Handling Processing Errors

Duplicate Claim Errors

Returns may reject when IRS receives a tax return containing a claim for a child that has already been claimed on a previously filed return (a duplicate claim).  The first tax return claiming the qualifying child or children is allowed, if it passes normal screening criteria, because a duplicate condition does not yet exist.  When a subsequent return is filed using the same qualifying child, the return undergoes automated screening, using historical IRS information as well as information from external data sources related to EITC and dependent issues, to determine whether to allow the qualifying child claimed.

If an electronic return rejects, verify the eligibility requirements outlined in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, and Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, regarding dependents and EITC.  You may either:

  • File a paper return and claim the qualifying child, if you determine your client is eligible to claim the dependent and/or EITC, or
  • File an electronic return excluding the claim for the child.

 

Note:  The duplicate claim may be allowed if our records indicate the taxpayer is entitled to claim the qualifying child based on internal system checks.

Social Security Number Mismatch 

Each taxpayer, spouse, and any qualifying children must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to claim the EITC.

If a taxpayer or spouse’s SSN is invalid, missing or does not match the records from the Social Security Administration, the IRS may reject an electronic return or send the taxpayer a math error notice regarding the SSN error and EITC.

If the SSN for a qualifying child for EITC is invalid, missing or does not match the records from the Social Security Administration, the IRS will disallow EITC and send the taxpayer a math error notice regarding the SSN error and EITC.

If the electronic return rejects or the taxpayer receives a math error notice, you should verify the questioned SSNs.

  • If the SSN submitted on the original return was incorrect, submit a new return or respond to the math error notice with the correct SSN. 
  • If the SSN is correct, contact the Social Security Administration to correct any SSN and name mismatch and then respond to IRS with either a new return or response to the math error notice.

 

 In situations with SSN mismatches, IRS may also adjust the following credits and expenses:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Additional Child Tax Credit
  • Credit for Child & Dependent Care Expense

Math Error After Prior Year Disallowance of EITC

Taxpayers who were denied EIC in a prior year audit are required to show eligibility for EITC the next time they claim it on their return.  Taxpayers must attach Form 8862, Information to Claim Earned Income Credit after Disallowance, to the next return they file claiming EITC.  IRS may require additional information before EITC is allowed.

If a taxpayer does not attach Form 8862 to the return the next time they claim EITC, they will be denied EIC as a mathematical error.  If your client receives a math error notice requesting information that demonstrates eligibility for the EITC, you may either:

  • Respond to the math error notice by sending in Form 8862, Information to Claim Earned Income Credit after Disallowance or;
  • If after reviewing EITC eligibility requirements your client agrees he/she is not eligible to claim EITC, do nothing.

 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 04-Jun-2014