Forms 886 Can Assist You

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 a claim for the earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit or additional child tax credit (CTC/ACTC), credit for other dependents (ODC) or American opportunity tax credit (AOTC), be sure to keep a copy either on paper or electronically. Most of the forms are available in both English and Spanish.

For example, you could use the Form 886-H-EICPDF and/or the 886-H-EIC (Spanish Version)PDF, Documents You Need to Send to Claim the Earned Income Credit on the Basis of a Qualifying Child or Children for Tax Year 2023. If you review the document with your client,

  • show the client the legal requirements a qualifying child must meet,
  • confirm with your client if they have or can get the supporting documents and
  • 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, 14801 and 14815, you may find useful in preparing your client's returns:

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