Visa, Mastercard or Discover card.
It’s easy to obtain an EIN. All your campaign needs to do is complete this online application to apply for one from the IRS. On the application, the campaign must designate a “responsible party,” who is a person responsible for managing the entity and its funds, such as the candidate or campaign treasurer.
Please be aware that the only way to obtain an EIN is through the application on the IRS’ website.