Difference between SSN & ITIN, what does SSN or ITIN mean, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, Social Security Number, Ebizfiling.

Key differences between Social Security Number (SSN) and individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)


In the United States, identification is important when it comes to filing taxes or availing government benefits. The two most common types of identification used by taxpayers are the Social Security Number (SSN) and the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Although both of these are used for tax purposes, there are some key differences between the two.

What do SSN & ITIN mean?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique nine-digit identification number assigned to citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens by the Social Security Administration (SSA). An SSN is required for various purposes, such as obtaining a job, applying for a bank account or credit card, and filing taxes.


An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), on the other hand, is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who are not eligible for an SSN but have a tax filing requirement. This includes non-resident aliens, foreign nationals, and their dependents who earn income in the United States.

What are the 6 Key differences between ITIN & SSN?


Social Security Number

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number


Only US citizens, permanent residents, and certain non-citizens are eligible for an SSN.

ITINs are issued to non-citizens who have a tax filing requirement for Company Registration in USA.


SSNs are primarily used for identification and benefits purposes

ITINs are used solely for tax filing purposes.


SSN is valid for a lifetime.

ITIN must be renewed every five years.


SSNs are nine digits long and are formatted as XXX-XX-XXXX.

ITINs are also nine digits long but are formatted as XXX-XX-XXXX.

Application Process

An SSN can be obtained by filling out an application and providing the required documents.

ITIN requires a longer application process, including submitting original documents or certified copies.


SSNs are required for several government benefits, such as Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.

ITINs do not provide eligibility for government benefits, except for the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Can you use ITIN instead of SSN for work? 

ITINs are primarily used for tax purposes and cannot be used in place of an SSN for employment or other purposes. However, some individuals who are not eligible for an SSN may use their ITIN to apply for a driver’s license or open a bank account. It is important to note that an ITIN does not provide work authorization in the United States.


In conclusion, while both the SSN and ITIN are used for tax purposes, they have different eligibility criteria, purposes, and benefits. It is essential to understand the differences between the two to ensure compliance with tax regulations and to avail of government benefits.

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Author: siddhi-jain

Siddhi Jain (B.A.LLB) is a young and passionate Content Writer at Ebizfiling Private Limited. She enjoys reading and writing about legal topics and simplifying complex legal concepts for a wider audience. Her goal is to continue growing as a content writer and to become a subject matter expert in legal and business topics.

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