Consequences of Errors on Your EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC Returns

 

You are responsible for what’s on your return even when someone else prepares it for you. Filing a tax return with an error on your earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit/additional child tax credit/credit for other dependents (CTC/ACTC/ODC) and/or the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) claim can:

  • Delay the EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC part of your refund until we correct the error. The delay can take up to several months.
  • Cause us to deny all or part of your EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC. If we deny all or a part of EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC:
    • You must pay back the amount of EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC paid in error plus interest.
    • You may need to file the Form 8862, Information to Claim Certain Credits After Disallowance, to claim EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC again.
    • If the error is because of reckless or intentional disregard of the rules, we could ban you from claiming EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC for the next two years.
      o  If the error is because of fraud, we could ban you from claiming EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC for the next ten years.

Form 8862, Information to Claim Certain Credits After Disallowance

If we denied or reduced your EITC for any year after 1996 or we denied or reduced your CTC, ACTC, or ODC for any year after 2015 for any reason other than a math or clerical error, you must:

1. Qualify to claim EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC or AOTC by meeting all the requirements for the credit.

and

2. Attach a completed Form 8862, Information to Claim Certain Credits After Disallowance, to your next tax return to claim the credit(s).

Help Your Preparer Get Your Return Correct

If you pay someone to prepare your return, that person and the firm the person works for has some additional responsibility to make sure your return is correct. Expect your preparer, whether you pay or it’s free, to ask you many questions to make sure your return is correct. You can help your preparer by answering all questions asked and by bringing all the documents your preparer needs to get the return correct. See our page, “Be Prepared to Get the EITC You Earned,”  for a list of what to bring to your preparer.