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I Received a Letter from IRS about EITC or Am I Being Audited, What Should I Do?

Here are some resources and tips on what you need to do if you receive a letter or notice from the IRS. We send letters to let you know from the information the IRS has

  • you may qualify for EITC, so file and claim it, or
  • we need to verify you can claim EITC, or
  • we previously disallowed or reduced your EITC and you must file Form 8862 to claim EITC (see more about the Form 8862 below).

And, we have resources and tips to help you if the IRS is auditing or examining your EITC claim.  

Did you Receive a Letter or Notice?

Reply to or follow the directions on the letter to get the EITC you deserve. All the information you need is in the letter. If you only have part of the notice or it’s not handy now, you can find a list of most of the letters we send on Find information on Understanding Your IRS Notice here

Examination Process

IRS usually selects an income tax return for examination when our computer programs or other information indicate a return has incorrect amounts. The examination may or may not result in a change to your tax or credits. Use the following links for more information:

Do you Need to File the Form 8862?

If IRS disallowed or reduced the amount of your EITC after an audit for any year after 1996, you may need to complete an additional form,  Form 8862 Information to Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance (PDF)  or Form 8862(SP) Information to Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance (Spanish Version) (PDF)  the next time you claim the credit.  

You must complete the Form 8862 or Form 8862(SP) and attach it to your tax return if both of the following are true:

  1. Your EITC was reduced or disallowed for any reason other than a math or clerical error for a year after 1996; and
  2. You now want to take the EITC and you meet all the requirements.

You do not have to file the Form 8862 or Form 8862(SP) to claim the EITC, if you meet all the EITC requirements and

  • After your EITC was reduced or disallowed in an earlier year, you filed Form 8862 (or other documents) and IRS allowed your EITC and IRS didn't reduce or disallow it again for any reason other than a math or clerical error; or
  • You are taking the EITC without a qualifying child and the only reason IRS reduced or disallowed your EITC in the earlier year was because we determined  the child listed on your Schedule EIC was not your qualifying child.

Do not file Form 8862 and do not take the EITC for the:

  • 2 years after the most recent tax year that IRS made a final determination that your EITC claim was due to reckless or intentional disregard of the EITC rules; or
  • 10 years after the most recent tax year that IRS made a final determination that your EITC claim was due to fraud.

Helpful Sites

 Taxpayer Rights Corner

Whether you file a Form 1040EZ or a complicated corporate return, you will benefit from knowing your rights as a taxpayer and being familiar with the IRS's obligations to protect them. The goal of the Taxpayer Rights Corner is to be your one-stop shop for taxpayer rights information during every step of your interaction with the IRS.

TAS Tax Toolkit 

Learn how TAS, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, can help you. This toolkit is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and makes it easier for you to understand basic tax information. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers experiencing economic harm, seeking help in resolving tax problems not resolved through normal channels, or who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics, LITCs, represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. They also assist taxpayers in audits, appeals, collection disputes and can help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and help correct account problems.


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 31-Jul-2015