What Is the Difference Between a TIN and an EIN?

When you’re filling out a document that asks for your tax identification number (TIN), you may be confused. What should you write down? In fact, there are various possible types of tax ID numbers that may be required for personal or business purposes. Personal TINs can be your Social Security Number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) for non US Citizens. The most common type of TIN for businesses is an EIN.

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What Is a TIN?

Many people use the catch-all term of a TIN, which refers to a Taxpayer Identification Number. There are three different types of numbers the IRS uses for tax purposes: Social Security Number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), and an employer identification number (EIN). If you’re wondering about the differences between a TIN and an EIN, SSNs and ITINs are tax IDs for individuals, while EINs are used for businesses.

Who Needs an ITIN?

If you don’t meet the requirements to obtain an SSN, you may have a TIN assigned to you. This is simply a personal tax ID number with nine digits. You may have a TIN if you are:

  • A non-resident alien.
  • A U.S. resident alien.
  • A spouse or dependent of a non-resident visa holder.
  • A spouse or dependent of a resident alien or U.S. citizen.

If you need to put a personal tax ID on a form and you don’t have an SSN, you’ll use this number. Do you still have questions about a TIN? Read our “What Is a TIN” page.

What Is the Difference Between a TIN and EIN?

As stated above, TIN may be used to describe a variety of tax numbers, including EINs. Therefore, there may be no difference at all. Whether you use a personal tax ID or EIN depends on what form you’re filling out. If you’re still confused whether you should use an EIN vs TIN, you can contact our tax ID experts.

Do you need to apply for a new tax number? GovDocFiling has an easy online application process for receiving an EIN or TIN number.