An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) is issued by
the IRS as a temporary identification number for an adoptive child.
This number is assigned when the adopting taxpayers are unable to
obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) for the child.
An ATIN is not intended to be a permanent identifying number; it
will expire two years after the date of issue or when you receive a
valid SSN for the child. Once the adoption is final, you should
apply for an SSN for the child.
When you get the SSN, notify the IRS. If the adoption is not
final before the ATIN expires, you can apply for an extension. Six
months before the end of the two-year period, you will receive
instructions from the IRS on how to apply for an extension.
You cannot claim the child as a dependent or claim any childcare
expenses for the child without an identifying number.
You should apply for an ATIN only if you are in the process of
adopting a child and all the following are true:
To apply you must file Form
W-7A. To file this form you will need:
Placement documentation is the signed documentation that places
the child in your care for legal adoption. The type of
documentation varies by state. All documentation types should
clearly establish the child was placed in your home by an
authorized adoption agency for the purpose of adoption.
Generally, this documentation can be any of the following:
Regardless of which type of documentation is used, it must
Do not attach original documents when filing Form W-7A. A copy
of the documentation is acceptable. The IRS will not return any
An ATIN is not valid for claiming the Earned Income
Credit (EIC). If the child qualifies you for EIC, you can file
an amended return after you get the child's SSN.
It takes about 4-8 weeks to receive an ATIN after you submit
Form W-7A. If you have not received the ATIN after 8 weeks, contact
the IRS at (512) 460-7898.