, Answering FAQ'sTurboTax Employee
A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the SSA whereas all other TINs are issued by the IRS.
How do I get a Social Security Number (SSN)?
You will need to complete Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You'll also have to submit evidence of your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. For more information please see the Social Security web site.
Form SS-5 is also available by calling 1-800-772-1213 or visiting your local Social Security office. These services are free.
How do I get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. Refer to Employer ID Numbers for more information.
How do I get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
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 an SSN (### - ## - ####).
To obtain an ITIN, you must complete IRS Form W-7, IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The Form W-7 requires documentation substantiating foreign/alien status and true identity for each individual. You may either mail the documentation, along with the Form W-7, to the address shown in the Form W-7 Instructions, present it at IRS walk-in offices, or process your application through an Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS.
Form W-7(SP), Solicitud de Número de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente del Servicio de Impuestos Internos is available for use by Spanish speakers.
Acceptance Agents are entities (colleges, financial institutions, accounting firms, etc.) who are authorized by the IRS to assist applicants in obtaining ITIN's. They review the applicant's documentation and forward the completed Form W-7 to IRS for processing.
Note: You cannot claim the earned income credit using an ITIN.
Foreign persons who are individuals should apply for a social security number (SSN, if permitted) on Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration, or should apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on Form W-7. Effective immediately, each ITIN applicant must now:
- Apply using the revised Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; and
- Attach a federal income tax return to the Form W-7.
Applicants who meet an exception to the requirement to file a tax return (see the instructions for Form W-7) must provide documentation to support the exception.
How do I get an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)?
An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) is a temporary nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are in the process of legally adopting a U.S. citizen or resident child but who cannot get an SSN for that child in time to file their tax return.
Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions is used to apply for an ATIN. (Note: Do not use Form W-7A if the child is not a U.S. citizen or resident.)