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What is an ATIN (Adoption Tax ID Number)?

An ATIN is a temporary nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are in the process of legally adopting a U.S. citizen or resident alien child but who cannot get an SSN for that child in time to file their tax return.

You may be able to use an ATIN on your tax return to take the following tax benefits based on the child:

  • Dependency exemption.
  • Credit for child and dependent care expenses.
  • Adoption credit.
  • Child tax credit.

How Long Can You Use an ATIN?

  • An ATIN issued to you for your adoptive child will expire 2 years from the date it is issued. You will receive a notice from the IRS 3 months before the expiration date to remind you that the ATIN will expire.
  • The notice will explain how you can apply for an extension if the adoption will not be final by the expiration date.
  • After the adoption is final, do not continue using the ATIN. Instead, you must use an SSN

Can I use ATIN to apply for EIC?

However, you cannot use an ATIN to claim the earned income credit (EIC). When the adoption is final and the child has an SSN, you can file an amended return for an earlier year if you could have claimed the EIC in the earlier year except for the fact that the child did not have an SSN.

Who Must File?

You must file for ATIN if all of the following apply:

  • You have a child living with you who was placed in your home for legal adoption by an authorized placement agency.
  • You cannot obtain the child’s existing SSN even though you have made a reasonable attempt to obtain it from the birth parents, the placement agency, and other persons.
  • You cannot obtain an SSN for the child from the SSA because, for example, the adoption is not final.
  • You are eligible to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return.

Do not file Form W-7A – Tax ID for Adoptions if the child is not a U.S. citizen or resident alien. Instead, apply for an ITIN using Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

What Documents to include with Form W-7A?

You must attach signed and dated documentation to Form W-7A to prove that the child was placed with you for legal adoption (not for foster care) by an authorized placement agency. In general, one of the following documents will satisfy this requirement:

  • A copy of the placement agreement entered into between you and an authorized placement agency.
  • A copy of the document signed by a hospital official authorizing the release of a newborn child from the hospital to you for legal adoption.
  • A copy of the court order or other court document ordering or approving the placement of a child with you for legal adoption.
  • An affidavit signed by the adoption attorney or government official who placed the child with you for legal adoption pursuant to state law.

Foreign adoptions.

In addition, if you adopt a foreign child with U.S. citizenship or resident alien status, include with your Form W-7A a copy of your child’s:

  • Permanent resident card (green card),
  • Certificate of Citizenship, or
  • Passport with “I-551” stamp.


W-7A – Tax ID for Adoptions

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