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What Is a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)?

All employers, taxpayers, and any dependents or other persons for whom you claim an exemption, must have a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). You will be required to enter these TINs on your tax return. These identification numbers are used by the IRS when administering the tax laws. The ID numbers help avoid confusion between people with the same name, facilitate records matching, and more.

For most taxpayers, your Taxpayer Identification Number is your social security number (SSN). However, there are a number of other types of TINs that are used in other circumstances, including:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): This federal tax identification number is used by business entities. Estates and trusts that have reportable income also use an EIN. Individuals who employ household employees are also required to have an EIN.
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): This is a tax ID number available only to some nonresident and resident aliens as well as their spouses and dependents. An ITIN is a tax ID number for those who are not eligible for a SSN.
  • Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN): This is a temporary tax ID number issued for a U.S. citizen or resident pending adoption. If a social security number cannot be acquired in time for the tax filing deadline, a ATIN may be issued instead. Note: ATINs are for children who are U.S. citizens or residents only.
  • Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number (PTIN): Paid tax preparers are required to have a PTIN. This number is required for all tax returns prepared by a paid preparer.

If you have questions about what the correct TIN is for your specific situation, don't panic. The Taxation Solutions, Inc. team can help you ensure your tax filings are complete and accurate, including your TINs. Contact us now for additional information.