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IRS.gov Website
Publication 596
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298629

Chapter 5
Disallowance of the EIC(p21)


EIC
If your earned income credit (EIC) for any year after 1996 was denied (disallowed) or reduced by the IRS, you may need to complete an additional form to claim the credit for 2015.
This chapter is for people whose earned income credit (EIC) for any year after 1996 was denied or reduced by the IRS. If this applies to you, you may need to complete Form 8862, Information To Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance, and attach it to your 2015 return to claim the credit for 2015. This chapter explains when you need to attach Form 8862. For more information, see Form 8862 and its instructions.
This chapter also explains the rules for certain people who cannot claim the EIC for a period of years after their EIC was denied or reduced.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298647

Form 8862(p21)

rule
If your EIC for any year after 1996 was denied or reduced for any reason other than a math or clerical error, you must attach a completed Form 8862 to your next tax return to claim the EIC. You must also qualify to claim the EIC by meeting all the rules described in this publication.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298654

Exception 1. (p21)

rule
Don't file Form 8862 if either (1) or (2) below is true.
  1. After your EIC was reduced or disallowed in the earlier year:
    1. You filed Form 8862 in a later year and your EIC for that later year was allowed, and
    2. Your EIC hasn't been reduced or disallowed again for any reason other than a math or clerical error.
  2. You are taking the EIC without a qualifying child for 2015 and the only reason your EIC was reduced or disallowed in the earlier year was because the IRS determined that a child listed on Schedule EIC wasn't your qualifying child.
In either of these cases, you can take the EIC without filing Form 8862 if you meet all the EIC eligibility requirements.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298655

Exception 2. (p21)

rule
Don't file Form 8862 or take the EIC for:
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298656

More information. (p21)

rule
For details, see Are You Prohibited From Claiming the EIC for a Period of Years? in this chapter.
The date on which your EIC was denied and the date on which you file your 2015 return affect whether you need to attach Form 8862 to your 2015 return or to a later return. The following examples demonstrate whether Form 8862 is required for 2015 or 2016.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298658

Example 1—Form 8862 required for 2015.(p21)

You filed your 2014 tax return in March 2015 and claimed the EIC with a qualifying child. The IRS questioned the EIC, and you were unable to prove the child was a qualifying child. In September 2015, you received a statutory notice of deficiency telling you that an adjustment would be made and tax assessed unless you filed a petition with the Tax Court within 90 days. You didn't act on this notice within 90 days. Therefore, your EIC was denied in December 2015. To claim the EIC with a qualifying child on your 2015 return, you must complete and attach Form 8862 to that return. However, to claim the EIC without a qualifying child on your 2015 return, you don't need to file Form 8862.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298660

Example 2—Form 8862 required for 2016.(p21)

The facts are the same as in the previous example except that you received the statutory notice of deficiency in February 2016. Because the 90-day period referred to in the statutory notice isn't over when you are ready to file your return for 2015, you shouldn't attach Form 8862 to your 2015 return. However, to claim the EIC with a qualifying child for 2016, you must complete and attach Form 8862 to your return for that year. To claim the EIC without a qualifying child for 2016, you don't need to file Form 8862.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298661

Exception for math or clerical errors. (p21)

rule
If your EIC was denied or reduced as a result of a math or clerical error, don't attach Form 8862 to your next tax return. For example, if your arithmetic is incorrect, the IRS can correct it. If you don't provide a correct social security number, the IRS can deny the EIC. These kinds of errors are called math or clerical errors.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298662

Omission of Form 8862. (p21)

rule
If you are required to attach Form 8862 to your 2015 tax return, and you claim the EIC without attaching a completed Form 8862, your claim will be automatically denied. This is considered a math or clerical error. You won't be permitted to claim the EIC without a completed Form 8862.
taxmap/pubs/p596-019.htm#en_us_publink1000298663

Additional documents may be required. (p21)

rule
You may have to provide the IRS with additional documents or information before a refund relating to the EIC you claim is released to you, even if you attach a properly completed Form 8862 to your return.