It is not unlikely, while living in USA, that a registrar in a school asks you for a social security number (SSN) to confirm your registration. Despite how frequently social security numbers are used today for everything from bank account applications to school library cards, there is only one reason for which Social Security Administration (SSA) issues this number; that is to report taxes.

Whether you are a citizen of USA or a non-resident alien, you need to pay taxes. Government issues different tax ID numbers to be used on federal income tax returns. Your tax identity may be in the form of a social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Let’s find out which tax identification number is appropriate for you.

Social Security Number

Social Security Administration first issued social security numbers in 1936 to help administer the Social Security Programs like calculating retirement benefits. However, today SSN has become a national identification number used for taxation purposes.

Initially, Social Security Cards clearly stated that they were not be used as the proof of legal identity of their holders. But, later this message was revoked.

Today, a social security number is issued to US citizens and those legal immigrants who are authorized to work in USA, for filing their income tax returns. You get your social security number by completing Form SS-5 – Application for a Social Security Card and submitting it to the Social Security Administration. You need to attach a few documents with this application as an evidence of your age, identity, and US citizenship or your legal alien status.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

If Social Security Administration denies providing you a SSN, this means you need to apply for a different tax identity that is ITIN. An ITIN is a tax processing number given to foreigners and certain resident aliens who have tax filing requirements but are ineligible to get a SSN. You get an ITIN by completing Form W-7 – Application for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and attaching a valid income tax return with it.

You need to submit this application to Internal Revenue Service that demands you to submit your original documents like passport or birth certificate for identification purpose. Copies of your documents certified by the issuing agency are also acceptable.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) is another form of tax identification number that you only require when you intend to adopt a child in USA. You need to apply for an ATIN in case you fail to get a social security number of the adopted child for filing your federal income tax return. Internal Revenue Service issues ATIN as temporary tax identification number. It can only be used for the purpose of filing a tax return to claim an adopted child. You can apply for an ATIN by downloading Federal Form W-7A – Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending US Adoptions, from IRS’s website.

If you have confusion about whether you need a social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number, consult a tax professional or a CAA (Certifying Acceptance Agent). You should not ignore the requirement of having a valid TIN, as it can make you miss out certain tax benefits that you may be eligible to obtain, as long as you file your tax returns properly.

If you want to apply for an, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN tax number and have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at 888-509-3616. If you have any suggestions please share those with us as well. Freedomtax ITIN Number has a professional team of IRS Certifying Acceptance Agents, and tax accounting professionals with more than 16 years of experience, helping immigrants with their ITIN application. Freedomtax can also help immigrant entrepreneurs incorporate a business in the USA. Freedomtax ITIN Tax Number Online services provides Quality, Professional Service with a Family Feel.

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