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On December 18, 2015 the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This bill permanently extended various expired tax provisions and also made some changes that affect the Child Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Credit and the Earned Income Credit.

While clicking the link above will allow you to review the entire bill from the U.S. Government Printing Office website, below are the specific sections relating to the 3 credits and the inability to claim the credits retroactively if proper identification numbers are not available in the year the return needs to be filed (this information starts on approximately page 840 of the document).

In summary, you are no longer able to file amended returns (or file the original return after the due date of the return) in order to claim any of these credits if you do not, by the due date of the return, have the proper identification numbers to claim the credit (i.e. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (or ITIN) for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the American Opportunity Credit (AOC) and Social Security Number (or SSN) for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC)).

SEC. 204. PREVENTION OF RETROACTIVE CLAIMS OF EARNED INCOME CREDIT AFTER ISSUANCE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 32(m) is amended by inserting ‘‘on or before the due date for filing the return for the taxable year’’ before the period at the end.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendment made by this section shall apply to any return of tax, and any amendment or supplement to any return of tax, which is filed after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) EXCEPTION FOR TIMELY-FILED 2015 RETURNS.—The amendment made by this section shall not apply to any return of tax (other than an amendment or supplement to any return of tax) for any taxable year which includes the date of the enactment of this Act if such return is filed on or before the due date for such return of tax.

SEC. 205. PREVENTION OF RETROACTIVE CLAIMS OF CHILD TAXCREDIT.

(a) QUALIFYING CHILD IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.—Section 24(e) is amended by inserting ‘‘and such taxpayer identification number was issued on or before the due date for filing such return ’’before the period at the end.

(b) TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.—Section 24(e), as amended by subsection (a) is amended—

(1) by striking ‘‘IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.—No credit shall be allowed’’ and inserting the following: ‘‘IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.—

‘‘(1) QUALIFYING CHILD IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.—No credit shall be allowed’’, and

(2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

‘‘(2) TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.—No credit shall be allowed under this section if the identifying number of the taxpayer was issued after the due date for filing the return for the taxable year.’’.

(c) EFFECTIVE DATE.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to any return of tax, and any amendment or supplement to any return of tax, which is filed after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) EXCEPTION FOR TIMELY-FILED 2015 RETURNS.—The amendments made by this section shall not apply to any return of tax (other than an amendment or supplement to any return of tax) for any taxable year which includes the date of the enactment of this Act if such return is filed on or before the due date for such return of tax.

SEC. 206. PREVENTION OF RETROACTIVE CLAIMS OF AMERICANOPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 25A(i) is amended—

(1) by striking paragraph (6), and

(2) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following new paragraph:

‘‘(6) IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS.—

‘‘(A) STUDENT.—The requirements of subsection (g)(1) shall not be treated as met with respect to the Hope Scholarship Credit unless the individual’s taxpayer identification number was issued on or before the due date for filing the return of tax for the taxable year.

‘‘(B) TAXPAYER.—No Hope Scholarship Credit shall be allowed under this section if the identifying number of the taxpayer was issued after the due date for filing the return for the taxable year.’’.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATES.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendment made by subsection (a)(2) shall apply to any return of tax, and any amendment or supplement to any return of tax, which is filed after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) EXCEPTION FOR TIMELY-FILED 2015 RETURNS.—The amendment made by subsection (a)(2) shall not apply to any return of tax (other than an amendment or supplement to any return of tax) for any taxable year which includes the date of the enactment of this Act if such return is filed on or before the due date for such return of tax.

(3) REPEAL OF DEADWOOD.—The amendment made by subsection (a)(1) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.


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