What Is A US Tax ID Number And How Does It Work?

When you file your tax return or have to talk to the IRS, you will probably need to give a tax identification number which is similarly known as a TIN or tax ID number. 

What is a tax ID number?

It is a distinctive 9-digit number that recognizes you to the IRS. It is mandatory on your tax return as well as requested in additional IRS interactions. Social Security numbers are the greatest prevalent tax ID numbers, however, 4 additional types are prevalent too: the ITIN, EIN, ATIN, and PTIN.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

It is a 9-digit tax ID number for non-resident and resident people, their partners, and their children who can’t get a Social Security number. The IRS then issues this number.

How to get an ITIN: 

If you need this number you have to fill out IRS Form W-7. You have to prove your foreign status as well as identity. Moreover, you have to give a federal income tax return to your Form W-7. Establishments known as “acceptance agents” have IRS endorsements to aid individuals to get ITINs.

Important points to keep in mind


  • If you are using an ITIN to file your taxes you cannot claim the Earned Income Tax Credit 
  • ITINs at all times start with the number 9.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

It is a tax ID number for businesses that have workers; are establishments or partnerships; withhold taxes on income compensated to non-resident people; have Keogh plans; are involved with definite kinds of establishments. The main business has to be in the United States or a U.S. region, as well as the individual applying for the number (it should be an individual, not a unit), should previously have an SSN, ITIN, or other EIN. The IRS might need an estate or trust to get an EIN.

How to get an EIN: 

If you want EIN then you can easily apply online with the IRS. You can similarly fill out IRS Form SS-4 and then fax it or mail it to the IRS. Foreign candidates can call 1-267-941-1099 to get an EIN. 

An important point to keep in mind

Your business might similarly require a distinct state employer ID number.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)

It is a momentary, 9-digit tax ID number the IRS provides to individuals who are in the procedure of adopting a kid. The IRS gives the number if the parents can’t get an SSN for the kid early enough to file their tax return.

The number recognizes the kid, not the parent, as well as is required for the parent to claim the child as needy.

How to get an ATIN: 

To receive this number, file IRS Form W-7A. You will have to attach a copy of the settlement certification. The kid must be lawfully placed in your house for adoption. In case you are adopting a kid from another state, you can still get this number, however, there are additional rules.

Important points to keep in mind

  • You are not allowed to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit with this number.
  • It takes 4 to 8 weeks to receive it after the IRS gets your Form W-7A, thus ask for it well before your tax return is outstanding.       
  • Except you advise the IRS that the adoption is still incomplete, the IRS will spontaneously turn off an ATIN after 2 years.

Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

It is a Preparer Tax Identification Number. The IRS needs anybody who makes or helps in making federal tax returns for reimbursement to have a PTIN. Tax preparers should put their PTIN numbers on customers’ tax returns.

How to get a PTIN: 

Preparers can receive PTINs from the IRS online in around fifteen minutes. Otherwise, they can fill out as well as mail IRS Form W-12. That technique takes around 4 to 6 weeks.

Important points to keep in mind

  • Volunteer preparers do not require PTINs.    
  • You can search the preparer on the IRS’s PTIN directory.

How Can I Get a TIN?

You can get a TIN by applying straight to the exact organization. For example, you can get an SSN through the Social Security Administration. If you require an Individual Taxpayer Identification number or one for a business, you might be able to get one straight from the IRS.

How Do I Know If I Require a TIN?

You require a TIN if you are accredited to work in the USA or if you plan to file taxes with the IRS. You will likewise require a TIN if you wish to take advantage of paybacks or services given by the government. If you run a business or additional association, you will similarly require a TIN to run your everyday actions plus to report your taxes.

How Can I Get My TIN Online?

The organization that issues TIN gives you an authorized document with your distinctive identifier. You can get anything online such as you can find an online pay stub generator to create pay stubs. As it is a delicate piece of info, you cannot go online to recover it. If you cannot remember or misplace your documents, you must contact the issuing organization, for example, the SSA, to get your TIN once more.


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