It is easy to get confused between ITIN number form W-7 and W-7A forms. There is a difference between both the forms- the W-7 form is used for an ITIN number and the W-7A form is for ATIN.
Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)
This is an identification number, which is issued by the IRS for temporary taxpaying identification for an adopted child when the adopting taxpayers are not able to retrieve the child’s SSN or in case, they do not have the rights to do so thru an ITIN number yet.
The adopting family uses the ATIN number for its income tax return, so that it is able to identify the child while the adoption decision is still pending. Those who are in process of adoption can claim the child being adopted as their dependant, they can also claim childcare credit, for which they need the ATIN for the child, later on they can get the ITIN number.
Eligibility for ATIN
You are required to qualify according to the following criteria to be eligible for ATIN:
- The Child has been granted to you legally and is living at your home legally
- The adoption is either a domestic adoption, or the adoption is of a foreign child/children who have a permanent resident alien status or a citizenship certificate
- You have not obtained the child’s SSN number
- The adoption has not been finalized and you have therefore not received the child legally yet
- The child can be claimed as a dependant on your tax returns
Adoption from another Country
The most common question is, do I need an ATIN if I am adopting child/children from abroad? Here is your answer. Yes, you can apply for an ATIN number if you are legally adopting a dependant from abroad.
You must complete the W-7A form in order to attain the ATIN.
When you apply for an ITIN number, the W-7 form asks you about your dependants. When you have been granted legal guardianship of a child or children, you may list them under your dependants. You can also claim childcare credit from this. However, certain rules may apply if you are adopting from abroad.
The sole purpose of an ITIN number is taxes; it has nothing to do with adoption at all. You just have to list the adopted child under dependant after you have been claimed as eligible for an ITIN number.
ITIN Number Application Process
W-7 form should be completed and sent to the IRS along with the required documents. This process may take up till 6 weeks. The IRS also has the TAC, Taxpayer Assistance Center, to help those who need assistance with any tax related procedures. A TAC agent can help you fill out the form and forward it to the IRS after completion. You can refer to the IRS website for the W-7 form. The IRS website also includes locations to the nearest TAC office. You can also mail, or personally deliver the documents.
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