Form 886-H-EIC Toolkit - Next Steps for Qualified

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First Step - Review your notes or the checklist to make sure your qualifying child or children qualify you for the EITC with a qualifying child. The child (or children) must meet the three tests: relationship, residency and age.

Second step. This toolkit only addresses the EITC. Refer to your audit letter for any other items under audit and gather all other copies of the needed documents. Be aware that the documents you gather to prove the EITC may support other audit issues. For example, you gathered the documents showing your child lived with you for more than half of the year, the child’s age, and the child’s relationship to you. If you are also under audit for the dependency exemption or another credit, you don’t need to gather additional documents to relationship, residency and age. Just provide the items to show you supported the child under the qualifying child part and also the divorced, legally separated, or living apart from the other parent of the child claimed on your return if it applies to you.

Also, you may agree with parts of the audit and disagree with other parts. For example, IRS questioned the EITC you claimed and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). You have the documents to show you can claim the EITC for two of the three children you claimed and for the AOTC. Or you found you don’t qualify for the EITC with a qualifying child but you do qualify for EITC without a qualifying child. If you partially agree, follow the directions on this page. Don’t sign the agreement page of the audit letter if you don’t totally agree.

  1. Send us all your supporting documents at one time, so we can close your case quickly.
  2. The fastest way to make sure the right office gets the information is to fax the IRS the documents. Use the FAX number on the notice. Otherwise, you can mail the information to us at the address given on the notice.
  3. Return the response form along with all your supporting documents, so we can easily match the information to your audit case.
  4. Attach extra sheets if you need to write down any additional information you believe we need to close your case. For example, if you can’t get the Form 1098-T for the AOTC, let us know why. Also, if the documents you send us aren’t the usual ones listed on the Forms 886-H, explain why and how they show your child meets the requirements. If you agree with parts of the audit but disagree with other parts, write detailed notes on why you agree or disagree.
  5. If the document is not in English, you must send a legal translation.
  6. If you don’t qualify for the EITC with a qualifying child but do qualify for the EITC without a qualifying child (see Qualifying for EITC Without a Qualifying Child), let us know on the response form to give you the EITC.
  7. Don’t sign the agreement page of the audit letter if you don’t totally agree.


You may qualify for low cost or free help from a Low-Income Tax Clinic and you have rights during an audit. See Your Rights During an Audit and More Resources.


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