As for identification of persons, there are two different set of identification numbers in the U.S. The first one is the Social Security Number which can be obtained only if the person is a U.S citizen or a Green Card holder or holder of a visa that provides the person with a temporary residency in the U.S.
The other number is the Individual Tax Identification Number; which is abbreviated as ITIN. Instead of explaining who can obtain an ITIN, it is easier to define who cannot. Basically, anyone who cannot get a Social Security number (SSN), requires to obtain an ITIN for tax purposes. Yet still, we would like to present who can indeed obtain ITIN:
- Foreign individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security Number but have a tax liability in the U.S.
- Individuals who do not live in the US, who are not likely to obtain SSN; but, need a tax ID number for tax returns
- Individuals who came to the US for residency purpose and need to have a tax ID number for tax return
- Spouses and dependents of the US citizens and foreign individuals who went to the US for residency purposes and are not eligible to obtain an SSN and required to pay taxes
- Spouses and dependents of individuals who are not residents of the US but need to file taxes
As for the “right time to apply” for ITIN, it is essential to know why it is so important. ITIN is basically a TAX IDENTIFICATION number issued by the IRS. It is crucial for filing tax returns, therefore it is essential to apply for it as soon as possible, especially if you have tax filing obligations. Failing to comply with tax filings would result in severe penalties.