Filing Taxes After Pregnancy Loss

How to Determine if You Should File for a Child Tax Credit

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Taxes are an inevitability. No matter what else is going on in your life, taxes need to be paid. Unfortunately, in the situation of pregnancy loss, this is no different. Pregnancy loss includes miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant death.

Filing Taxes After a Pregnancy Loss 

A loss of pregnancy is an extremely unfortunate situation that leads to a lot of despair, and potential questions.  After such a situation, the last thing anyone wants to think about is taxes, but they still need to be taken care of.

After a pregnancy loss, you may be confused about exactly what you are supposed to do on the tax form when it comes to listing dependents. 

There are a few variables to consider when it comes to filing taxes after a pregnancy loss. In some cases, you may be able to list your unborn child as a dependent for the tax year that the child was born, even if he or she did not survive. 

Normally, a child can only be listed as a dependent if he or she has a social security number, which most parents typically apply for at the time of birth of the child. However, if your baby was born and died within the same calendar year, you can use a birth certificate, death certificate, or even hospital records in order to list the child as a dependent. 

Important Things to Know:

  • Your child must be born alive according to the law of the state where you live.
  • A stillborn baby does not qualify.
  • You will need to provide a copy of the birth certificate and the death certificate if your baby does not have a social security number.
  • On the tax form, write DIED in the blank for your dependent’s social security number.
  • You can obtain a copy of your child’s birth and death certificates from the county where he or she was born.
  • It may take several weeks to obtain the necessary paperwork, so plan ahead or file for an extension if necessary.

    This article is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional financial advice regarding the filing of taxes, but rather to bring your attention to an issue you may need to investigate when filing your taxes. If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify for an exemption, you should contact a professional with expertise in taxes, like an attorney, or a certified public accountant (CPA).


    Internal Revenue Service “Publication 501”. Accessed: 16 Apr 2012.

    Tax Analysts “Having a Child” Life Events Database. Accessed: 16 Apr 2012.

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