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The difference between an EIN, SSN, and ITIN for Immigrant Business Owners

(Too lazy to read? Me too.. Lucky for you I create a simple graphic, all you have to do is click above)

So you hear the terms EIN, SSN, ITIN ... but you may be wondering.. are there any differences??

Tax Identification Number (TIN)

To start we need to clarify the Tax Identification Number. This number is issued either by the IRS or the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purposes of these numbers is to help regulate the US tax laws and have other purposes.

What types of TINs are issued by the IRS?

  • EIN - Employer Identification Number

  • ITIN - Individual Identification Number

  • ATIN

  • PTIN

What types of TINs are issued by the Social Security Administration?

  • SSN - Social Security Number

Main differences between EIN, SSN, and ITIN

  1. Who is the EIN for? For people and entities doing business in the US.

  • Format: xxx-xx-xxxx

  • Note: To apply for an EIN, you must have a valid ITIN or SSN

  1. Who is the SSN for? For US citizens, Permanent Residents, Temporary NonImmigrant Workers

  • Format: xxx-xx-xxxx

  1. Who is the ITIN for? For residents & non residents not eligible for SSN but need to file taxes and report with the IRS

  • Format: 9xx-xx-xxxx

  • Note: These always start with 9

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