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What Is Tax Identification Number? How To Get Your TIN?

Finance BY Shahanawaz Sep 09, 2023
What Is Tax Identification Number How To Get Your TIN

What is a tax identification number? If you want a tax identification number, you must first know what it means and what it is used for.

A taxpayer’s identification number or TIN is an identification number that the IRS (International Revenue Service) uses to administer taxes and law. The Social Security Administration or the IRS is responsible for issuing the TIN.

Go through this article to learn about Tax Identification Numbers and how to apply for one.

What Is Tax Identification Number?

The TIN or Tax Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that allows the IRS to identify you. This unique number is required in your tax returns and is requested in other IRS interactions.

There are many popular tax I.D. numbers, and the Social Security Numbers are one among them. Some other common examples would be EIN, ITIN, ATIN, and PTIN. Go through the section below to learn about individual taxpayer identification numbers.

Taxpayer Identification Numbers

Here are some examples of taxpayer identification numbers –

  • SSN (Social Security Number)
  • EIN (Employer Identification Numbers)
  • ATIN (Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions)
  • ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
  • PTIN (Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number)

Do I Need A Taxpayer Identification Number?

It is a must to furnish a Taxpayer Identification Number on a statement, returns, or other tax-related documents. Here are a few examples –

  • When filing tax returns
  • For claiming treaty benefits

Also, it is a must to include a TIN on withholding certificates. This is necessary when the beneficial owner is claiming the following things –

  • Tax treaty benefits
  • Exemption for effectively connected earning.
  • Exception for specific annuities.

What Is Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

As mentioned, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a unique tax I.D. consisting of nine digits. The nine-digit tax I.D. number for nonresident people and resident outsiders, their spouses, and their dependents who do not have a social security number.

These numbers are also for people who are required to file their taxes or someone who has a tax I.D. number. It is the IRS that issues an ITIN.

How To Get Your ITIN?

“What is a tax identification number?” Now that you have your answer, you might want to get your ITIN (if you do not have one already).

So, how do you get one? Go through the steps below –

  • If you want to get an ITIN, you have to fill out the IRS Form W-7. If you are from a foreign, you have to prove your alien/ foreign status and your identity. Also, you have to supply federal income tax returns to the W-7 form.
  • But there are some possible exceptions. For that, you will find instructions in the W-7 form.
  • There are two different ways of submitting the form. You can mail it to the address listed on the W-7 form. You can also submit the form at the IRS walk-in office in person.
  • Both the national and international “acceptance agents” have IRS authorization. They can also help people to get their IRS authorization.

These are the necessary steps you have to go through if you want to file an application for an ITIN. However, you must also keep a few instructions in mind.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • If you want to use ITIN to file your taxes, you cannot claim your earned income tax credits. So, keep it in mind before getting your ITIN and how that will affect your decision.
  • ITIN always starts with the number 9.
  • Any Individual tax I.D. not used on the tax return at least once for each of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 tax years became invalid in 2021 end. ITINs with middle digits that contained 70 through 88 or 90 through 99 also had expired.

How To Get Your TIN?

Here are different types of TINs. If you want to get any one of them, you have to follow the methods described below–


If you need a social security card, you must file a Form SS-5 application. You must also provide evidence related to some necessary credentials, such as your age and your citizenship in the U.S., And your lawful alien status if you are from a foreign.

You can call the number 800-722-1213 to get your SS-5 form. You can also visit the Social Security Office if you want to avail of the service from the office.


If you are an employer, then there is an EIN or (Employer Identification Number) for your federal tax identification. And it is used to define a business entity. This type of tax identification number is also important if you have an estate or trust that generates income. Estates and Trusts need to report their income on Form 1041 U.S. Income Tax Return for Estate & Return.


ATIN, or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, is another nine-digit and temporary TIN that the IRS issues to individuals. These individuals are those who are trying to adopt a U.S. resident child or citizen. But they cannot get a hold of a Social Security Number for the child.

If you want to file for an ATIN, you need form W-7A. Also, skip using Form W-7A if your child is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident.


Are you a tax preparer? If you are, you must have a valid PTIN number on your returns prepared. Also, the use of a PTIN is not an optional thing. You must have a PTIN.

So, are you a first-time PTIN applicant? In that case, you can go online and file for your PTIN online within 15 minutes or so. There is a fee associated with the application, and it will cost you around $30.75. This is non-refundable.

Final Words

What is a tax identification number? After going through this article, I believe you have the answer to your question. Whether you are a tax preparer or an employer, you must have a valid Tax Identification Number for tax-related necessities mentioned in This article.

Hopefully, this article provided you with the answers you were looking for. However, if you need us to answer any of your queries related to this topic, let us know through our comment section down below. Thank you for reading.

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Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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