Q&A: Social Security Number Requirements

Who needs a Social Security number?

For the EIC:
To claim the EIC, valid Social Security numbers must be provided for each filer listed on the tax return and any child claimed for the EIC, including infants born before December 31 of the year. Only valid Social Security numbers issued to U.S. citizens or Social Security numbers issued to non-citizens who have permission to work legally in the United States are acceptable.

For the CTC:
To claim the CTC, workers and qualifying children must have either a valid Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

For more information on ITINs, see the Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers fact sheet at www.eitcoutreach.org.

Workers who don’t have Social Security numbers for their children by the tax filing deadline can still get the EIC or CTC by:
  • Filing their tax return without claiming the credits and then, after receiving the Social Security number, filing an amended return (Form 1040X) and attaching Schedule EIC (and Schedule 8812 if required for the CTC).
    OR
  • Filing Form 4868 to request an extension on their tax-filing deadline to October 15.
    To have an application for a Social Security number sent to your home, call 1-800-772 -1213. Or call the Social Security Administration office in your state to find out how to apply.