So as I’m trolling the internet so I can start trying to figure out what our taxes might look like this year I come across this at The Nest:
Unfortunately, you can only claim a child as your dependent if you know her Social Security number. You must include this in your tax return. These numbers are not always available to foster parents because of privacy concerns. Therefore, even if your foster kids meet all IRS qualifications as your dependents, you may not be able to claim them.
Um … what? I thought that I understood that #1 foster care payments are not taxed and #2 you can claim the child that’s in foster care as a dependent. I have wondered several times about how all this would work with no social security number, so I was pleased to finish reading the paragraph on The Nest to find out:
If you’re in the process of adopting your foster child, however, this changes. You can apply to the IRS for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification number that you can use on your return in lieu of the child’s Social Security number.
I head on over to the IRS website and find a whole page about this Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number program:
The following are Questions and Answers (Q&A) regarding the ATIN program.
The Q&A provides information to taxpayers who need a taxpayer identification number for a child who has been placed in their home pending final adoption.
I also see that there is a little form W-7A to fill out:
Use this form to apply for an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) for a child who is placed in your home for purposes of legal adoption. Do not use this form if you will be able to obtain a social security number (SSN) for the child in time to file your tax return. Use Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, if the child is not a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
I’m going to ask our adoption worker if we can have access to his social security number of is she wants us to request an adoption taxpayer identification number. Glad to see that this might be easier than I thought.