What Is A Tax ID Number?

A tax ID number is important for a lot of official documents, including tax returns and businesses. To find out more about what is a tax ID number, keep on reading.

Running a business requires proper identification and performing crucial tasks like tax filing, banking, and retirement planning. This is where a taxpayer identification number (TIN) comes in. A TIN serves as a unique identifier for your business, allowing you to submit essential forms, open bank accounts, and ensure compliance.

Many of us must have encountered the phrase ‘tax ID number.’ So what is a tax identification number? A tax ID number (TIN) is a unique nine-digit number used to recognize an individual, business, or entity in tax returns and other records documented with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This article will delve into the detailed concept of TINs, exploring their purpose, significance, and different types.

By understanding the fundamentals of TINSs, you will gain valuable insights into how they facilitate smooth operations, financial transactions, and legal compliance for businesses. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, this guide will help demystify the importance of tax identification numbers.

What Is a Tax ID Number (TIN)?

A Tax Identification Number (TIN) is a unique nine-digit number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to track individuals and entities for tax purposes. It is required data on all tax returns recorded with the IRS. All U.S. charge recognizable proof numbers (TIN) or tax I.D. numbers are given straightforwardly by the IRS, except for Social Security numbers (SSNs), which are given by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Foreign tax identifying numbers (foreign TIN) are likewise not given by the IRS; rather, they are given by the country in which the non-U.S. citizen pays their taxes.

Understanding the Tax Identification Number

A tax identification number (TIN) is a unique numeric code that serves as an identification tool for individuals, corporations, and other entities, including non-profit organizations (NPOs). Every person or entity must go through an application process to obtain a TIN, and upon approval, a designated agency assigns them a special number.

The TIN, also referred to as a taxpayer identification number, is a mandatory requirement for individuals who file annual tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS utilizes this number to track taxpayers effectively. When submitting tax-related documents or seeking government benefits and services, individuals must include their TIN.

 Image Source: Demme Learning
Image Source: Demme Learning

TINs are also necessary for various other purposes:

  • Credit Applications: Banks and lenders require Social Security numbers (SSNs) when processing credit applications. This information is shared with credit bureaus to verify the applicant’s identity. Additionally, credit reporting agencies rely on TINs, particularly SSNs, to monitor and report an individual’s credit history.
  • Employment Verification: Employers request SSNs from job applicants to confirm their eligibility for employment in the United States. These numbers are verified with the relevant issuing agency.
  • State Tax Obligations: Businesses need state identification numbers to fulfill their tax obligations and file taxes with state tax agencies. State taxing authorities directly issue these identification numbers to the filers.

Tax identification numbers, also known as taxpayer identification numbers, are provided in diverse formats. For individuals, TINs are assigned as Social Security numbers (SSNs), whereas businesses like corporations and partnerships are given Employer Identification Numbers (EINs).

In addition, there are various other forms of Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) apart from the one mentioned earlier. These include the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), the Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN), and the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

Tax ID number example

 Image Source: Investopedia
Image Source: Investopedia
  • An SSN is in the following format: xxx-xx-xxxx, where the first three digits hold geographical importance; the next two digits do not have any particular significance and are issued sequentially; and the last four digits are entirely random.
  • An EIN is in the following format: xx-xxxxxxx.
  • An ITIN is a nine-digit number that always starts with the number 9. It is in the following format: 9xx-xx-xxxx

Where can I find my tax identification number?

The U.S. Tax Identification Number might be found on various documents, including tax returns and forms recorded with the IRS, and on account of an SSN, on a government-backed retirement card given by the Social Security Administration. In the United States, TINs are, by and large, thought to be confidential, private identity data. When given to the IRS, TINs are shielded from disclosure under area 6103 of the Code; and, at times, segment 6105 of the Code related to privacy arrangements of the critical tax settlement, tax data trade understanding, or other respective understanding for the trading of data, when the data is given to the IRS by a foreign government under such deal or agreement.

How Does a Taxpayer Identification Number Work?

A TIN for an individual is organized similarly to a Social Security number: xxx-xx-xxxx. Most people’s Social Security number will be their taxpayer ID number. For organizations, the IRS relegates TINs in the accompanying arrangement: xx-xxxxxxx. Organizations and other substances that can’t utilize a Social Security number as a TIN should acquire an EIN from the IRS. TIN is an umbrella term that may allude to any of the five essential kinds of tax identification numbers:

  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Employer identification number (EIN)
  • Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
  • Adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN)
  • Preparer tax identification number (PTIN)

The Social Security Administration issues Social Security numbers to U.S. residents and qualified outsiders. Certain resident and non-resident aliens ineligible to acquire Social Security numbers may record form W-7 with the IRS to get an ITIN. The IRS approves acceptance agents — like universities, financial organizations, and accounting firms – to help candidates get ITINs.

 Image Source: 1st Formations
Image Source: 1st Formations

The IRS requires the utilization of tax identification numbers on many tax-related reports. These records incorporate government forms, explanations, and reports. Banks and different organizations use TIN numbers while interacting with various entities.

A tax ID number should appear on all materials submitted to the IRS to guarantee tax inclusions, benefits, or cover charges. For instance, citizens documenting annual tax returns should give a TIN on the return, and businesses detailing compensation paid to representatives should provide the workers with’ TINs.

Types of Tax Identification Numbers (TIN)

Tax identification numbers (TINs) are crucial in identifying individuals and entities for tax-related purposes. Various TINs exist, each serving specific purposes and issued by different authorities. These identification numbers are essential for tax filings, financial transactions, employment verification, and more. Understanding the different types of TINs can help individuals and organizations navigate the complex landscape of tax regulations and compliance requirements. Following are the different types of identification numbers; by gaining insight into these different TIN categories, readers can understand the identification systems that underpin tax-related processes.

Social Security Number (SSN)

Image Source: Social Security Intelligence
Image Source: Social Security Intelligence

The social number (SSN) is the most well-known tax identification number. SSNs are given to people — U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and certain transitory occupants — by the Social Security Administration. These numbers are organized as XXX-XX-XXXX. The SSN is needed to get work legally in the U.S. and social security benefits and other taxpayer-supported organizations. A kid should have an SSN before a parent can guarantee them as a ward for income tax purposes, which means guardians intentionally apply for the number for their children. A kid with an ITIN can be asserted as a ward. The SSA processes applications free of cost, yet there are likewise expense-based administrations that offer to finish applications for new parents. Your Social Security number is a particular identifier that fraudsters can abuse, so ensure you give it to those you are needed to, including the IRS, businesses, and lenders.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

The IRS gives the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to certain non-resident and resident aliens, their life partners, and their wards when ineligible for SSNs. Masterminded in a similar organization as an SSN (XXX-XX-XXXX), the ITIN starts with a 9. The candidate should complete Form W-7 and submit the documents supporting their resident status to get an individual tax ID number. Particular organizations — including schools, banks, and accounting firms — frequently assist candidates with getting their ITIN.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The IRS utilizes the Employee Identification Number (EIN) to recognize organizations, trusts, and endowments that should settle charges. Like SSNs, employer tax ID numbers are nine digits long, yet they are written as XX-XXXXXXX. The individuals who fit the bill for an EIN should apply for the number and use it to report their pay for tax collection purposes. Applying for an EIN is free, and organizations can get one immediately.

Adoption Tax Identification Number (ATIN)

The ATIN possibly applies to domestic adoptions when the new parents can’t acquire the youngster’s SSN to finish their government forms expeditiously. To qualify, the kid should be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, and the adoption should be forthcoming.

Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

As of Jan. 1, 2011, the IRS required posting a PTIN on each documented return. Before this date, the utilization of the PTIN was optional. Any preparer that charges to finish all or a piece of the tax return for another individual should have and utilize the PTIN.

Tax ID Number Lookup

Ordinarily, entrepreneurs stall out halfway through an advance application, government form, or ledger application since they don’t have the foggiest idea about their business charge ID number. Luckily, finding your EIN is quite basic. Here are the three most ideal approaches to lookup your business tax ID number:

 Image Source: Canva
Image Source: Canva

Option 1: Check Your EIN Confirmation Letter

The most effortless approach to discovering your EIN is to uncover your EIN affirmation letter. This is the first report the IRS gave when you originally applied for your EIN. The letter will show your business charge ID and other recognized data for your business.

  • If you applied online for your EIN, the IRS would have immediately given your affirmation letter on the web. You would have likewise had the chance to pick up a receipt by conventional mail.
  • If you applied by fax, you would have gotten your affirmation letter by bringing the fax back.
  • If you applied via mail, you would have gotten your affirmation letter by bringing mail back.

Your EIN affirmation letter is a significant duty and business record, so preferably, you put it away with other essential desk work, for example, your business financial balance data and fuse reports.

Option 2: Check Other Places Your EIN Could Be Recorded

If you’ve lost your EIN affirmation letter, you must be more inventive to discover your business charge ID number. Luckily, when you get an EIN, your expense ID commonly will not change for the whole life expectancy of your business. That makes finding the EIN simpler. These are some different places where you can find your EIN:

  1. Old federal tax returns
  2. Official tax notices from the IRS
  3. Permits, business licenses, and significant applications
  4. Business bank account statements or online record profile
  5. Old business credit applications
  6. Your business credit report
  7. Payroll paperwork (for example, 1099 structures that you’ve gotten as a self-employed entity or given to self-employed entities)

Note that your EIN, by and large, won’t show up on business development administrative work, like articles of consolidation, articles of association, or an invented business name (DBA) report. These reports set up your business’ legitimate arrangement yet do not contain your business’ tax ID number.

Option 3: Call the IRS to Locate Your EIN

You ought to have the option to find your EIN by getting to at least one of the records recorded above; however, if you do not have any karma, the IRS can assist you with a federal tax ID query. You can call the IRS’s Business and Specialty Tax Line, and a delegate will give your EIN to you via telephone. The Business and Specialty Tax Line is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. This ought to be your final retreat, be that as it may, because call wait times can sometimes be lengthy.

Before you call, remember that the IRS must demonstrate you’re approved to recover your business charge ID number. For instance, you’ll need to demonstrate you are a corporate official, a sole owner, or an accomplice in an association. The IRS agent will ask you inquiries to affirm your character.

Do not get shocked; this is a precaution to help secure your business’ touchy information. After all, you wouldn’t need the IRS to give your government-backed retirement number to any individual who called, OK? Whenever you’ve discovered your business charge ID number, we recommend placing the number in a protected spot — like a bolted file organizer or secure distributed storage, so you will not need to go through these means again.

How do I find out what my tax ID number is?

Realizing your business tax ID number is significant, yet with all the contending considerations for an entrepreneur, you may neglect or lose your tax ID. This is what you should know whether you need to find an EIN:

 Image Source: Canva
Image Source: Canva

Image Source: Canva

  • Find your EIN before you must document taxes, apply for a business advance, or open a business account since it will accelerate the interaction.
  • You can find your EIN on your confirmation letter from the IRS, old government forms, old business loan applications, business credit reports, or finance desk work.
  • You can likewise hit the IRS to look into your federal tax ID number.
  • If you need to find another organization’s EIN, you can begin by asking the organization. Likewise, free and paid databases can help you discover a business’ tax ID number.
  • When applying to your organization’s EIN, you will not need another one for business name or area changes. Be that as it may, assuming your business’ proprietorship or construction transforms, you’ll probably require another EIN from the IRS.

Does everyone have a tax ID number?

An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number accessible for certain alien and occupant outsiders, their spouses, and wards who can’t get a Social Security Number (SSN). A TIN should be outfitted on returns, statements, and other expense-related records. For instance, a number should be provided:

  • When recording your tax returns.
  • While asserting deal benefits.

A TIN should be on a retention testament if the beneficial proprietor is guaranteeing any of the accompanyings:

  • Tax treaty benefits (other than for money from attractive protections)
  • Exclusion for adequately associated pay
  • Exclusion for specific annuities

What is a tax ID number used for?

A tax ID number is an interesting arrangement of numbers that recognizes people, partnerships, and different elements like non-profit organizations (NPOs). Every individual or substance should apply for a TIN. When endorsed, the appointing office allocates the candidate a unique number.

The TIN, additionally called a taxpayer ID number, is obligatory for anybody recording yearly government forms with the IRS, which the office uses to fellow citizens. Filers should incorporate the quantity of duty-related archives when asserting advantages or administrations from the public authority. TINs are additionally needed for different purposes:

  • For credit: Banks and loan specialists require Social Security numbers on credit applications. This data is then transferred to the credit departments to guarantee the perfect individual is rounding out the application. The credit detailing offices additionally use TINs — outstandingly SSNs — to report and track a person’s record.
  • For employment: Employers require an SSN from anybody applying for business. This guarantees that the individual is approved to work in the United States. Managers confirm the numbers with the responsible office.
  • For state agencies: Organizations likewise require state distinguishing proof numbers to document with their state charge offices for charge purposes. State-burdening specialists issue the I.D. number straightforwardly to the filer.

Pretty much every nation utilizes TINs for different reasons. For example, Canada utilizes Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) for work, duty, advantages, and credit purposes. Like the SSN in the U.S., the SIN is a nine-digit interesting identifier arranged as XXX-XXX-XXX. Nations in the European Union additionally use TINs. They help government organizations distinguish citizens and permit substances to put away their cash across the Union.

Why Do You Need to Know Your Business Tax ID Number?

The IRS requires most sorts of organizations to apply for an EIN. The exemptions are some sole owners and proprietors of single-member LLCs, who can utilize their government-managed retirement number rather than an EIN. Yet, even entrepreneurs who don’t need to get an EIN regularly pick to get one so that they’re ready to isolate their business and individual accounting records.

business tax id number
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If the IRS expects you to get an EIN or if you decide to get one, these are a portion of the circumstances where you’ll have to give your business charge ID number:

  • When documenting business tax returns or making business charge installments
  • While applying for a business loan
  • When starting a business bank account
  • While applying for a Business Visa
  • When giving Form 1099s to self-employed entities

Albeit every one of these exchanges doesn’t occur consistently when you consider them together, you’ll need to give your EIN, in any event, a couple of times each year. Thus, this is a number worth focusing on memory and putting away securely. Preferably, you should recover your business charge ID before completing any of the exchanges above.

How can you Change or Cancel an EIN?

When you acquire an EIN for your business, that charge ID stays with your company for its whole life expectancy. In any case, there are a few circumstances where you may require another business charge ID number. Here’s the point at which you will have to apply for another EIN:

  • You fuse interestingly or change your business element
  • You purchase a current business or acquire a business
  • Your business turns into an auxiliary of another organization
  • You are a sole owner and are dependent upon a bankruptcy proceeding
  • You are a sole owner and build up a retirement, benefit sharing, or annuity plan
  • You get another sanction from your state’s Secretary of State
  • There are changes to your possession structure
change or cancel ein
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The IRS has an itemized rundown of circumstances where you need another EIN. Another EIN replaces your old EIN, so once you get the new expense ID, you will utilize that on assessment forms and other business administrative work pushing ahead. Note that more normal changes, for example, changes to your business name or address, for the most part, don’t need another EIN. However, you should, in any case, report a business name change or area change to the IRS.

When your business gets an EIN, the IRS can’t “drop” the duty ID. Regardless of whether you close down your business and never record a government form, no other firm will get a similar number at any point. You can utilize the old number if you choose to resume your business. On the off chance that you verify that you needn’t bother with an EIN that you applied for—perhaps because you never really began the business or broke down the business—at that point, you close your business account with the IRS by composing a letter. If you close your record and dispatch another company later, you’ll need another EIN by then.

Tax Identification Number (TIN) FAQs

How can I get a TIN?

You can obtain an expense identity proof number by applying directly to the appropriate organization. For instance, you can acquire a Social Security number by contacting the Social Security Administration. If you require an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for yourself or a business, you can obtain one directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

How do I know if I need a TIN?

If approved to work in the United States, you need a TIN or intend to record charges with the IRS. You’ll also require a TIN to exploit advantages or administrations the public authority offers. If you maintain a business or other association, you’ll need a TIN to run your everyday activities and report your assessments.

How can I find my TIN online?

The office that gives your TIN gives you an authority record with your unique identifier. Since it is a delicate snippet of data, you can’t go online to recover it. If you can’t recall or lose your archives, contact the responsible office, like the SSA, to get your TIN again.

Is a TIN the same as a tax I.D.?

Yes, a TIN is the same as a tax I.D. It stands for tax identification number or taxpayer identification number.

Is a TIN the same as a Social Security number?

A Social Security number is an illustration of a TIN. It permits you to look for work in the United States, gets credit with banks and different loan specialists, and document your yearly expense forms with the IRS utilizing your SSN.

How do I get a tax ID number for a small business?

Getting a duty ID number is basic. Whenever you’ve decided on your qualification, you can apply for an EIN through the IRS, either online or via mail, fax, or telephone. This application cycle is free. You can likewise utilize online legitimate help to apply for an EIN, yet they will charge an expense for this assistance.

Is a business tax ID number the same as an EIN?

A business tax ID number is also called an employer identification number or EIN.

Can you have a business without an EIN?

Indeed, contingent upon the sort of business. Single-individual LLCs and sole owners needn’t bother with an EIN because they’re burdened as people. In any case, if you plan on starting a business, financial balance is another substance other than those burdened as people; an EIN is required a bigger number of times than not.

Do I need an EIN if I am self-employed?

If you are independently employed and are an authority sole owner, you don’t lawfully require an EIN. Accepting an EIN has various advantages, including helping separate your own and business funds.

Is EIN the same as tax ID?

Yes, the tax ID number is the same as EIN. An EIN is a nine-digit number the IRS assigns to businesses and other entities for tax filing purposes. A business’ EIN is used to identify the company when filing taxes and interacting with the IRS. A tax ID can also refer to an individual’s Social Security number.

How many digits are in a tax ID number?

The tax ID number is a nine-digit number.

How many digits are in an EIN?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. Therefore, an EIN consists of nine digits.

Are all tax id numbers nine digits?

Yes, all tax ID numbers are nine digits. The first two digits of the number indicate the tax form that the business will use to file its taxes. The remaining seven digits are used to identify the company uniquely.

What is the IRS tax number?

The IRS Tax Number in the United States is commonly called the Employer Identification Number (EIN). It is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses, trusts, estates, non-profit organizations, and other entities for tax purposes. The EIN is used for filing tax returns, opening business bank accounts, and conducting various financial transactions.

What is a TID number?

A Terminal Identification Number (TID) is a unique identifier assigned to a point-of-sale (POS) terminal or card processing device used for tax purposes in the United States. It helps identify and track transactions processed through that specific terminal. TID is provided by the payment processor or acquiring bank.

What is the IRS number in the USA?

The IRS number in the USA is the main phone number you can call to reach the Internal Revenue Service. It’s 1-800-829-1040. You can use this number to ask questions, get help with tax forms, or discuss tax-related matters with the IRS.


A tax ID number (TIN) is an umbrella term that covers a few sorts of nine-digit ID numbers utilized by people and other organizations for charge documentation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For most individual citizens and many sole owners, their Social Security number is their citizen ID number. Most organizations must utilize a kind of citizen-recognizable proof number given by the IRS called a business ID number (EIN).

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.