During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress provided more financial relief for taxpayers in the form of new or improved child care tax credits. In order to claim all of these, you must be able to demonstrate your proof of payment/expense for some costs.
To claim some child care expenses related to daycare, you'll need to provide the Tax ID number of your provider. Reviewing how to get a provider's Social Security number or Employer Identification Number (the two forms of Tax ID number daycare providers might use) will help you get the information you need to file your taxes properly.
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Consider also: What's Different About the 2021 Child Tax Credit?
What Are TINs?
When you or any business files a tax return, you'll need to provide your name or the business name, address and Tax Identification Number. While your name and address might change over the years, your TIN will not, so that's what the IRS uses to keep track of you.
For individuals, your TIN is your Social Security. For businesses, the TIN is the company's Employer Identification Number. Some daycare providers do not incorporate or obtain a provider EIN, so they use their Social Security number when doing business.
Consider also: Child Tax Credit: What Is It & How to Qualify
Why Do You Need Them?
You don't have to provide (attach to your tax return) receipts, contracts or other forms of proof for each deduction or expense you claim, but you should have that information available in case you're ever audited. In the case of claiming the Child and Dependent Care Credit, you will need to file IRS Form Form 2441, "Child and Dependent Care Expenses."
You will need to provide the daycare provider's TIN on that form. You can call and ask your provider for her TIN, or formally request this from your provider using IRS Form W-10, "Dependent Care Provider's Identification and Certification." That form requires you to provide each provider's name, TIN and street address and the provider's signature and date on the form.
Consider also: Child & Dependent Care Credit Requirements & Qualifications
Contact Your Provider
The easiest way to get your daycare provider's TIN is to contact her. If she is licensed, she should understand the rules for the Child Care Tax Credit and understand that, by law, she is required to give you her TIN.
State Daycare Tax ID Number Search
If you can't get your provider's TIN, contact your state's office that oversees and regulates child care providers. Tell them you need your daycare provider's TIN for Form W-10. If the state has that information and that information is public information record, the office will give it to you. There may even be a daycare tax ID number search function or EIN lookup in your state.
Contact the IRS
You might be able to get your provider's TIN by contacting your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. Follow the same procedure described above for contacting your state office.
No Provider TIN?
Some providers might move during the year and you won't be able to make contact with them. Others will refuse to give you their TIN, especially if they are working under the radar, don't want to declare their income and/or don't want to give out their Social Security number.
In the latter case, you can still file your taxes and claim the tax credit, but you must be able to show the IRS "due diligence" in trying to obtain the information, such as a certified or registered letter receipt. You can find out more about what constitutes due diligence by referring to IRS Publication 503.
Publication 503 explains that on Form 2411, on the line(s) where you are supposed to provide the provider's information, you should write "See Attached Statement" and then write a note explaining that your provider wouldn't provide a TIN upon your request. Write your name and Social Security number on this note. The IRS will then track down your provider.