26 CFR § 301.6109-3 - IRS adoption taxpayer identification numbers.
(a) In general -
(1) Definition. An IRS adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) is a temporary taxpayer identifying number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to a child (other than an alien individual as defined in § 301.6109-1(d)(3)(i)) who has been placed, by an authorized placement agency, in the household of a prospective adoptive parent for legal adoption. An ATIN is assigned to the child upon application for use in connection with filing requirements under the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder. When an adoption becomes final, the adoptive parent must apply for a social security number for the child. After the social security number is assigned, that number, rather than the ATIN, must be used as the child's taxpayer identification number on all returns, statements, or other documents required under the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder.
(2) Expiration and extension. An ATIN automatically expires two years after the number is assigned. However, upon request, the IRS may grant an extension if the IRS determines the extension is warranted.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section -
(1) Authorized placement agency has the same meaning as in § 1.152-2(c) of this chapter;
(2) Prospective adoptive child or child means a child who has not been adopted, but who has been placed in the household of a prospective adoptive parent for legal adoption by an authorized placement agency; and
(3) Prospective adoptive parent or parent means an individual in whose household a prospective adoptive child is placed by an authorized placement agency for legal adoption.
(c) General rule for obtaining a number -
(1) Who may apply. A prospective adoptive parent may apply for an ATIN for a child if -
(i) The prospective adoptive parent is eligible to claim a personal exemption under section 151 with respect to the child;
(ii) An authorized placement agency places the child with the prospective adoptive parent for legal adoption;
(iii) The Social Security Administration will not process an application for an SSN by the prospective adoptive parent on behalf of the child (for example, because the adoption is not final); and
(iv) The prospective adoptive parent has used all reasonable means to obtain the child's assigned social security number, if any, but has been unsuccessful in obtaining this number (for example, because the biological parent who obtained the number is not legally required to disclose the number to the prospective adoptive parent).
(2) Procedure for obtaining an ATIN. If the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section are satisfied, the prospective adoptive parent may apply for an ATIN for a child on Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending Adoptions (or such other form as may be prescribed by the IRS). An application for an ATIN should be made far enough in advance of the first intended use of the ATIN to permit issuance of the ATIN in time for such use. An application for an ATIN must include the information required by the form and accompanying instructions, including the name and address of each prospective adoptive parent and the child's name and date of birth. In addition, the application must include such documentary evidence as the IRS may prescribe to establish that a child was placed in the prospective adoptive parent's household by an authorized placement agency for legal adoption. Examples of acceptable documentary evidence establishing placement for legal adoption by an authorized placement agency may include -
(i) A copy of a placement agreement entered into between the prospective adoptive parent and an authorized placement agency;
(ii) An affidavit or letter signed by the adoption attorney or government official who placed the child for legal adoption pursuant to state law;
(iii) A document authorizing the release of a newborn child from a hospital to a prospective adoptive parent for adoption; and
(iv) A court document ordering or approving the placement of a child for adoption.
(d) Effective date. The provisions of this section apply to income tax returns due (without regard to extension) on or after April 15, 1998.