Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public...

Tax questions

March 05, 1997

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.

Q.My wife and I are in the process of adopting a son, who has lived with us since February 1996. However, the adoption has not yet been finalized, and he doesn't have a Social Security number. Can we claim him as a dependent in 1996, or do we have to wait until he has a SS number and file an amended return?

A. Yes, you can claim a 1996 dependency exemption, assuming the child was placed with you by an authorized placement agency for legal adoption. However, a Social Security number is required to claim the dependency exemption. Request an SSN at a Social Security Administration office on Form SS-5. If the number is not available by the April 15 filing date, apply for an extension to file the return. Maryland law follows federal tax law; the Social Security number for a dependent is not reported on the form.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial at (410) 783-1800. Call 268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County and 848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after you hear the greeting.

Readers also can e-mail questions through The Sun's Web site --

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered by phone.

Pub Date: 3/05/97

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