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Understand the difference between a Social Security number and Individual Taxpayer Identification number

by Intuit Updated 3 months ago

Learn about Social Security numbers (SSN) and Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers (ITIN) for payroll.

When you hire a new team member, they should complete an I-9 form and provide the appropriate documentation listed on the form to verify they can work in the U.S. legally.

Employees must have a valid Social Security number for payroll

You're required to collect each employee’s name and Social Security number. This info goes on your employees' W-2s and often times State Unemployment Insurance tax forms. At the end of the year, you need to send a copy of the W-2s to the Social Security Administration where names and Social Security Numbers are matched.

People with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) are not eligible for U.S. employment

Don't use an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and non-US citizens who aren't eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes. An ITIN starts with a "9" and is formatted like a Social Security number (NNN-NN-NNN).

Visit the IRS website for more details.

Our payroll services don't accept ITINs when adding employees.

If you have an employee on an H2A Visa for agricultural work, they'll need to get a Social Security Number for work purposes and to use our payroll services. This is so the Social Security Administration doesn't reject their W-2.

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