Taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Credit (EIC) can now claim up to 3 children and get additional monies for these dependents. This is a change starting in 2016; in prior years there was a limit of 2 dependent children to determine the credit amount.
A key item to claiming the children is the ‘Residency Test’ to prove the child lived with the taxpayer(s) for more than half of the year in the United States (children who live in US Territories such as Guam or Puerto Rico do not count). A question that often comes up is ‘How Do I Prove My Child Lives With Me?’.
Since this test is a requirement of getting the EIC, you’ll need to bring documents to your tax preparer. The IRS has recommended as many of the following as you can provide, if the backup document(s) include the child’s name and address:
- Health Provider Statement
- Medical Records, including records obtained when going to a doctor/dentist
- School Records or Statements
- Landlord or Property Management Statement
- Employer Statement (taxpayers sometimes need to fill out insurance forms stating the names/ages of people living within the household)
- Child Care Providers annual statements
- Statements from a Place of Worship (listing family members and their annual donation amount)
- Placement Agency Statement
- Collection of envelopes addressed to the children, especially Christmas, Birthday and/or Holiday cards
- Photographs of children in front of their home
- Bank statements
- Statements showing balances in Education Fund plans
Be sure to bring as many documents as you can as backup and remember this is for each child claimed!
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Thomas C. Hodge
Hodge Group LLC
3943 N. Austin Avenue
Chicago, IL 60634