As an immigrant, no matter your status, you likely pay taxes. If you do not have a Social Security Number, you may have heard of an Individual Tax Identification Number. If you have not, it is time to learn.
The American Immigration Council breaks down ITINs. Understand how to legally pay taxes in the U.S. to adhere to the latest laws.
Without an SSN, you need some way to file taxes. ITINs replace SSNs for those deemed ineligible for SSNs. If you do not have lawful status in the U.S. but seek to change that, you need an ITIN to pay taxes. Having this number does not change your legal status or provide you with work authorization. Also, ITINs do not offer the same public or tax benefits as U.S. citizens, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Social Security benefits. That said, you could qualify for the Child Tax Credit if you have an ITIN.
Using ITINs for more than tax purposes
Once you have your number, you can use it for more than filing taxes. Should you ever need proof of how long you have been in the U.S., you can use a tax return form with your identification number. You can also use the number to open an interest-bearing bank account or secure a Colorado driver’s license. Know that your ITIN is not a way to enforce immigration; the IRS does not share such information.
Even if it is not tax season, you can still apply for an ITIN. Take yourself one step closer to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.