The purpose of this guide is to provide information and updates about the Internal Revenue Service’s Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). It is important to understand the role of ITINs given the implications of potential changes to immigration policy and programs with the new administration.
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
ITINs allow individuals ineligible for an SSN to (1) report their earnings to the IRS, (2) open interest-bearing bank accounts with certain banks and, (3) conduct business in the U.S.
The IRS issues ITINs regardless of immigration status, because both citizens and noncitizens may have a U.S. tax filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.
ITINs are intended primarily to facilitate federal tax reporting. An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.
This guide will walk readers through the initial application and renewal process. A separate guide discussing the use of ITINs to earn a living as an independent contractor and entrepreneur is currently being written and will be released in early January.