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navimag
New Member

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?

We live overseas and have a baby daughter.  

 

We haven't been able to get her a social security number.  I claimed her as a dependent and listed her passport number instead.

 

When I tried to e-file, my return was rejected because I listed her as a dependent and she does not have a SSN on file that can be verified.  According to Turbotax, it is NOT possible to e-file without a matching SSN.  You have to print and mail such a return.  I want to e-file for simplicity.  

 

Due to the foreign earned income exclusion, there is NO TAX BENEFIT from claiming her as a dependent.    I deleted her from my return using Turbotax and the tax due is the same.

 

Therefore, for simplicity, I was going to just exclude her from our return so I can e-file.  

 

Is there any downside or risk to this?  Any potential future complications?

 

I was able to claim her as a dependent last year b/c I used an individual tax preparer who has different software that accepted the return without a social security number.  So she would be listed as s dependent for 2018 taxes, not listed for 2019 taxes, and presumably listed for 2020 taxes once we get a SSN for her.  

6 Replies
Opus 17
Level 15

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?

There's no downside to claiming a dependent in some years and not others.

 

I will take your word that there are no tax benefits for claiming a dependent, I haven't evaluated your particular circumstances.  Any tax benefits you could claim would require that you have the child's SSN and file by the deadline of an "on time" return, which this year is October 15 as long as you apply for an extension before July 15. 

 

You can't claim a dependent without an ITIN or SSN.  I don't know what your preparer did in 2018, but the IRS would not have given you credit for a dependent without a tax number.  

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Carl
Level 15

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?

For now, do not list her as a dependent and file your tax return. Once you have the SSN you can amend the return to add her, and get the $500 dependent tax credit.

 

navimag
New Member

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?

Ok, thank you.  I think this answers the question.  

 

And just to clarify, the only taxes that we owe are self-employment taxes.  

 

If I remove the dependent from the return, TT calculates the amount due is the same as if she is claimed as a dependent.  That's why I think it won't make a difference.

 

If there's anything else to consider, please advise.  

 

Thanks!

navimag
New Member

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?

Would the $500 tax credit provide any benefit if the only taxes due are self-employment income?

 

I posted a response before seeing this 2nd comment.  TT doesn't seem to calculate a benefit based on our situation - does that make sense?

Opus 17
Level 15

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?


@navimag wrote:

Would the $500 tax credit provide any benefit if the only taxes due are self-employment income?

 

I posted a response before seeing this 2nd comment.  TT doesn't seem to calculate a benefit based on our situation - does that make sense?


The dependent credit does not reduce SE taxes.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
navimag
New Member

Daughter does not have SSN and no tax benefit from claiming as a dependent; does it matter if I don't list her in the return ?

Great thank you for this.  

 

From Turbotax's email, I thought it is possible to file without a dependent's SSN if you do it by mail or perhaps--in the case of last year's return--using different software.

 

I don't know what software the tax preparer used last year that allowed the return to be accepted with a passport number instead of a SSN, but will the IRS reject any return without a SSN?

I ask b/c it's surprisingly hard to get a SSN in our situation, and who knows what will happen with the pandemic, so I might not otherwise have a SSN for our daughter by the time I file 2020 taxes.  This is the only reason to need it.

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