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Houston Immigration Lawyers > Blog > Immigration > How Do You File Your Taxes As An Immigrant With No Social Security Number?

How Do You File Your Taxes As An Immigrant With No Social Security Number?


Many of the immigrants who are in the process of adjusting their legal status do not possess a social security number. Even though these immigrants may not possess a social security number, they must still file their taxes.

By being aware of how one can file their taxes, even if they have no social security number, it becomes much easier for immigrants to file their taxes. Doing so will prevent any tax-related problems from arising.

What Is An ITIN? 

Right before we can answer the question that serves as the title of this article, we must go over what, exactly, an “ITIN” is. And, with that in mind, an ITIN is an “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.”

Every ITIN is comprised of nine digits. The first number of an ITIN is always “9.” A variety of other numbers can be, and often are, used to comprise a single ITIN.

If an immigrant does not have a social security number, they can use their ITIN to file their taxes. Doing so will allow them to avoid any potential legal issues that arise from not filing one’s taxes.

Who Can Use An ITIN?

To allow those without social security numbers to file their taxes, the IRS began issuing ITIN’s in 1996. A variety of different people will need to use an ITIN, in order to file their taxes.

Some of the different groups of people that fall under this category are as follows:

  • Immigrants who must report their federal taxes, but do not qualify for a social security number.
  • Dependents and spouses of U.S. citizens/resident aliens.
  • Dependents and spouses of nonresident alien visa holders.
  • Nonresident aliens who are required to file U.S. tax returns.

Every single one of the groups outlined above – and various others – must rely on their ITIN to file a federal tax return. But, with that being said, it must be noted that an ITIN cannot be used to file one’s state tax return.

Rather, an ITIN is solely for federal tax returns. And, for this reason, immigrants, without a social security number, who live in different states must rely on different methods to file a tax return within their state.

Outside of the above, it is also worth noting that an ITIN can only be used within the federal tax system.

Someone who wishes to use their ITIN to obtain social security benefits or to obtain work in the United States will find that they are unable to do so, as an ITIN cannot be used for that purpose.

Speak With A Houston Immigration Lawyer Today 

Every immigrant must file their taxes. This is true, even if you, as an immigrant, do not possess a social security number.

Speak with a Houston immigration lawyer at BBA Immigration today and we will go over your status, as an immigrant, and assist you in determining if you need to use an ITIN to file your federal taxes.




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