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A valid SSN or ITIN must be obtained by the extended filing deadline in order to receive certain credits on the 2016 return. For most calendar year taxpayers, the extended filing deadline for the 2016 return would be October 16, 2017, however there may be an exception if you are living out of the country. See IRS Publication 54 Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad for more information.

Due to these new requirements, returns completed using the TaxAct program (when the return is completed after the extended filing deadline), will generate a Yellow Alert warning of the new requirements and providing the ability to confirm that the SSN/ITIN was obtained by the extended filing deadline of the return. 

Below are steps to access the Q&A Interview section where you can make or modify entries (i.e. if you indicated that you did not have a valid SSN or ITIN by the due date, but you actually did have one or if you need to indicate that you did not have a valid SSN or ITIN):
  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click on the Federal tab. On smaller devices, click the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner, then select Federal
  2. Scroll down and click Miscellaneous Topics in the middle of the screen to expand the category and then scroll down and click No SSN by Due Date
  3. Select No SSN for taxpayer or spouse  OR  No SSN for dependent(s)
  4. Read the information on the screen and either check or uncheck the box as appropriate for your situation and then click Continue to save the changes (for the dependent section you would first need to click Review for the dependent you are needing to access to see the check box).  Note:  Checking the box indicates there was NOT a valid SSN, ITIN or ATIN by the due date of the return (including extensions).  If there WAS a valid SSN, ITIN or ATIN, make sure the box is unchecked.


Additional Information:

Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Per the IRS 1040 Instructions, page 58:

Social security number (SSN). For the EIC, a valid SSN is a number issued by the Social Security Administration unless “Not Valid for Employment” is printed on the social security card and the number was issued solely to allow the recipient of the SSN to apply for or receive a federally funded benefit. However, if “Valid for Work Only With DHS Authorization” is printed on your social security card, your SSN is valid for EIC purposes only as long as the DHS authorization is still valid.

To find out how to get an SSN, see Social Security Number (SSN) near the beginning of these instructions. If you won't have an SSN by the date your return is due, see What if You Can't File on Time?

If you didn't have an SSN by the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions), you can't claim the EIC on either your original or an amended 2016 return, even if you later get an SSN. Also, if a child didn't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), you can't count that child as a qualifying child in figuring the EIC on either your original or an amended 2016 return, even if that child later gets an SSN.


Additional Child Tax Credit

Per the IRS Schedule 8812 Instructions:

Taxpayer identification number needed by due date of return. If you do not have a social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) by the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions), you cannot claim the child tax credit or the additional child tax credit on either your original or an amended 2016 return, even if you later get an SSN or ITIN. Also, neither credit is allowed on either your original or an amended 2016 return for a child who does not have an SSN, ITIN, or IRS adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if that child later gets one of those numbers.

If you apply for an ATIN or ITIN on or before the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions) and the IRS issues you an ATIN or ITIN as a result of the application, the IRS will consider your ATIN or ITIN as issued on or before the due date of your return.


American Opportunity Credit

Per the IRS Form 8836 Instructions:

Taxpayer identification number needed by due date of return. If you don’t have a taxpayer identification number (TIN) by the due date of your 2016 return (including extensions), you can’t claim the American opportunity credit on either your original or an amended 2016 return, even if you later get a TIN. Also, the American opportunity credit isn’t allowed on either your original or an amended 2016 return for a student who doesn’t have a TIN by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if that student later gets a TIN.


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