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Tax Identification Number (TIN) : The A-Z Guide

A Tax Identification Number or TIN is a sequence of 9 numbers you are allotted the first time you pay your tax money. The IRS identifies you with the help of this number. All you need to know about Tax ID Number here!
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Tax Identification Number (TIN) : The A-Z Guide
A Tax Identification Number or TIN is a sequence of 9 numbers you are allotted the first time you pay your tax money. The IRS identifies you with the help of this number.
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What is a tax ID number? When you are filing your taxes, you need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) that will put you on the tax-paying map. Only when you have a tax ID, the IRS won’t recognize you. Without this TIN, which is also known as a tax ID number, the IRS won’t know who you are, or how much tax you owe the IRS. You won’t be able to talk to them either.

A Tax Identification Number or TIN is a sequence of 9 numbers you are allotted the first time you pay your tax money. The IRS identifies you with the help of this number. Your Social Security Number is usually used as your tax ID number. But there are four other types of tax ID numbers, namely: the ITIN, EIN, ATIN, and PTIN.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

What is ITIN?

This individual taxpayer identification number consists of 9 digits. This type of identification number is given to those who are non-residents and resident aliens of the United States of America. Resident and non-resident aliens are those who live in America but whose birthplace isn’t America. This ITIN number is also given to those who are married to these non-resident and resident aliens and their dependents. The reason why this number is provided to this group of people is that they cannot get a Social Security Number.

How to Get an ITIN?

If you want to receive an ITIN in order to pay your taxes, you will have to fill out an IRS Form W-7. You will have to provide documents that prove your foreign/alien identity and status. Furthermore, you will also need to provide a federal tax return for your W-7 Form. If you don’t know how to get an ITIN, there are many organizations called “acceptance agents” that have IRS authorization. These can help you get your ITIN. 

Notes

  • The starting number of ITIN will always be 9.
  • If you are using your ITIN number to file your taxes, then you won’t be able to claim the earned income tax credit.

Expirations

If you didn’t use your ITIN number to file for taxes even once during the years 2018, 2019, or 2022, then your ITIN number would have expired by the end of 2021. Some ITINs with middle numbers 70 to 88 and 90 to 99 have also expired. It’s important to note that only those ITINs that were assigned before 2013 have expired. 

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

What is EIN?

An EIN is for those who are employers and run businesses or partnerships. With the help of this Employer Identification Number, the employer will withhold the employee’s taxes from their income/salary. This is also for non-resident aliens. This number is also used to file tax returns in certain organizations that have to do anything with tobacco, alcohol, and firearms. Your businesses must strictly limit to the United States territory and you need to own a Social Security Number, ITIN, or other EIN. 

How to Get an EIN?

You can apply for an EIN online. The IRS will receive your application and will reach out to you for further queries. You can also fill out the IRS Form SS-4 and mail this to the IRS. You can also fax them if you want. If you aren’t in America but you’re moving there soon and need an EIN, then you can call them on 1-267-941-1099. This number is only for international applicants.

Note

If you run a business, then that business needs a separate employer ID number.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) 

What is ATIN?

This identification number is a 9-digit tax ID number that is given to those who are in the process of adopting a child. It is important to note that this is just a temporary identification number for those couples and parents who cannot get a Social Security Number. This number isn’t for the parents but is given to the child by the IRS who is a dependent to their adopted parents. 

How to Get an ATIN?

To apply for an ATIN, you will have to fill out an IRS Form W-7A. You will have to provide all the documents related to child adoption and placement. When you are applying for this ATIN, the child must be residing in your home. On the other hand, if you are adopting a baby from a different country altogether, the rules differ and there are different sets of requirements and rules you need to follow.

Note

  • You won’t be able to claim your earned income tax credit with this number. You will need a Social Security number for that.
  • This is a long process. You will have to wait for 4 to 8 weeks after filling out the IRS Form W-7A to get an ATIN.
  • If your adoption is pending, then you can notify them about it to cancel the ATIN. Even if you don’t send them a notification if there is a delay in the adoption or if you have changed your mind about adopting a baby, they will automatically cancel your ATIN after two years if you don’t use that number even once after getting it.

Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

What is PTIN?

This is for those who prepare any kind of federal tax returns and work at the IRS. If you prepare or assist in preparing tax returns for the public, you will be asked to apply for a PTIN. If you have a PTIN and prepare tax returns for your clients, then you will have to mention your PTIN number in the document. 

How to Get a PTIN?

You can apply for a PTIN online and you will get this in just 15 minutes. The longer method to apply for PTIN is where you have to fill out IRS Form W-12 and send it to the IRS. You will have to wait for 4 to 6 weeks to hear from them again.

Note

  • If you don’t work at the IRS as an employee but as a volunteer, you won’t need a PTIN.
  • When you receive your tax returns, you can see the PTIN number and look them up in the IRS’ PTIN directory. 

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Simra Sadaf

Simra Sadaf

A lover of all things literature, Simra Sadaf does content writing for a living. When she is not writing, she is eating cakes, petting stray cats and walking on sunny beaches waiting for the sun to set.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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