No, you cannot amend your 2016 tax return to use the new SSN and obtain the Child Tax credit if the SSN was issued after April 18, 2017. The law has changed since December 2015.
The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, P.L. 114-113, established new limitations for returns filed after Dec. 18, 2015. Section 204 of the PATH Act amended Sec. 32 to require that a taxpayer can use an SSN to obtain an EITC only if it was issued on or before the due date of the return involved. In the past, a taxpayer could file amended returns for up to three years to claim the EITC if the taxpayer was able to obtain an SSN. The new provision disallows retroactive filing of either amended or original prior-year returns to claim the EITC.
Similarly, Sections 205 and 206 of the PATH Act added limitations on claiming the child tax credit, including the additional child tax credit, and the American opportunity tax credit by providing that a taxpayer identification number can be used to claim those credits only if it was issued on or before the due date of the return. The new provisions do not specify whether the due date for these purposes is the original due date or the due date with a timely filed extension. The major impact of this change will be on taxpayers using newly issued ITINs. As is the case with the provision affecting the EITC, these provisions disallow retroactive filing of either amended or original prior-year returns that were due before issuance of the ITIN to claim the child tax credit or the American opportunity tax credit.
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