Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN): Rules for Employees and Fellows


The Internal Revenue Service Code requires any person working in the U.S. to provide a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to his or her employer. This is the employee's Taxpayer Identification Number required by the federal government for reporting purposes. If the employee does not have a Social Security Card, he or she must file an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) with the Social Security Administration (SSA) within seven days of beginning employment. Temporary Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) may be assigned by operating locations to new employees who do not have a valid SSN. The Research Foundation (RF) is required to report valid SSNs on year-end tax statements.

Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation 31.6011 (b)-2, requires an employee to show a Social Security Card to ensure name and number is correct. If an employee has a Social Security Number but cannot provide the Social Security Card when asked, the employee must show the card "promptly thereafter." If the employee does not have a Social Security Number (SSN), you must inform the employee that they must apply for a Social Security Number (for more information, refer to "Obtaining a Valid Social Security Number (SSN)") and present the card to you when received.


Although a fellow is not an employee, payments to fellows are made through the Payroll process. Therefore, if a fellow does not have a valid TIN, he or she must be assigned a temporary TIN until a valid number is received. A fellow who is not eligible for a SSN must apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS. The RF is required to report valid TINs on year-end tax statements.

Important Note: Employees must have a SSN, therefore, if a fellow has an ITIN and is later employed, they must obtain an SSN. HR records in Oracle must be updated with the SSN.

Determining If an SSN is Invalid

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides guidelines for determining if an SSN is invalid. The SSN is divided as follows: the area number (first three digits), group number (fourth and fifth digits),
and serial number (last four digits). To determine if an SSN is invalid consider the following:

Temporary Taxpayer Identification Numbers

Because of prompt payment laws, the Research Foundation will permit appointments to the Research Foundation payroll to be processed for an employee waiting for a Social Security Number. These employees must provide a copy of their completed application (e.g., Form SS-5) as proof of application for a SSN. Operating locations may assign a temporary TIN to the employee's record until a valid number is received. Operating locations must inform persons with temporary tax identification numbers that they must apply for a SSN from the Social Security Administration within seven days of their employment start date.

Temporary numbers must be

Related Procedures

Change History



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