Avoid Errors and Scams

Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of their tax return regardless of who prepares it. The rules for EITC are complicated, so taxpayers may want to seek assistance if they are unsure of their eligibility. Free tax help is available.
Some common EITC errors are:

  • Claiming a child who does not meet the relationship, age or residency tests.
  • Filing as "single" or "head of household" when married
  • Over or under reporting of income and or expenses to qualify for or maximize EITC
  • Missing Social Security numbers or Social Security Number and last name mismatches  for both taxpayers and the children


IRS continues to look for ways to reduce these errors. Taxpayers should reply promptly to any letter from the IRS requesting additional information about EITC. If taxpayers need assistance or have questions, they should call the number included in the IRS letter.


Beware of Scams

People should choose reputable tax preparers to assist them with their taxes.. A deliberate error can have lasting impact on' future eligibility to claim EITC. Beware of scams that claim to increase the EITC refund. Scams that create fictitious qualifying children or inflate income levels to get the maximum EITC could leave taxpayers with a penalty. If an EITC claim was reduced or denied after tax year 1996 for any reason other than a mathematical or clerical error, taxpayers must file Form 8862, Information To Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance, (English) or Form 8862 (Spanish), with their next return to claim the credit.