If you received a letter from the IRS about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), also called EIC, the Child Tax Credit/Additional Child Tax Credit (CTC/ACTC) or the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), don't ignore the letter (notice). Follow the directions on your letter. All the information you need is in your letter. This page explains your notice and gives tips on what you need to do now.
My Letter Says I May Qualify for EITC; What Should I Do?
We sent you a letter (notice) because our records show you may be eligible for the EITC but didn't claim it on your tax return.
First, find out if you qualify for EITC by following the steps shown in your notice. You can find out more about What You Need to Do and What we Will Do by using one of the links below. You can find your notice number in the top right corner of your notice.
If you need more help, you can:
- use the EITC Assistant for the tax year shown on your notice. It helps you find out if you qualify for EITC with or without a qualifying child
- review the Do I Qualify for EITC? page
My Letter Says I Need to Send Information to Verify My EITC Claim; What Should I Do?
We’re auditing your tax return and need information from you to verify the EITC, ACTC or AOTC you claimed. We may be holding your refund for the following credits: EITC also called EIC, Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), Premium Tax Credit (PTC) and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). We will hold this refund until your audit is complete.
Don’t ignore this notice. Find out more about What You Need to Do and What We Will Do by using one of the links below. You can find your notice number in the top right corner of your notice.
Find help resolving your audit by:
- Reading our Tax Topic which explains the next steps
- Reviewing the sample templates shown below to see if they can help you prove where your child lived during the tax year for your audit. You can take the sample templates and/or provide the links of the sample templates to your child’s school, healthcare provider, or childcare provider. They should paste the template into their letterhead. Then, they should fill in the information needed, sign it, and give it to you to send to IRS. See the Form 886-H-EIC for information on when you should use one or more of these templates to obtain statements on letterheads from one of the following.
Using the Form 886-H-EIC Toolkit to help you identify what documents you need to provide to prove you can claim the EITC with a qualifying child.
Contacting a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. A LITC can help you with your audit. Services are provided for free or for a small fee.
My Notice Says We Changed Your Tax Return that Affected Your EITC, CTC/ACTC, or AOTC Claim; What Should I Do?
We changed your tax return because we believe you had an error that affected your EITC, CTC/ACTC, or AOTC. The error could be:
- A missing or incorrect Social Security number for exemptions, dependents or credits
- The age of child is not consistent with the credit requirements
- A missing schedule or form; such as the Form 8862 or Form 8862-SP
- An addition, subtraction, multiplication or division error on your return
- An incorrect information from a tax table, worksheet, schedule or form
Note: If you are or were required to file Form 8862 or Form 8862-SP or your EITC, CTC/ACTC or AOTC was previously disallowed and now you want to claim the credit(s), see My EITC, CTC/ACTC or AOTC was Disallowed Previously and Now I Want To Claim the Credit.
Other Information on Notices, Letters and Audits
- IRS Audit page
- Taxpayer Advocate page on notices
- Publication 3498-A, The Examination Process (Examinations by Mail, (PDF)
- Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund, (PDF)