A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. It is issued either by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the IRS.
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Individuals Taxpayer Identification Number "ITIN"
- Prepare Taxpayer Identification Number "PTIN"
Do I Need One?
A TIN must be furnished on tax returns, statements, and other tax related documents. For example a number must be furnished:
- When filing your tax returns, or
- When claiming treaty benefits.
A TIN must be on a withholding certificate if the beneficial owner is claiming any of the following:
- Tax treaty benefits (other than for income from marketable securities)
- Exemption for effectively connected income
- Exemption for certain annuities
How Do I Get A TIN?
You need to complete Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You also must submit evidence of your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien, status.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. It is also used by estates and trusts which have income which is required to be reported on Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts.
An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9", formatted like a SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN).
Beginning January 1, 2011, paid tax preparers must use a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) on returns they prepare. Use of the PTIN no longer is optional.
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