FAQ > Is an ITIN the same as an SSN?
If you need to file a federal income tax return in the United States, the IRS requires that you have a tax identification number (NIF). However, it can be a bit confusing when you need a TIN number because there are different types. A Social Security Number (SSN) and Personal Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) both allow you to process taxes and are made up of 9 digits, but are quite different from each other. This is how an ITIN differs from an SSN:
How Are They Broadcasting
The first thing that distinguishes these two separate numbers is the agencies that issue them. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns ITINs, while the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues SSNs.
It is true that both numbers are used by the IRS for tax processing purposes. However, an SSN can be used for identification, in many cases, while an ITIN cannot. For example, SSNs can be used to open bank accounts or receive medical treatment.
By law, you cannot have both an SSN and ITIN. In order to comply with SSN requirements, you must either be a U.S. citizen or an alien who has permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work in the United States. However, if you cannot get an SSN but have to file a tax return, you can file an application for an ITIN.
If you are a foreign national and want an SSN, you need to have your own Department of Homeland Security forms. Submit the application form and submit documents proving that you are eligible to work in the United States. However, by applying for an ITIN, you can complete the online form and submit the documents to be submitted for your ITIN to the IRS. You must apply for an ITIN while your tax return is being filed. You may qualify for certain ITIN exceptions. Getting your ITIN online is easy when you fill out the online application with ITIN W-7 Application.