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Dependents & Exemptions

Question: I am adopting a child and don't yet have a social security number for the child. How can I claim an exemption for the child?


As a prospective adoptive parent in the process of adopting a U.S. citizen or resident, you'll need a taxpayer identifying number (TIN) to claim a dependency exemption and, if eligible, a child tax credit for the child who is being adopted. If as the prospective adoptive parent you don't have and are unable to obtain the child's social security number (SSN), you should request an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Please note that you can't claim the child tax credit on either your original or an amended return if your child doesn't have an SSN, ATIN, or ITIN by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if your child later gets one of those numbers.  

  • An ATIN is available if a child who is a U.S. citizen or resident is lawfully placed in your household for legal adoption. To obtain an ATIN, use Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. For more information, refer to the Form W-7A and to Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • If the child isn't a U.S. citizen or resident, and if the child qualifies as a dependent, a TIN is still required. To obtain an ITIN, use Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. For more information, refer to Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Additional Information:

Category: Filing Requirements, Status, Dependents, Exemptions
Subcategory: Dependents & Exemptions

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
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Washington, DC 20224