How to Get a TIN Number? | Bank Account Opening 101

In this article, weโ€™re exploring how to get a TIN number and how it relates to opening a bank account.

First, itโ€™s important to acknowledge that the process varies by country. However, the information shared below will be relevant across most jurisdictions and will help you start the process of obtaining a TIN for yourself.

This is part of our free series on account opening, including our free guide What Do You Need to Know to Open a Bank Account, which you can access here.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Get TIN Number
  2. What Is a TIN Number Used For?
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

How to Get a TIN Number?

The process to get a TIN number will vary depending on the country where you are applying. For example, to get a TIN number in the Philippines, the process can be completed online within three days. Comparatively, to get a US TIN number, a formal application needs to be submitted to the IRS.

Can A Foreigner Get a TIN Number?

Yes, a foreigner can get a TIN number in most countries around the world. As mentioned, the process to obtain a TIN number does vary. However, in almost all cases, an application needs to be submitted to the tax authority. Here are a few of the organizations responsible for issuing TINs in various countries.

  • United States: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Canada: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Philippines: Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
  • United Kingdom: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
  • Spain: Spanish Ministry of the Interior

Not surprisingly, the specific steps to apply for a tax identification number are different everywhere. For example, in certain countries, you can apply online while other countries require you to show up in person or mail a physical application.

In all cases, if you need to obtain a tax identification number in a specific country, you should confirm the exact requirements prior to starting the application process.

What Is a TIN Number Used For?

A TIN number is used for a wide range of activities related to taxes, reporting, and financial activities. For instance, in certain jurisdictions, a local TIN is required to purchase local property or make local investments. Other countries may require an individual to obtain a TIN prior to opening a local bank account. Hereโ€™s a look at a few specific reasons why someone might need a TIN.

Why Would I Need a TIN Number?

In most cases, foreigners obtain a TIN number in order to meet taxation and reporting requirements in the specific country issuing the TIN. This can relate to commercial activity in a country, local investments, or having a local business that has reporting requirements for the beneficial owners.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into how to get a TIN number. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch.

How Do I Get a US TIN Number?

To get a US TIN number, foreigners will need to submit Form W-7 which is the application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Completion of Form W-7 requires the applicant to substantiate that they are a foreign alien and requires validation of the applicantโ€™s identification.

Who Qualifies for a TIN Number?

In most countries, individuals can qualify for a TIN number if they have a clear requirement to report taxes, complete informational reports, own assets (like real estate), or own shares in a local company.

Is SSN the Same as TIN?

No, an SSN is not the same as a TIN. An SSN is a Social Security Number and is only available to certain US persons, which include US citizens as well as certain foreign nationals who qualify. On the other hand, an ITIN is only available to foreign nationals, including certain foreign residents of the United States and foreign non-resident aliens.

Requirements to Apply for a TIN Number in the Philippines?

To apply for a TIN number in the Philippines, applicants are required to submit BIR Form 1902, submit an acceptable form of identification, submit a copy of their birth certificate, and a copy of a local cedula. Additionally, foreigners will need to submit a copy of their passport.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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