How to Get Tax Identification Number (TIN) for US Tax Forms

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July 21, 2020
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A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is a number used for tax purposes in the US or other countries under the Common Reporting Standard. In the US, it's also known as a Tax Identification Number or Federal Taxpayer Identification

United States Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Types of TINs

Any government-provided number can be used in the US as a unique identifier when interacting with the IRS. A TIN may be:

  • a Social Security number (SSN)
  • an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number)


SSNs are used by individuals who have (or had) the right to work in the United States.


ITINs are used by aliens who may or may not have the right to work in the US, such as aliens on temporary visas and non-resident aliens with US income. Often people need the identification number to open a bank account.


EINs are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, LLCs, partnerships, non-profit associations, trusts, estates of decedents, government agencies, certain individuals, and other business entities.

Tax Identification Number for foreign contractors

As of 1 January, 2018, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that the Form W-8BEN include your foreign tax identifying number (foreign TIN). Your country of permanent residence issues your foreign tax identifying number.

Obtaining your foreign Tax Identification Number

Please contact the taxing authority or equivalent of your country of permanent residence to get a foreign TIN.

You can also view a listing of domestic rules in select jurisdictions on the OCED (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) website.

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