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How Do I Know I Need A TIN?

Tax season can be stressful and confusing for many individuals. However, familiarizing yourself with the process, and giving yourself plenty of time to file can significantly improve your tax season experience. For instance, you should know that you will need a TIN, or tax ID number, to file your taxes. For most people who are employees, or who work as independent contractors, this is their social security number. However, in some cases, you may need to apply for a federal tax ID number. Here are a few reasons for needing a TIN:

Certain Independent Contractors: Certain independent contractors may choose to apply for an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, for their business. While independent contractors who work alone and own their business may not be required to apply for an EIN by law, having a corporate EIN number can have several benefits including identity protection and increased professionalism.

Partnerships and Incorporation: If you choose to incorporate your business, or take on a partner, you will need to apply for an IRS-EIN-Tax ID for that business entity. This requirement also holds for any small or large business that has employees. Once a TIN is issued, it will forever be linked to that business in the eyes of the IRS.

Individuals Who Cannot Use Social Security Numbers: If you cannot use your Social Security Number as your tax ID, you may need to apply for a tax ID number with the IRS. For instance, if you adopt a child who does not yet have a social security number, and wish to claim the child as a dependent, you can use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number for that child.

While the processes of filling your taxes can be complex, there are plenty of online resources, including irs.gov, to help guide you through the filing process.

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