Form 8836 - Qualifying Children Residency Statement

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Qualifying Children Residency Statement for EIC (Form 8836)

The IRS is issuing Form 8836 to taxpayers as part of an EIC certification pilot program. Because incorrectly claiming a qualifying child is a common EIC error, the form is being issued to ensure that qualifying children meet the residency test for 2005. According to Publication 596, to meet the residency test, a qualifying child must have lived with you for more than half of 2005 including temporary absences due to illness, school attendance, juvenile detention, vacation or military service. In addition, a qualifying child must have a valid social security number (SSN), unless the child was born and died in 2005. A valid SSN does not include a social security card that reads "Not valid for employment" and is issued solely to receive a federally funded benefit, individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). Form 8836 will require the attachment of a Third Party Affidavit or other documents supporting the claim that each qualifying child lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2005. The documents can be any combination of the following:

  • The Third Party Affidavit (only the version sent with Form 8836),
  • A copy of school, medical or childcare records,
  • A copy of a lease or pay stub, or
  • A signed letter on official letterhead

The documents must show the taxpayer’s name, child’s name, street address, and the dates the child lived at that address during 2005. The documents must also include the name, address, and phone number of the person or organization that provided the record or letter. There are many parties who are eligible to complete these documents. Refer to Form 8836 instructions for more information.

According to IRS Home Page, for 2005, the IRS will be issuing notices to 25,000 taxpayers (same as 2004) – a portion will be selected from a single community while the rest will be selected randomly. The notices will be sent in late November and will be followed by two reminder letters. The notices will tell taxpayers that they may send their documents at any time from the receipt of the notice until the time they file their tax returns. Taxpayers should only file this form if they receive it in the mail and are expecting to claim EIC with a qualifying child in 2005. The notice commits the IRS to attempting to complete their review of the taxpayer information as soon as possible in order to avoid any delay in paying the EITC to qualified taxpayers. Finally, the notice encourages taxpayers to send their materials as soon as they are able to avoid the potential slow-down in processing that can occur during the press of the tax filing season.

The IRS intends to support an outreach campaign in the community in an effort to simulate what might happen if a certification requirement were imposed more broadly. This outreach will include IRS-delivered materials and education as well as partnering with local governmental and community-based organizations.

As with the effort in 2004, the goal of the 2005 test is to evaluate the effect of a certification requirement both on the level of erroneous payments and participation by eligible taxpayers. The IRS has no plans to impose a blanket qualifying child certification requirement until a thorough evaluation of the 2004 and 2005 tests is completed. The IRS is committed to actively engaging stakeholders through the testing process.

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