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It’s easy to get an EIN. You can apply online, by phone, via fax, or by snail mail. Here’s a link that will take you to an instruction page:

How can you tell if you’ve been a victim of identity theft?

Besides the usual calls or letters from bill collectors or credit card companies, you might have been a victim of identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS stating that you have unreported income from an employer for whom you’ve never worked. In this situation, someone has likely used your name and social security number to obtain employment. In addition, you have probably been a victim if you attempt to file your tax return electronically and it is rejected because a return has already been filed. In this case, someone who has your personal information has already filed a fraudulent return. Be careful, however. The letter purporting to be from the IRS could itself be fraudulent. To make sure the notice was indeed sent by the IRS, call the Service at 1-800-829-1040.

If you find your personal data has been stolen or misused, file Form 14039 – Identity Theft Affidavit right away. Be sure to include a photocopy of your passport, driver’s license, social security card, or other valid government identification along with the Affidavit. If your wallet has been lost or stolen and you believe your personal data may be at risk, file the Affidavit and also call the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at1-800-908-4490.


Diane Kelly is a retired CPA/tax attorney and the author of the humorous Death and Taxes romantic mystery series from St. Martin’s Press.

Business Briefs

Rumblings at Barnes & Noble

Len Riggio, Barnes & Noble’s chairman, founder, and largest shareholder, filed his plan to purchase the company with the SEC in February. His offer includes the retail stores, the B&N website, and Sterling Publishing.

He not interested in the Nook Media group that covers the digital devices, Nook bookstore, or college stores. Riggio would take the retail stores corporation private. His proposal is being evaluated by three independent directors.

In other B&N news, Nook last quarter sales were reported to be down 26 percent. The content was up 6.8 percent so the company examining the digital device. Lowering prices on devices is the first move, and the company claims it isn’t stopping hardware production through 2014. However, more immediate efforts are targeted at the content portion, more apps, and opening 10 additional Nook e-bookstores as well as reexamining the educational market.

There is concern by those watching the consumer market that if Nook hardware leaves the market, Amazon will continue to advance unimpeded with negative results for the industry.

PW Daily 

Apple Files Used E-book Patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's application in early March for its own digital marketplace for reselling e-books, music, movies and software by transferring files instead of reproducing them. A quick peek at the patent application revealed Apple left the door open for publishers to set restrictions such as a minimum price and the time period before resale is permitted. A provision also is included in the patent allowing for the possibility of sharing resale proceeds with creators and publishers. 

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