Tax return forms are full of abbreviations, and it can be hard to keep track of them all. There’s the EIN, AGI, CTC, HSA, SSN, TIN, EIC, AMT, IRA—the list goes on.
Some of the most common abbreviations that come up again and again, especially for a small business owner, are TINs (Federal Taxpayer Identification Numbers) and EINs (Employer Identification Numbers).
The two terms may look very similar in name, but is TIN the same as EIN?
In this article, we’ll be going over all of the similarities and differences between TINs and EINs and some common causes of confusion between the two.
TINs and EINs are not the same thing, but they’re often mixed up with one another.
Some of the reasons so many people wonder “is a TIN number the same as EIN” is because Employer Identification Numbers are sometimes referred to as Federal Taxpayer Identification Numbers.
This isn’t because the two terms are considered interchangeable, but because EINs are just one of many types of TINs.
A Taxpayer Identification Number is a business tax ID number that was designed to identify a person or an entity on tax return forms.
But TINs have expanded to fulfill a wide range of purposes beyond just taxes and can now be used when doing things like:
All TINs are unique numbers assigned to a person or entity by either the SSA or the IRS depending on the type.
There are five different types of TIN, all of which serve different purposes:
After seeing all the many types of TIN, you may be wondering when it’s appropriate to use an EIN for your Taxpayer Identification Number.
The IRS states that businesses that meet certain guidelines are required to have an EIN. This includes any business entity that:
People with sole proprietorship that do not meet the above guidelines are given the option to apply for an EIN if they choose, but are not required to use one. If they opt not to get an EIN, they may use their SSN as their TIN on their business tax forms.
We’re all about helping you stay on top of what government IDs you need and making sure you know exactly how to get them. Fill out our simple online SS-4 form to apply for an EIN Number today.
Our website also offers answers to questions like “how to find an EIN number,” “how to apply for an EIN number” and “what is an EIN number used for” on our site as well.