Transfer Earnings from ITIN to SSN

Transfer Earnings from ITIN to SSN

The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and the Social Security Number (SSN) are two critical identification numbers used in the United States. While both serve as identification tools, they have distinct purposes and implications:

ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)

  • Issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Used to file tax returns by individuals who do not qualify for an SSN.
  • Does not grant the right to work or claim social security benefits.
  • Often used by foreign nationals, non-resident aliens, and others who have tax reporting obligations in the U.S.

SSN (Social Security Number)

  • Issued by the Social Security Administration.
  • Serves as an individual’s primary identification number for various purposes, including employment, credit history, and more.
  • Essential for those who work and earn in the U.S., allowing them to contribute to the social security system.


Importance of Transferring Earnings

For individuals who initially begin their financial journey in the U.S. with an ITIN, there comes a point when transitioning to an SSN becomes not only beneficial but also necessary. Here are some reasons why transferring earnings from an ITIN to an SSN is crucial:

Transfer Earnings from ITIN to SSN

  • Credit History: One of the significant advantages of having an SSN is the ability to build a credit history. While some banks and credit institutions might offer credit to ITIN holders, the SSN broadens the horizon, allowing individuals to access more financial products and services.
  • Tax Benefits: Using an SSN to report earnings and file tax returns can open doors to specific tax benefits and credits that might not be available to ITIN holders. Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prefers taxpayers to use their SSN once they are eligible for one. Find out more about tax implications from the IRS’s official report.
  • Broader Acceptance: From opening a bank account to applying for a driver’s license, having an SSN simplifies many administrative processes. Institutions often recognize and accept SSN more readily than ITIN.

While both ITIN and SSN serve as tools of identification, transitioning from an ITIN to an SSN and transferring earnings is a step forward in one’s financial journey in the U.S. It ensures compliance, broadens financial opportunities, and simplifies administrative tasks.


Understanding ITIN and SSN

What is an ITIN?

The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit, for example, 9XX-7X-XXXX.

Purpose and benefits:

  • Tax Reporting: The primary purpose of the ITIN is to provide a tax identification number for those who are ineligible for a Social Security Number (SSN). It allows individuals to comply with U.S. tax laws and provides a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments.
  • Financial Activities: While the ITIN is not intended to serve other purposes, some banks and credit bureaus accept ITINs from customers applying for credit cards or loans.
  • Employment: ITIN holders can legally work in the U.S. However, they must pay taxes on their U.S. earnings. Employers report these earnings using the ITIN.

Who is eligible?

  • Foreign Nationals: Those who have a requirement to file a federal tax return or a tax statement in the U.S but do not qualify for an SSN.
  • Spouse or Dependents: A non-resident alien individual who is a partner in a U.S. business.
  • Undocumented Immigrants: Those who do not have a legal immigrant status but have earned income in the U.S.

What is an SSN?

The Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary working residents. The Social Security Administration (SSA) assigns these numbers.

Purpose and benefits:

  • Identification: The SSN serves as an individual’s primary identification number for various purposes, including employment, taxation, and other government-related functions.
  • Employment: Employers use SSNs to report wages to the government and for other information returns. It’s also used to determine one’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.
  • Credit and Financial Transactions: The SSN is crucial for various financial transactions, such as opening bank accounts or applying for a loan. It’s also vital for building a credit history in the U.S.
  • Government Benefits: The SSN is used to track individuals for Social Security benefits and other government services.

Who is eligible?

  • U.S. Citizens: All U.S. citizens, regardless of age, are eligible for an SSN.
  • Permanent Residents: Those who have been granted the right to reside permanently in the U.S.
  • Temporary Residents: Certain non-U.S. citizens, who have permission to work in the U.S, can obtain an SSN.
  • Students: International students on specific visas might be eligible for an SSN if they have an employment offer.

Both the ITIN and SSN are essential identification numbers in the U.S. While the ITIN is primarily for tax reporting purposes for those ineligible for an SSN, the SSN has broader applications, including employment, financial transactions, and accessing government benefits. Understanding the differences, purposes, and eligibility criteria for both numbers is crucial for anyone navigating the U.S. financial and governmental systems.


Reasons to Transfer Earnings

Transferring earnings from an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to a Social Security Number (SSN) is a significant step for many individuals in the U.S. This process is not just a mere administrative change; it has profound implications and benefits.

Legal Requirements and Implications

  • Compliance with U.S. Tax Laws: Once an individual obtains a new SSN, they are required to use it for tax purposes. All past and future earnings must be reported under this new number. It’s essential to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about the change to ensure accurate tax records.
  • Rescinding the ITIN: After obtaining an SSN, individuals should rescind their ITIN to avoid complications. The IRS provides a specific procedure to follow, ensuring that all tax records under the ITIN are transferred to the SSN.


Benefits of Using SSN Over ITIN

Employment Authorization

  • Wider Employment Opportunities: With an SSN, individuals have a broader range of employment opportunities in the U.S. Employers often prefer or require an SSN over an ITIN for payroll and tax reporting purposes.
  • Accurate Wage Reporting: All wages earned should be reported under the SSN. This ensures that individuals receive the appropriate social security benefits in the future.

Financial Benefits

  • Building Credit: An SSN allows individuals to build a credit history with major credit bureaus. This is crucial for financial transactions such as applying for credit cards, loans, or even renting an apartment.
  • Access to Financial Products: Many financial institutions require an SSN for opening accounts, providing loans, or other financial services. Having an SSN broadens the range of financial products available to an individual.


Transitioning from an ITIN to an SSN and transferring earnings is not just a procedural necessity but a strategic move. It ensures legal compliance, opens doors to better employment opportunities, and provides a host of financial benefits. For those navigating this transition, it’s essential to understand the reasons behind it and to take the necessary steps to maximize the advantages.


The Transfer Process

Transferring earnings from an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to a Social Security Number (SSN) is a structured process that requires careful attention to detail.

Step-by-step Guide to Transferring Earnings

  1. Obtain Your Social Security Number: Before initiating the transfer, ensure you have your new SSN. If you haven’t already, apply for a Social Security Number through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  2. Notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Once you have your SSN, it’s crucial to inform the IRS about the change. This ensures that all your past tax records associated with your ITIN are transferred to the SSN.
  3. Stop Using Your ITIN: After notifying the IRS, cease all use of your ITIN. This includes not using it for employment, banking, or any other financial transactions.
  4. File Tax Returns Using Your SSN: All future tax returns should be filed using your new SSN. Ensure your employer has your SSN for W-2 forms and other tax-related documents.

Potential Challenges and How to Overcome Them

  • Mismatched Records: There might be discrepancies between records associated with your ITIN and your new SSN. Regularly check your tax records and credit reports to ensure accuracy.
  • Communication with Financial Institutions: Some banks or credit agencies might still have your ITIN on file. Proactively reach out and update them with your SSN.
  • Understanding the Process: The transition can be complex. Consider seeking professional assistance or consulting the SSA’s official resources for guidance.


What People Also Ask

What happens if I continue to use ITIN after getting an SSN?

Continuing to use your ITIN after obtaining an SSN can lead to confusion and potential legal issues. The IRS expects individuals to use their SSN for tax purposes once they have one. Using both numbers can result in fragmented tax records and might delay or affect potential benefits.

Can I use both ITIN and SSN simultaneously?

No, you cannot use both numbers simultaneously for tax purposes. Once you have an SSN, you should cease using your ITIN and notify the IRS about the change. All tax-related activities should be conducted under your SSN.

How long does the transfer process take?

The duration can vary based on individual circumstances. Typically, once you’ve notified the IRS about your new SSN, the process of merging tax records might take a few weeks to a couple of months. It’s advisable to start the process well before tax season to avoid potential delays.

Are there any penalties for not transferring earnings?

Yes, failing to transfer earnings and not notifying the IRS about your SSN can lead to complications, including potential penalties. It’s crucial to ensure all tax obligations are met using the correct identification number.



The process of transferring earnings from an ITIN to an SSN is more than just an administrative task; it’s a pivotal step in ensuring compliance with U.S. tax laws and maximizing financial opportunities. Recognizing the importance of transferring earnings and the benefits that come with using an SSN over an ITIN is crucial.

As you navigate this transition, remember to stay informed, seek professional guidance if needed, and prioritize accuracy in all your financial dealings. Your diligence today will pave the way for a smoother financial journey in the future.


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