Today TaxMama hears from Manola on the TaxQuips site, who says, “I don’t get it. Isn’t the ITIN issued so that workers without a SS# can withhold, and pay, Income and Social Security taxes?”
That’s what many people seem to think the ITIN is for. Actually, the real purpose of the ITIN is to identify someone who doesn’t have a green card and doesn’t qualify for a Social Security Number.
It’s designed to make it possible for someone married to a non-resident to be able to file a tax return and include an identifying number for his or her spouse.
It’s designed for someone who wants to open a bank account or a brokerage account, or to invest in a partnership or corporation to be identified and tracked. It has a number of other tracking functions.
But, it is specifically not intended to be used as a substitute Social Security Number for someone who doesn’t have a legal work visa and, therefore, doesn’t qualify to work in this country.
Of course, that’s probably what it’s used for most often, as we all know, right?
After all, it beats using a phony SS number and giving some poor jerk heart palpitations when IRS asks him why he didn’t report income he never earned and didn’t know about.
And it certainly beats having all the illegal aliens working at the same company sharing the same SSN.
But, best of all, when these folks get ready to finally get their green card, they can prove they’ve been good, faithful, taxpaying and tax filing members of the community – even though they didn’t even have the right to work here. (I make sure all my aliens file tax returns so they’re always in compliance, even if they’re not legally here.)
Now, wouldn’t it be great if President Bush really pulled off a viable guest worker program before his term ends? Now, THAT would be a legacy!
Remember, you’ll find answers to questions about illegal aliens and all kinds of tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d get special tips that aren’t published anywhere else. Please click on the subscribe link and join us.]
- Ask TaxMama :: Where taxes are fun and answers are free
- TaxQuips #180 :: Employer Liability – and Manola’s question