Question
My daughter was born at the end of the year. We're still waiting for a social security number. May I file my return now and provide her social security number later?
Answer

If you file your return claiming your daughter as a dependent and don't provide her social security number (SSN) on your return, the IRS will disallow the dependency exemption.

You have two options:  

  1. You may file your income tax return without claiming your daughter as a dependent. After you receive her SSN, you may then amend your return on Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Generally, you have three years after the date you filed your original return or two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, to amend your return.
  2. The other option is to file a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This option would give you an additional six months to file your return; by then you should have your daughter's SSN. However, any tax owed will be due at the filing due date without the extension.

In addition to the dependency exemption for your newborn, you may be eligible to claim the earned income credit (EIC) and/or the child tax credit/additional child tax credit (CTC/ACTC). Please note that you can't count your child as a qualifying child in figuring the EIC on either your original or an amended return if your child doesn't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if your child later gets an SSN. You also can't claim the CTC/ACTC on either your original or an amended return, if your child doesn’t have an SSN, ITIN, or ATIN by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if your child later gets one of those numbers. For more information about taxpayer identification number requirements, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or the Instructions for Form 1040A.