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Article Archive >> Business

Social Security Column: Parent Reminder: Numbers Needed For Kids in Tax Season

Social Security Column
Parent Reminder: Numbers Needed For Kids in Tax Season
by Jeanette Watkins
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Baltimore MD

Here is some timely advice for new parents.
While tax season may seem far away, now is the time that many taxpayers start gathering records and documentation for filing tax returns. One of the most important things needed is a Social Security number for everyone who will be claimed as a dependent. Do your dependents have their numbers?
Today, most new parents apply for a Social Security number at the hospital when they apply for the baby's birth certificate. The state agency that issues the birth certificates shares the child's information with us, and we mail the Social Security card to the family. Anyone who doesn't apply for a Social Security card at the hospital can apply at any Social Security office, or by mail. If you are in this situation, you need to:
* Complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5); and
* Show documents proving your child's U.S. citizenship, age and identity. And you would also need to prove that you are the child's parent.
All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. It is also important to understand that we must verify your child's birth record, which can add up to 12 weeks to the time it takes to issue a card. We will mail your child's number and card as soon as we have verified your documents with the issuing offices.
If you do not get a Social Security number for your newborn before the April 15 tax filing deadline, you have two options:
1. 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
2. You can file with the Internal Revenue Service to extend the deadline for filing the tax return.
For more information about getting a Social Security card and number for your newborn, visit the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber, or contact us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

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