An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

TIN Number

What Is a TIN Number?

A TIN number (Tax Identification Number) is a general term to describe any identification number that is used by the IRS in the administration of tax laws. A TIN is required when filing tax returns, when claiming treaty benefits, or for other tax-related documents such as statements, returns, and withholding certificates.

TIN numbers that are used by the IRS include:

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How Can I Get a TIN Number?

The steps for obtaining a TIN number depends on the type:

How Can I Find My TIN Number?

To find out your TIN number, check your records. An EIN may be listed on a W-2, invoice, receipt, or letterhead. Another place to look for an EIN is on a company website on the “About” or “Legal Information” page. Alternatively, you can call either your bank or your accountant/payroll administrator and ask for it. Other ways to find an EIN is to use an online search for a directory of active EINS, contact the IRS directly, or hire a private investigator to find it.

If you’re looking for an employee’s Social Security Number, request that they show you their card or ask your payroll administrator.

Is a TIN Number the Same as an EIN (Employer Identification Number)?

An employer identification number is a type of tax identification number (TIN). An EIN is used by employers to open a business bank account, apply for a business loan, for business licenses and permits, and for reporting and paying federal payroll taxes.

Your business needs an EIN if you:

You also need an EIN if you are involved with:

There are times when you will be required to get a new EIN, such as when changing your business entity for when filing for bankruptcy.

Is a TIN Number the Same as an SSN (Social Security Number)?

A social security number is a type of tax identification number (TIN). It is the most commonly used TIN by individuals and by employers who are reporting the annual income of employees to the IRS for their income tax returns.

A social security number is used by an employer to verify an employee’s identity. The reasons to verify are as follows: