Some tax preparers told us they are uncomfortable asking the probing, sometimes sensitive questions necessary to meet the due diligence knowledge requirement.
Consider using the forms IRS uses to request documentation during audits. Tell your clients here's what you need to support your claim if you are audited by IRS. Do you have these documents or can you get them? You don't have to review the documents, but if you do and you rely on the information to prepare an earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit or additional child tax credit (CTC/ACTC or an American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) claim, be sure to keep a copy either on paper or electronically. The forms are available in both English and Spanish.
For example, you could use the Form 886-H-EIC and/or the 886-H-EIC (Spanish Version), Documents You Need to Prove You Can Claim an Earned Income Credit on the Basis of a Qualifying Child or Children. Review the document with your client, showing the client the legal requirements a qualifying child must meet. Then, confirm with your client if they have or can get the supporting documents. Also, advise your clients to keep these important supporting documents for the three years after the due date of the return in case the IRS audits the tax return.
Other Forms 886, you may find useful in preparing your client's returns: