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Oh, hi, yes, Agent Sanchez, this is Brittney Shoemaker.

You conducted a correspondence Due Diligence audit on me a few weeks back and I have some follow up questions if you have some time.

Sure, absolutely, how can I help?

Well, after that Due Diligence audit we went through, I'd like to get your perspective on meeting some other Due Diligence requirements.

Well, I can assist no problem, but I will only be able to give you general answers to questions.

Actually, you know what?

If you're by your computer, I can show you more information that will help you prepare accurate returns and practice Due Diligence - so go to Okay.

Now click on the top tab that says Tax Preparer Toolkit. Do you see it up there?, it looks like there's a lot of great information here, definitely going to check that out later.

But in the meantime, I still do have a question about EITC.

When my client is claiming a child that's not their son or daughter, such as a niece.

What documents should I ask for and what should I keep?

That's a good question. You're not necessarily required to ask for any documentation to meet your Due Diligence requirements.

You will need to ask questions to cover any eligibility of the niece's parents to claim her and where the niece was during the year.

Oh okay, I see.

And you also need to ask further questions if the information the taxpayer has given you appears to be either incorrect, inconsistent, or incomplete.

You could also ask your client if they have documents to prove, how they are related to the child, did the child live with them, and about the support of the child, if the client is audited.

Wow, that's a lot to take in.

Right, so you can start by checking out publication 3524 EITC Eligibility Checklist which is under the resources on the right side of the screen.

So if you're looking at your screen, you can see it.

It's basically a one stop checklist to establish eligibility.

And oh, I also like to use EITC Central.

Which can be accessed from the Preparer Toolkit landing page.

So for that you click on EITC Central in the upper left hand corner and from EITC Central a tax preparer can easily link over to find answers on qualifications for EITC.

Well, that could be a lot of work for the client to establish whether they can claim their niece.

This is true, but Due Diligence requirements are in place to ensure that the tax law is applied correctly.

It is better to establish with your clients upfront whether they can claim the dependent, than to wait for the IRS to send a letter to your client asking them to prove it.

Well, I suppose you're right, better safe than sorry.

I also do though have a question about Head of Household.

The issue I see is when a married couple is separated, one spouse moves out of the house in the spring and does not return.

The spouse who's left at home has a child.

So what are the Due Diligence requirements here?

Another good question. You will need to ask your client questions and document their answers for that.

on the Preparer Toolkit landing page, there is a link under More Resources called Learn how to handle the most difficult Due Diligence situations.

Click on that and you'll see one of those.

Separated Spouse example is what you're looking for, and it's precisely the situation that you're asking about.

Wow, that's terrific!

That's exactly what I need. Thanks for clearing up all those questions that I had.

I'm glad I was able to help, and by the way, on the Tax Preparer Toolkit homepage, you can also take a Tax Preparer Due Diligence Training Class online at no charge and earn Continuing Education Credit.

Just bookmark the Tax Preparers Toolkit - and all of your Due Diligence needs are right there.

Great, that is so helpful. Thank you so much again. Bye, bye.