This notice tells you we're auditing your tax return and need documentation to verify the income and withholding you reported on your tax return. This may affect your eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), dependent exemption(s) and other refundable credits you claimed. We are holding your refund pending the results of the audit.
What you need to do
- Read the notice and the enclosed forms carefully. They explain the information you must send to us.
- Provide copies of supporting documentation to verify the items we're auditing.
- Complete the response form by showing which items your supporting documentation addresses on the copies you're submitting and return the form with the documents you are submitting.
You may want to
- Review this notice with your tax preparer.
- Review the rules for claiming EITC and make sure your child meets the four tests: the relationship, age, residency and joint return tests, to qualify for the credit. Read more about the qualifying child rules.
- Find out if you can claim EITC if you don't have a qualifying child. Find the rules for those without a qualifying child here.
- Call us for assistance at the toll-free telephone number listed in the top right corner of your notice
Answers to common questions
Why was my return selected for audit?
While we accept most returns as filed, we select some for examination. We examine (or audit) some federal tax returns to determine if income, expenses, and credits are reported accurately. We select returns for examination using various methods including random sampling, computerized screening, and comparison of information we receive, such as Forms W-2 and 1099. Having your return selected for examination doesn't suggest you made an error or were dishonest.
Why are my wages being audited?
The amounts you reported on the wages and withholding lines of your tax return appear incorrect.
Can I claim the EITC for my fiance's child?
No. You must be married to the child's parent during the tax year in question to receive EITC.
What do I need to send?
Refer to the applicable Form 886-H-EIC, Documents You Need to Send to Claim the Earned Income Credit on the Basis of a Qualifying Child or Children (PDF) and Form 886-L, Supporting Documents (PDF), you received with your notice. A separate form for each audited item explains what supporting documentation to send.
What if I can't provide the requested documentation?
We'll disallow the audited items and send you an examination report showing the proposed changes to your tax return.
What if I didn't file a tax return claiming the items you are questioning and someone else is using my name and Social Security number?
Contact us at the number listed on the top right corner of your notice. You can also refer to our identity theft resource page for more information.
Can I file my tax return while I am being audited?
Yes, you should continue to file all required tax returns before the due date to avoid additional penalties and interest.
Tips for next year
Avoid errors that can delay your refund or result in us denying your EITC claim. Find out the most common errors in claiming EITC here.
Tax publications you may find useful
- Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer (PDF)
- Publication 17, Your Federal Tax Return (PDF)
- Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (PDF)
- Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education (PDF)
- Publication 972, Child Tax Credit (PDF)
- Publication 3498-A, The Examination Process (Audits by Mail) (PDF)
- Full list of tax forms and instructions
How to get help
- Call the 800, 866 or 888 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
- Authorize someone (such as an accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (PDF).
- See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.