Social Security Number (SSN)

All US citizens, when filing their US taxes, need a Social Security Number (SSN). It is also sometimes referred to as a Tax Identification Number (TIN). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), uses the Tax Identification Numbers (TIN’s) as an identification number for the administration of tax payers.
If you are an American living abroad, who needs to file, you will need a SSN, in order to complete your filing.

When to use a SSN

A SSN for US citizens must be declared on tax refunds, statements, and other tax related documents. For example your SSN must be declared, when filing your tax returns and when claiming treaty benefits. If you don’t have a Social Security Number you can contact the nearest central US office. This is not always your local consulate.

If your place of birth is in the US, then the waiting time can be longer then six months as your request will be processed in the US, domestically. If you were born abroad the waiting time is usually much shorter. Your request will then be processed in the country of your residence.

More information on obtaining an SSN can be found here. We recommend to always contact a tax professional to check that the SSN is the correct number you need for your filing.

How Americans Overseas can help you

Two dual nationals living abroad founded Americans Overseas. In the costly and exhausting process of finding the right experts, they realised they had not only accumulated a mountain of knowledge, but also built up a solid network of tax and legal experts. This could be of great benefit to others in similar situations. Americans Overseas informs and connects US persons to a select network of specialised US tax consultant to help them. This in order to avoid double taxation and become compliant.


The information on is meant as a helpful guideline. By no means should you take any action based on this advice. We always recommend that you consult a US tax expert.