According to the IRS every infant one or more years old will require a social security number to be claimed for deduction on your taxes.
In recent years there has been a lot of emphasis placed on educating the public about social security numbers for newborns. This is perhaps because many people don't give much thought to applying for a number for their child.
Your child will need a social security number not only for tax purposes but for the following as well:
- Open a bank account
- Buy a savings bond
- Obtain Medical coverage
- Sometimes to apply for government or school services
However, it is important to note that getting a social security number for your child is strictly voluntary.
Scams have evolved in an effort for some to profit off of new parents, and even new brides. Parents would get letters shortly after the birth of their child explaining the benefits of having a social security number and that for $20 this company would obtain a number for the child. The company had official looking and sounding paperwork, and many parents feel for the scam.
How to Get a Card for Your Baby
Getting a social security number for you new baby is simple and easy for most people. If you are giving birth at most hospitals or birth centers you will be asked as you fill out the birth certificate information if you would like for them to apply for a social security card for you. Simply check yes, forget about it. The card will be mailed to the address that you provided.
If you are planning to give birth at home, simply ask when you are filling out the birth certificate information at the local Department of Vital Statistics. Many times they have the same program available.
If you choose, for whatever reason, to delay the process and apply later. All you need to do is to contact the local Social Security Office and provide them with the following information:
- Evidence of the child's age, identity and citizenship (Birth Certificate)
- Parent's social security numbers
- Evidence of your identity (Driver's license, etc.)
There is never a charge for obtaining a social security number. Even for a name change or a lost card. Contact the local Social Security office if you have lost the card. While it is illegal to misuse the numbers there are people who do so.
Remember to keep your baby's card in a safe place.