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FAQ > What is the difference between ITIN and EIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number for individuals who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN); while, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is the tax processing number for businesses. Although both are tax processing numbers, they are used for different types of entity. A business owner who is not eligible to obtain an SSN may have to apply for an ITIN for his individual tax returns and an EIN for his business tax returns.

Who needs an ITIN?

Anyone who needs to file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but is not eligible to receive an SSN must apply for an ITIN. For example, nonresident aliens who have a requirement to file a U.S. federal tax return must have an ITIN. Similarly, dependents and spouses of U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and nonresident foreign visa holders often need an ITIN.

An ITIN can also be used instead of an SSN to build a credit history. Some lenders will accept applicants who use an ITIN for credit cards, car loans, home loans, and other types of credit.

Who needs an EIN?

Companies in the United States use an EIN as a tax processing number. An EIN may also be required for opening a business bank account, paying employees, and completing other types of official documents filed.

You can apply for an EIN for your business without an ITIN or social security number. Simply complete the appropriate documentation to register the business with state and federal authorities. Once the documentation is complete, you will receive an EIN.

ITIN vs EIN, which one should I use?

If you have an ITIN and an EIN or believe you need or well, remember that it is an ITIN for individuals and it is an EIN for businesses. Depending on your business tax structure, you may have to make separate tax returns for yourself and your business.

How to get an ITIN

Submitting a form to apply for an ITIN is easy. Before you begin, review the documents to be submitted with ITIN applications. When you're ready to get an ITIN, use our simple online application.

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