Form 886-H-EIC Toolkit - Relationship Test

How are You Related?

This is the Relationship Test. To meet this test, you must show the child or children you listed on your Schedule EIC is related to you in one of the ways listed below.

Choose the relationship that applies to you and the child you claimed.

If you have explored all the relationships and find your child isn’t one of the qualifying relationships, you don’t qualify you for the EITC. The qualifying child must meet all the tests; relationship, residency and age. Make a note or mark the checklist that the child didn’t meet the relationship test.

If you have another child listed on the Schedule, EIC return to How are You Related?.

If no other child, go to Next Steps--I Don’t have a Qualifying Child for the EITC.

 

How can you show the child is your son, daughter or adopted child?

Do you have a birth certificate for the child with your name as the parent?

Yes, you need to provide a copy of the birth certificate for the child with your name as the mother or father. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

If no, what else do you have?

DNA Report showing you are the parent of the child? You need to provide a copy of the DNA report.

Document from a court or an agency showing you are the parent of the child? You need to provide a copy of that document.

Adoption papers showing you are the parent? You need to provide a copy of the adoption papers.

If you have or can get any of the documents listed above, make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

If you don’t have any of the documents listed above; and you are the parent by a blood relationship and you have other documents to show you are the parent, call the number on your notice for help.

If you are not the parent by a blood relationship, return to How are You Related? and see if you are related to the child in another way.

How can you show the child is your grandchild? First, show how you are related to your grandchild’s parent. Then, show how that parent is related to your grandchild.

Do you have or can you get a birth certificate for your grandchild’s parent (your son or daughter) showing that you are the mother or father? And, do you have a birth certificate for your grandchild showing your child as the mother or father?

If the answer is yes to both questions, you need to provide a copy of both birth certificates. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

If the answer is no to either question, provide the birth certificate you do have or you can get one of the following:

  • DNA report showing that you are the mother or father of your grandchild's parent
  • DNA report showing your child as the mother or father of your grandchild
  • Document from a court or an agency showing that you are the mother or father of your grandchild's parent
  • Document from a court or an agency showing your child as parent of your grandchild
  • Adoption papers from a court or an agency for the grandchild’s parent showing that you are the adoptive mother or father of your grandchild's parent
  • Adoption papers showing your child as the adoptive parent of your grandchild

If you have or can get one of the birth certificates and one of the documents listed above, provide a copy of the birth certificate and the document to the IRS. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

If you don’t have either of the birth certificates, you can send one of the listed documents showing you are the mother or father of the grandchild’s parent and another showing your grandchild is the child of your son or daughter. You need to prove both relationships, and if you have or can get the two documents, make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

If you don’t have or can’t get the documents listed above to show both the parent is your child and your child is the parent of your grandchild

And, you believe you have or could get other documents to show you are the grandparent, call the number on your notice for help.

OR

Return to How are You Related? and see if you are related to the child in another way.

You can only claim a child as an eligible foster child if the child was placed with you in foster care by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency or an Indian tribal government. It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state or an Indian tribal government.

How can you show the child is your eligible foster child?

  • Do you have authorization from a child placement agency?
  • Do you have a court order?
  • Do you have authorization from a local, state, or Indian tribal government agency?

If yes to one of the three, you need to provide a copy of that document. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

If no, to the three above, can you get a letter from the agency on their letterhead showing you are the foster parent?

If yes, you need to provide a copy of that letter. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

If none of the above applies, what can you provide to the IRS to show you are the child’s foster parent?

Contact the agency or organization that made you a foster parent for the child.

OR

Contact another agency that recognized the foster relationship, such as for food stamps, housing benefits, or medical care and request a letter from that agency on their letterhead.

If you have or can get any of the documents listed above, make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

If the child was not placed with you by an agency, organization or court, you may not be considered a foster parent for EITC purposes. You may want to return to chose another relationship including Other Person.

OR

The child doesn’t meet the relationship test to be your qualifying child for the EITC. To qualify you for the EITC, the child must meet all three tests: relationship, residency and age. Make a note or mark the checklist that the child didn’t meet the relationship test. Then, go to Next Steps--I Don’t have a Qualifying Child for the EITC

How can you show the child is your brother or sister?

 

Do you and your brother or sister have the same mother?

If yes, does your birth certificate and your brother’s or sister’s birth certificate show you have the same mother?

If yes, send copies of both birth certificates. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

 

If no, do you and your brother or sister have the same father?

If yes, does your birth certificate and your brother’s or sister’s birth certificate show you have the same father?

If yes, send copies of both birth certificates. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

 

If your father’s name is not on the birth certificate, do you have a paternity test report showing you and your brother or sister have the same father?

If yes, then send a-copy of the paternity test report and a copy of one of your birth certificates or send a copy of the paternity test report or reports showing you have the same father. Make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

 

If you cannot provide copies of the birth certificates or paternity test reports, what else do you have to show how you are related to your sibling?

Do you have or can you get a copy of a document from a court or an agency showing you are the brother or sister?

Do you have or can you get a copy of social service records showing you are the brother or sister?

If you have or can get any of the listed documents, make a note or mark the checklist and go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?

 

If you don’t have or can’t get any of the documents listed above:

And, believe you have other documents to show you are the child’s brother or sister, call the number on your notice for help.

OR

You may want to choose another relationship including Other Person.

OR

The child doesn’t meet the relationship test to be your qualifying child for the EITC. To qualify you for the EITC, the child must meet all three tests: relationship, residency and age. Make a note or mark the checklist that the child didn’t meet the relationship test. Then, go to Next Steps--I Don’t have a Qualifying Child for the EITC.

How can you show the child is your niece or nephew?

Is the child, the child of your brother or sister? You need to prove two relationships.

First, show you are related to your brother or sister. See Brother or Sister for a list of documents to show how you are related.

Second, show how your niece or nephew is related to your brother or sister.

Does your niece or nephew have a birth certificate showing your brother or sister as the father or mother? Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. If you also completed the first step for niece or nephew, go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

OR

If your niece or nephew’s father is not on the birth certificate, do you have or can you get a paternity report showing how your niece or nephew is related to your brother? If yes, make a note or mark the checklist for the three documents. If you also completed the first step for niece or nephew, go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

OR

If your niece or nephew is a stepchild of your brother or sister, you need to have a copy of the marriage certificate or proof of a common law marriage showing how the step relationship was formed. Do you have the marriage certificate or other proof of a marriage? If yes, make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. If you also completed the first step for niece or nephew, go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

OR

If your niece or nephew is a stepchild of your brother or sister, explore Stepchild for additional documents that show the relationship

OR

Explore the Son, Daughter or Adopted Child for information on other documents you can use to show how your niece or nephew is related to your brother or sister.

Other documents to consider:

  • A copy of a document from a court or an agency showing you are the brother or sister and the child is your niece and nephew
  • A copy of social service records showing you are the brother or sister and the child is your niece and nephew

If you do not have any of the documents listed above; and you believe you have a document or documents you could provide to the IRS to show you are the child’s brother or sister, call the number on your notice for help.

OR

Explore other relationships to see if the child meets one of the qualifying relationships for the EITC.

OR

The child doesn’t meet the relationship test to be your qualifying child for the EITC. To qualify you for the EITC, the child must meet all three tests: relationship, residency and age. Make a note or mark the checklist that the child didn’t meet the relationship test. Then, go to Next Steps--I Don’t have a Qualifying Child for the EITC.

How can you show the child is your stepchild? You need to show you were married to the child’s mother or father (you no longer need to be married) and that the child is the son, daughter or adopted child of your wife or husband or ex-wife or ex-husband.

First, show you were married to the child’s parent. If you are still married, send a copy of your marriage certificate or proof of a common-law marriage.

TIP: If you are still married and we are also asking about your filing status in the letter, review that portion before completing the EITC section. If you are married, your choices of filing status are married filing jointly, married filing separately or head of household. If you are filing a joint return and your husband or wife is the parent of the child, See Son, Daughter or Adopted Child for the information to send. There are special rules for claiming the head of household filing status when you are married and if you don’t meet the criteria and don’t choose to file a joint return, your filing status is married filing separately. If filing married filing separately is your filing status, you can’t claim the EITC.

Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to Second, show the child is your spouse or ex-spouse’s child.

OR

If you are divorced, legally separated or your spouse is deceased, send a copy of your divorce or separation agreement or a copy of the death certificate showing you as the surviving spouse. Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to Second, show the child is your spouse or ex-spouse’s child.

Second, show the child is your spouse or ex-spouse’s child.

Do you have a birth certificate for the child with your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s name as the parent?

If yes, make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. If you also completed the first part for the stepchild, go to How Long Did the Child Live with You in the U.S.?.

If no, what else do you have? See Son, Daughter or Adopted Child for suggestions on other documents you can use.

A half brother or sister means you and your brother or sister have one parent that is the same.

How can you show the child is your half brother or half sister?

Do you and your brother or sister have the same mother?

If yes, does your birth certificate and your brother’s or sister’s birth certificate show your mother’s name?

If yes, send copies of both birth certificates. Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to What was the Child’s Age at the End of the Tax Year?.

         OR

Do you and your brother or sister have the same father?

If yes, does your birth certificate and your brother’s or sister’s birth certificate show that you have the same father?

If yes, send copies of both birth certificates. Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to What was the Child’s Age at the End of the Tax Year?

OR

If your father’s name is not on the birth certificate, do you have a paternity test report showing that you and your brother or sister have the same father?

If yes, then send a-copy of the paternity test report. Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to What was the Child’s Age at the End of the Tax Year?

OR

See Brother or Sister for more information on documents that show proof

A step relationship means you are not related by blood and your parents are married or were married at one time.

How can you show the child is your stepbrother or stepsister? You need to show your parent and your brother’s or sister’s parent are married or were married and your stepbrother or stepsister is the child of your parent’s spouse or ex-spouse.

First, show your parent and your stepbrother’s or stepsister’s parent are married or were married.

If your parents are still married, send a copy of their marriage certificate or proof of a common-law marriage. Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to Second, show the child is your spouse or ex-spouse’s child.

OR

If your parents are divorced, legally separated or one of your parents is deceased, send a copy of their divorce or separation agreement or a copy of the death certificate showing your stepparent as the surviving spouse. Make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to Second, show the child is your spouse or ex-spouse’s child.

Second, show your brother or sister is the child of the other parent.

See Son, Daughter or Adopted Child for ways to prove yours stepbrother or stepsister is the son, daughter or adopted child of your stepparent.

The IRS always considers an adopted child as your son or daughter. But, you may be able to claim that child before the child is lawfully adopted. A court or social service agency must have lawfully placed the child with you for legal adoption.

Do you have or can you get a copy of a document from a court or government agency showing the child was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption? If yes, then send a copy and make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to What was the Child’s Age at the End of the Tax Year?

OR

Do you have or can you get a copy of social service records showing the child was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption? If yes, then send a copy and make a note or mark the checklist for the documents. Next, go to What was the Child’s Age at the End of the Tax Year?

 

You can’t claim the EITC with a qualifying child unless that child is related to you in one of the following ways:

Son, Daughter, Adopted Child, Grandchild, Qualifying Foster Child, Stepchild Brother or Sister, Niece or Nephew, Half Brother or Sister, Step Brother or Step Sister, Child placed with you for adoption, Other Person

Here are examples of relationships that don’t qualify a child as a qualifying child for the EITC:

  • Taking care of a child of a person living with you and you and that person are not married.
  • Fostering a child* but the child wasn’t lawfully placed with you by an authorized placement agency or court order.
  • Having a respectful relationship (meaning the child calls you Aunt or Mom or similar term because you are very important to each other) but the child is not related to you by blood or by marriage.

*Eligible Foster Child

You can only claim an eligible foster child if the child was placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency or an Indian tribal government. It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state or an Indian tribal government.

TIP: If you are fostering a child, you may want to contact your local family or social service agencies, to find out how to make it an authorized placement for claiming the EITC in the future.

Choose one of the listed relationships listed above to explore

OR

If your relationship to the child isn’t one of the qualifying relationships, you can’t claim EITC with a qualifying child based on that child.

  • If you had more than one child listed on the Schedule EIC, choose a relationship for the next listed child.
  • If you don’t have another child listed on the Schedule EIC, you don’t qualify for the EITC with a qualifying child. Make a note or mark the checklist that the child didn’t meet the relationship test. Make a note or mark the checklist that the child didn’t meet the relationship test. Then, go to Next Steps-- I Don’t have a Qualifying Child for the EITC.

 

Related Items: