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Level 2

Dependent without SSN

My step-son came to live with us in the US and immigration is taking too long to give him the SSN. I applied for an extension so I could buy more time but I have not received anything from immigration. Is it possible to send the IRS having a dependent without an SSN?

What would be the recommendation since having a dependent would change a lot my 2020 taxes?

2 Replies
Level 15

Dependent without SSN

without his SSN the IRS will deny you the right to claim him as a dependent. there is no way around this. your option is to wait. your return isn't due until 10/15/2021.   


Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number can't be used because evidently your stepson is eligible to receive an SSN.  paraphrased from form w-7 • Don’t submit this form if the applicant has or is eligible to get, a U.S. social security number.
Please note that for tax years 2018 through 2025, you may not claim the child tax credit on either your original or an amended return if your child doesn't have an SSN valid for employment before the due date of your return (including extensions). 


was an application for SSN submitted - form SS-5 - because it's the Social Security Adm that issues it.  if you are unsure contact them 1-800-772-1213

Opus 17
Level 15

Dependent without SSN

In order to receive the full $2000 child tax credit for 2020, as well as earned income credit if you are eligible, you must submit an on-time tax return that contains the Social Security number. An on-time tax return is one that is filed by October 15, if you received the extension, which you said you did.  For 2020 only, claiming a dependent with Social Security number will also get you the $1100 recovery rebate which represents the round 1 and round two of the economic stimulus. (And the child must be age 16 or less as of December 31, 2020.)


If you file before receiving the SSN, you can’t list your child as a dependent. If you file an amended return after receiving the SSN, you could receive the $500 credit for “other dependent” but you would not receive the full child tax credit or EIC or recovery rebate.  Or if you file an original return with the SSN but after October 15, you would receive the $500 other dependent credit but not the other credits and rebates.

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

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