With limited exceptions, an individual must provide a Taxpayer Identification Number
(TIN) to a financial institution for an account or other monetary transaction (loan,
mortgage, stock or bond purchase) for tax purposes. The TIN may be either the SSN
assigned to the individual, when applicable, or an ITIN assigned by the IRS.
If the alien has been present in the U.S. for less than 6 months, he or she is exempt
from providing a TIN for banking purposes and should ask the financial institution
for Form W-8 (Certificate of Foreign Status). IRS assigns ITINs for banking purposes
to aliens not authorized to work who have been present in the U.S. for 180 days or
more. However, SSA does not assign SSNs solely for this purpose.