Social Security: Securing Social Security numbers for kids to claim as tax deductions |

Social Security: Securing Social Security numbers for kids to claim as tax deductions

There’s good news for tax filers in 2011. The due date for your 2010 Federal income tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2011, instead of the usual date of April 15. As you prepare your tax documents, don’t forget you’ll need Social Security numbers for your children if you want to claim them as dependents on your return.

In most cases, parents request a Social Security number for their child when applying for a birth certificate. The state agency that issues birth certificates shares the child’s information with us and we mail the Social Security card to you. However, if you didn’t apply for a number at the hospital, you must apply at a Social Security office or by mail. To do so you will need :

• A completed Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5);

• Original documents proving your child’s:

– U.S. citizenship;

– Age; and

– Identity; and

• Original documents proving your identity.

After you apply, we will verify the child’s birth record and mail your child’s Social Security card to you. If you do not get a Social Security number for your child before the April 18 tax filing deadline but you still need to claim the child as a deduction on your tax return, you can:

• File your income tax return without claiming the child and then file an amended income tax return when the child has a Social Security number; or

• File with the Internal Revenue Service to extend the deadline for filing your tax return.

Parents can claim their adopted child for tax purposes while the adoption process is still pending. You will need to contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions. We can assign your adopted child a Social Security number before the adoption is complete, but you may want to wait. Then, you can apply for the number using your child’s new name, with your name as parent.

Remember, a Social Security number is not just for taxes. Your child also may need a Social Security number for government benefits or other reasons, such as opening a bank account or obtaining medical coverage.

If you need to apply for your child’s Social Security card and number, now’s the time. To learn more, read our online publication, Social Security Numbers For Children, at

kathy petersen is the public affairs specialist for south dakota and eastern wyoming. you can write her c/o social security administration, 605 main, suite 201, rapid city, sd, 57701 or via e-mail at next week kathy provides answers to your questions in her popular “your questions, our answers” column.

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