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Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) A general term referring to any of the numbers issued by the IRS or Social Security Administration to identify taxpayers. For individual filers, this usually refers to the taxpayer's Social Security Number or ITIN (if the taxpayer does not have an SSN). Other TINs include the identification numbers listed below, as well as the Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN).

Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) A 6-digit identification number assigned by the IRS to accepted applicants for participation in IRS e-file. NOTE: Used in conjunction with an 8-digit password in TaxACT.

Electronic Return Originator (ERO) An Authorized IRS e-file Provider that originates the electronic submission of returns to the IRS.

Electronic Transmitter Identification Number (ETIN) A 5-digit identification number assigned by the IRS to a participant in IRS e-file that performs activity of transmission and/or software development. NOTE: TaxACT has an ETIN. If a customer will not transmit their own returns directly to the IRS, they will not use their ETIN.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) The EIN is a 9-digit number that the IRS issues. It is used to identify the tax accounts of employers and certain others who have no employees.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) A 9-digit tax processing number that became available on July 1, 1996, for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents. The ITIN is only available from the IRS for those individuals who cannot obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). To obtain an ITIN, complete IRS Form W-7 Application for IRS Individual Identification Number.

Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) An 8-digit identification number which must also contain either a P or an S at the beginning. These are used if a paid preparer does not want to disclose their Social Security Number (SSN) on the returns they prepare. If they use a PTIN, they will meet the requirement under IRC section 6109(a)(4) of furnishing their identifying number on returns they prepare. The PTIN cannot be used in place of the Employer Identification Number (EIN) of the tax preparation firm.

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