The ITIN number also known as Individual Tax Identification Number is a number given to every individual by Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This ITIN number gives a unique identity to every person. In this way IRS ensures that all people pay taxes even if they are illegal immigrants and don’t have a social security number. By allotting ITIN number to every individual IRS is able to collect billion of dollars of tax which they cannot gain otherwise.

Purpose of Creating ITIN

It was created for tax purposes in July 1996 so that foreign nationals and other individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security number (SSN) can pay the taxes they are legally required to pay.


Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is totally different from SSN (Social Security Number). Some people confuse the two. Social Security number is allotted to only US citizens. While ITIN is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9.

Do the Immigrants get this number?

Many immigrants have ITINs but having an ITIN number does not mean that you have a legal immigration status. If you are an immigrant, ITIN number does not provide you work authorization. Other circumstances in which you cannot get an SSN number but you can get an ITIN number include:

  • A foreign national who owns or invest in US and receives taxable income from US gets a ITIN number.
  • A foreign student who gets nationality on the basis of number of years studied in USA gets an ITIN
  • US citizen’s dependent or spouse gets an ITIN number

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