Can I file a tax return if I don't have a SSN or ITIN for my child?

Modified on Tue, 31 Jan 2023 at 08:19 PM

If your child is a non-citizen of the US, you can file a tax return for them without an SSN or TIN by requesting an ITIN. You can request an ITIN at the time you file your tax return.

In order to file your taxes and claim a dependent, you’ll need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). If you don’t, you’ll need to request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. 

If your dependent does not have an SSN or TIN, however, then you must also request an ITIN for them in order to claim them on your tax return and claim certain tax credits and deductions, like the Child Tax Credit.

To do this, you’ll file IRS tax form W-7 and mail it in to the IRS along with your completed tax return. You’ll need to provide documentation of you and your dependent’s identity and residency status. You cannot request an ITIN online.

The IRS also has help available to walk you through this process, especially if you’re an immigrant who is new to the US tax filing procedure. You can visit or make an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center or get connected with an agent through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) to get help requesting an ITIN or filing a tax return.

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