Obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number
Social Security Number
- One of the most widely known tax ID numbers is the Social Security Number, or SSN. Most taxpayers receive this at birth if they are a US Citizen, while others obtain them as they have met the requirements for citizenship. This number is obtained from the Social Security Administration by filing form SS-5, which can be obtained from your local Social Security Administration office or on their website.
Employer Identification Number
- The Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is predominantly used by businesses that have employees. While someone operating a business as a sole-proprietor is not required to obtain an EIN, it is beneficial to do so as it allows the owners of the business to form a tax identity that is separate from their personal taxes. This number can be obtained easily and quickly from the IRS on its website, www.IRS.gov.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, is for resident and non-resident aliens who are unable to get a Social Security Number. In order to obtain one, an individual has to prove their alien status and file a form W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service.
Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
- The Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, or ATIN, is designed for those seeking adoption, to provide a temporary identification number for the adoptee during the process of adoption. This allows the individuals seeking adoption to be able to file their tax returns on time if the adoption has not yet been completed.
Other Identification Uses
- The Internal Revenue Service uses a variety of identification numbers in order to keep taxpayer and taxpayer records together. All of the listed numbers are used for this purpose; however the numbers are also used for identification by other government agencies as well. For instance a Social Security number may be used to identify someone for the issuance of hunting and fishing licenses, or for a driver's license.
All of the IDs are readily available with the proper proof of resident status and other forms of identification.