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A TIN, also known as a taxpayer identification number, is a number assigned by a government body to identify certain entities for tax filing and other purposes. In most cases an individual uses their social security number as their TIN. Although the social security number is issued by the Social Security Administration, any other TIN will be issued by the IRS. A business must also obtain a TIN, sometimes referred to as an EIN, or employer identification number. Businesses can apply for a TIN by filing form SS-4 with the IRS. EINs are also the TIN for trusts or estates that receive income and need to file a form 1041 with the IRS. Other types of TIN are individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), used for nonresident or resident aliens; the ATIN is a TIN used for pending adoptions in the U.S.; and the preparer taxpayer identification number (PTIN), which is the TIN of an accountant, enrolled agent, or other paid tax preparer.

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