tax identification numbers


There are several types of tax identification numbers available in the US. The most commonly used are social security numbers (SSNs), individual tax identification numbers (ITINs) and employer identification numbers (EIN). All three types are jointly known as taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) and contain nine digits. EINs have a slightly different format than the other two assigned to individuals. EINs take the form XX-XXXXXXX whereas SSNs and ITINs take the form XXX-XX-XXXX.

Any person other than an individual, such as corporations, partnerships, non-profit associations, trusts, estates, whether foreign or domestic, must use an EIN. In addition, an individual who is either a US or non-US citizen and is either an employer or self-employed must also use EIN on the returns, schedules, forms and documents with respect to his/her employer and self-proprietor role. EIN is necessary for completion of any certificates under the Tax Withholding and Reporting Requirements and FATCA (e.g., W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, etc.).

Foreign individuals who are not eligible to receive a US SSN must obtain a US ITIN when filing a US tax return or complete certain certification forms. There are a number of options of how an ITIN can be obtained, including the one through an acceptance agent, who is authorized to do so under a written agreement with the IRS. We have been authorized by the IRS to act as a Certifying Acceptance Agent to facilitate the processing of ITIN applications.

CRA mandates that all non-resident individuals, corporations and trusts who are either subject to filing of a Canadian income tax return, Canadian tax withholdings waiver or Taxable Canadian Property disposition reporting, must obtain a Social Insurance number (SIN), an individual tax number (TIN) or a temporary taxation number (e.g. business number (BN) for business entities). For individuals, a number can be obtained through completion and filing of Form T1261 and accompanied by certain proof of identity. For businesses, a number can be obtained through either the Business Registration Online (BRO) application or directly by visiting one of the designated tax service offices. We would be happy to assist you in obtaining an applicable taxpayer number.

To read information on the IRS and CRA website use the links below