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Understanding your CP12A Notice

We made changes to correct the Earned Income Credit (EIC) claimed on your tax return.

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

Tax publications you may find useful

How to get help

Calling the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice is the fastest way to get your questions answered.

You can also authorize someone (such as an accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using this Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (Form 2848).

Or you may qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

What you need to do

  • Review the notice, and compare our changes to the information on your tax return.
  • If you agree with the changes we made:
    • Correct your tax return copy that you kept for your records, but do not send it to us.
    • You should receive your remaining refund automatically, as long as you don't owe any other tax or debts we're required to collect.
  • If you don’t agree, contact us within 60 days from the date of your notice, and see “Answers to Common Questions” below.
    • By telephone: Call us at the telephone number shown on your notice or 1-800-829-8374. The fastest way to resolve many errors on your return is by telephone. Some cases require additional information that you may provide verbally. If we need a missing or corrected form or document, you may fax it to us while on the telephone. Either option we may be able to correct your account immediately.
      • A few EIC conditions require you to respond by mail. We can explain what to send when we review your account with you over the phone.
    • By mail: Please include a copy of the notice along with your correspondence or documentation, and allow 30-60 or more days for a resolution.

You may want to

Answers to Common Questions

What should I do if I disagree with the changes you made?
If you disagree, contact us at the toll free number listed on the top right corner of your notice.

If you contact us in writing within 60 days of the date of this notice, we'll reverse the changes we made to your account. However, if you're unable to provide us with additional information that justifies the reversal and we believe the reversal is in error, we'll forward your case to examination for audit. This step gives you formal appeal rights, including the right to appeal our decision in court. After we forward your case, the audit staff will contact you within five to six weeks to fully explain the audit process and your rights. If you don't contact us within the 60 day period, you'll lose your right to appeal our decision before payment of tax.

My child turned 19. Can I still get the Earned Income Tax Credit?
Generally, the child must be age 18 or less at the end of the year, unless they meet specific criteria along with being a student or disabled. See the Qualifying Child Rules.

Some of my other credits also changed. Are the dependent qualifications the same for all of the dependent credits?
No. Each credit has its own requirements:

  • Tax Topic 601 Earned Income Credit
  • Tax Topic 602 Child and Dependent Care Credit
  • Tool: Is My Child a Qualifying Child for the Child Tax Credit? (or Additional Child Tax Credit)
  • Tool: Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?

Tips for next year

  • Consider filing your taxes electronically. Filing online can help you avoid mistakes and find credits and deductions that you may qualify for. In many cases you can file for free. Learn more about e-file.
  • To help avoid the same issue next year, correct the copy of this year’s tax return that you kept for your records. If you use a tax preparer, also have them correct their copy.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 20-Oct-2016