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Phone ringing -- Hello. Hi Tammy, it's Melany from Melany's Tax Services.

I hope you can hear and see me, my Internet connection is a little spotty.

Do you remember me from the coffee shop last week?

Oh yes, Melany! No worries, sometimes my Internet gets choppy too.

Of course I remember you, I could never forget a fellow sorority sister and tax preparer.

Yep, that's me.

So what's going on? So did I tell you I just opened my new office location?

Oh, sure, yes. Congratulations on that!

Thanks. Well, I am receiving more clientele than I anticipated, which is good, but at the same time overwhelming.

Anyway, the reason for my call is to run some general tax questions by you.

If I recall correctly, there is a website you recommended as being particularly helpful. Oh yes, yes, you must mean the Tax Preparer Toolkit right? So let me send you the link right now.

You should have it. OK, got it. Let me take a look at the link.

OK. OK, so the toolkit is really great.

You're really like it. There are a ton of links to various IRS publications that provide guidance on tax benefits in both English and Spanish, and they even offer a free online Due Diligence training class that you can take and earn a Continuing Education Credit. OK, I will save this to as a favorite.

Actually, I have some tax prep questions too if you have some time.

Sure, go ahead, go ahead.

OK, so what if a taxpayer who is a U.S. citizen has a dependent who lived in the US all year, but the dependent only has an ITIN?

Would that dependent qualify the taxpayer for the Credit for Other Dependents?

You know what? OK, so let's open the link I just sent you for the Tax Preparer Toolkit.

In the search box, type in ODC.

That is the acronym for Credit for Other Dependents.

You would get a few good hits from this search, but share with me what it says when you get the search, OK?

OK, I get 32 matches. Which one do I choose?

You want to click on the one that says what you need to know about CTC, ACTC, and ODC.

Then scroll down to ODC.

OK, great. I see that and look at that, there's my answer.

The last bullet says a dependent is not required to have an SSN.

They can have an SSN, ITIN or ATIN that was issued before the the due date of the return, including extensions.

This is great. We got the answer in no time.

Well, there you go. I guess you don't even need to talk to me now.

Not so fast. Let me ask you this. If a taxpayer is filing Married Filing Jointly and the spouse only has an ITIN, do they qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit?

OK, well, for the purposes of your example, let's unpack the requirements for the EITC.

From that Tax Preparer Toolkit welcome page, under More Resources, on the right side, click on the last entry for Publication 3524, EITC Eligibility Checklist.

This publication provides you a nice overview.

OK, more resources. OK, I got it...Pub 3524?

Yes, looking at the publication 3524, the second question.

Do you and your spouse each have an SSN issued on or before the due date of the return? If either spouse is using an ITIN or has an SSN that's not valid for employment, you must answer no and your client does not qualify for EITC.

Oh, and for more details my go to resource is the EITC Assistant.

Alright, that will help clear up my EITC questions.

OK, I have one more question, if that's OK with you.

Sure, sure, what do you got? OK, can a taxpayer filing as Married Filing Separate claim, the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit?

Yes, those credits can be taken with any filing status.

However, do not confuse this with the Earned Income Tax Credit.

which is allowed for Married Filing Separately only under certain circumstances.

Got it. That Tax Preparer Toolkit will be a lifesaver. Thanks for showing it to me.

Yes, I'm glad you saved it as a favorite.

I use it frequently myself.

I also like the Child Related Tax Benefit Comparison tool.

This is in the left navigation bar. This tool compares the refundable credits, and Head of Household requirements in one area.

OK, I will check it out and keep it as a favorite as well.

Thank you. I owe you big time.

The next time I see you at the coffee shop, the lattes are on me.

It was great talking with you.

OK, I will take you up on that and you're welcome.

Glad I can be of help and I look forward to talking to you later.

OK. Later. Alrighty.

Bye-bye. Bye-bye.