Freelance A Lot?
No matter what field you work in, anyone who has ever freelanced in the U.S. has had to fill out a contract or W9 with the question to provide their SSN or EIN for tax purposes. A Social Security Number and an Employer Identification Number can be grouped under the category "TIN", which stands for Taxpayer Identification number. You have to provide a TIN to your employer in case you want to get paid and avoid any problems with the IRS.
Why Use An EIN?
The reason for one rather using a EIN instead of your SSN is pretty simple. Your SSN contains all of your personal information, while your EIN will only be business related. When identity theft happens, you will often hear that someone is using someone else their SSN. Using an EIN will protect you in any way since this can only be used on tax forms. You can not use your EIN for anything else that is not business related.
So next time someone asks for your TIN so they can complete their taxes at the end of the year, only give them what they need. They do not need the key to your entire life, but an EIN will get the job done as easily.
It only takes about 5-10 minutes to obtain a EIN. For more information and to apply, visit the following link.