How to Work with a Tax Professional to Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

 

You’re responsible for what's on your tax return, whether you have someone prepare it or you do it yourself.

Steps to Work with a Tax Professional to Claim the EITC

Follow these steps to claim the credit of you choose to work with a tax professional:

  1. Choose a Tax Preparer
  2. Bring the Documents You Need
  3. Know the Questions Your Tax Preparer May Ask You
  4. Review and Sign Your Tax Return

1. Choose a Tax Preparer

Get tips for how to choose a tax preparer.

2. Bring the Documents You Need

Bring the following documents to your tax preparer:

  • Social Security documents: Social Security cards, a Social Security number verification letter, or other U.S. government document that verifies everyone you include on your tax return
  • Birth dates for everyone you include on your tax return
  • Copies of last year's federal and state tax returns, if you have them
  • All records of income such as:
    • Forms W-2 and 1099
    • Social Security
    • Unemployment
    • Pensions, stocks and interest
    • Any documents showing taxes withheld or money paid to you
  • All records of expenses such as:
    • Tuition receipts
    • Mortgage interest or real estate tax receipts
    • Receipts and any document to prove an expense you paid
  • All information reporting forms such as:
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit your refund
  • Dependent childcare information:
    • Name and address of paid caretakers and>/li>
    • Their Social Security number or other tax identification number

For more information on how to prepare to claim the EITC, see Be Prepared to Get the EITC You Earned PDF.

3. Know the Questions Your Tax Preparer May Ask You

Your preparer will ask you many questions to find out your correct:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Deductions
  • Credits

It’s important to answer all the questions and to give your preparer all the information they need.

Remember: You’re responsible for what's on your tax return.

If your tax return has errors, we may audit your return. An audit may delay or reduce your refund or cause you to owe additional tax, penalties and interest.

For more information on how to avoid common errors on your EITC claim, see:

4. Review and Sign Your Tax Return

Make sure your return is correct:

  • Have your preparer review your tax return with you. Understand what’s on it.
  • Make sure your tax return is complete and correct before you sign it.
  • Never sign a blank form.
  • Keep a copy of the tax return you sign.

Your paid preparer must enter their Preparer Tax Identification number or PTIN and sign the return.

If a volunteer prepared your return at a preparation site, they should use site identification number.

If a non-paid volunteer prepared your return, they should not sign it.