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The IRS issues tax identification numbers (ITINs) to aliens and non-residents, spouses, and dependents who are not eligible for a Social Security number. ITINs are in the format of Social Security Numbers (XXX-XXX-XXXX) and begin with 9. To obtain a tax identification number, an applicant must submit Form W-7 and proof of residency. Universities, banks and auditing firms help applicants to obtain an ITIN, among other things.

What is an ITIN used for?

An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) but are required to file taxes in the United States. It helps them comply with U.S. tax rules and provides a way for the IRS to process and account for tax returns and payments. It’s important to note that an ITIN is not a work authorization or immigration status, and it does not grant any legal status or eligibility for any federal or state benefits, including Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit. It is only used for federal tax purposes and it is mandatory to renew it every five years if it’s not used on a tax return for five consecutive years, or if the ITIN holder receives a SSN.