Difference Between EIN and TIN: EIN vs TIN Compared


EIN and TIN are numbers issued to individuals by the tax authorities and hold great significance for them as these numbers become identities of people when filing tax returns. Taxpayer Identification Number or the TIN is a generic term that is used by the IRS, and there are different types of numbers issued to people depending upon their profession. EIN is one such number that is required by business owners that employ workers. This is known as Employer Identification Number and serves the purpose of identification number when filing tax returns. This article attempts to throw light on the subject by taking a closer look at TIN and EIN.


The primary way to identify taxpayers across the country is by issuing them unique identification numbers. This unique number is called Taxpayer Identification Number and is simply referred to as TIN by both the IRS as well as common people. Though mostly assigned by the IRS, a TIN number can also be given to an individual by the Social Security Administration. A TIN number then can be the individual tax identification number called ITIN or just social security number of the individual. It can also be the employer identification number called EIN. Thus, an individual can make use of either of the several types of identification numbers that are issued by the IRS and the social security administration.


According to an act passed by IRS in 1974, all businesses in US are required to have EIN’s to be eligible to pay their workers and to file business taxes. Obtaining EIN is compulsory for a business as it allows a business to be considered as partnership, LLC, proprietorship, or any other structure that it may be interested to have for itself. EIN is similar to SSN, but it is used by businesses rather than individuals. Thus, EIN can be used by proprietors, corporations, trusts, partnerships, and even government agencies.

What is the difference between EIN and TIN?

• Nine digit unique numbers that IRS assigns to people are called taxpayer identification numbers (TIN) and these numbers are used to identify people when they file taxes.

• There are many different types of identification numbers issued by IRS and EIN is one of them.

• EIN is Employer Identification Number and is required by a business that employ workers.

• EIN or SSN is basically different names for the same tax identification purpose where TIN is the generic name, and it is ITIN or Individual Tax Identification Number that is commonly used for individuals.

• Most of the TIN’s are issued by the IRS, whereas it is the social security number that is issued by Social Security Administration.

• EIN is for businesses while ITIN is for individuals.

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