Success Story: TAS Effectively Advocates for Taxpayers Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

May 1, 2017

Every year the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer issues. All personal details are removed to protect the privacy of the taxpayer.

A parent couple who filed as married filing jointly were denied by the IRS their claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The couple was also denied their claim for three dependency exemptions on their tax return for two tax years.

The case advocate requested and obtained documents to establish their relationship, but had difficulty proving their residency. Two of the children who lived with them were only one and three years old and had no school or child care providers. The parents did not receive social service benefits and their doctor statements were incomplete. At the case advocate's suggestion, the taxpayers obtained a letter from their landlord stating who lived in the property they rented. The case advocate also had the taxpayers provide statements from utility companies to show amounts paid at their address.

The IRS agreed that TAS provided enough evidence to show these two children lived with and were supported by the taxpayers. The taxpayers were not eligible to claim the EITC for the third child because the child did not live with them. However, the case advocate worked diligently with the taxpayers to secure a Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent from the third child’s mother which gave the exemption to the taxpayers. The case advocate demonstrated to the IRS that although the third child was not eligible for the EITC, the taxpayers were entitled to the dependency exemption and the Child Tax Credit. The adjustments made to the taxpayers’ balance due were significant; which relieved a huge burden for the taxpayers.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.