Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number

Here are some commonly asked questions on adoption taxpayer identification number.

Q: What is an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number?

A: The IRS issues an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) when the adopting parents in a domestic adoption do not have or cannot obtain the social security number of the child. The adopting parenting can use this number on their federal tax returns to identify the child.

Q: Who should apply for an ATIN?

A: Adopting parents in a domestic adoption who do not have or cannot obtain the social security number of the child being adopted must apply for an ATIN.

Q: Why is an ATIN required?

A: If you provide a person’s name on your federal tax returns, you must provide an identifying number for that person. It is possible that during the adoption process, the adoptive parents could not find the social security number of the child. To claim the child as a dependent, the adoptive parents must apply for an ATIN. ATIN is also required for claim child tax credit.

Q: Should I apply for an ATIN?

A: If you are an adoptive parent, you should apply for an ATIN if:

• You can claim the child as a dependent
• The adoption is yet to be finalized and you cannot obtain the child’s social security number
• The child is legally placed with you
• The adoption is a domestic adoption

Q: Is an ATIN required for an international adoption?

A: No. In case of an international adoption, the adoptive parents must apply to the Social Security Administration for a social security number for the child by providing the necessary documents obtained from the USCIS.

Q: How do I apply for an ATIN?

A: The Application must be made on Form W-7A. You can get this form from any IRS office or its website.

Q: How long can I use the ATIN?

A: Once the adoption is finalized, the adopting parents must apply for a social security number for the child. Once the child receives a social security number, the adoptive parents must inform the IRS of the social security number. The IRS will then cancel the ATIN. The ATIN is automatically canceled after two years if the adoptive parents do not take any steps to get a social security number for the child.

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