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Why do I need to provide proof of my dependents?
Why do I need to provide proof of my dependents?
Kirsten Simmons avatar
Written by Kirsten Simmons
Updated over a week ago

The IRS expanded the tax-preparer due-diligence requirements to include when they prepare returns for taxpayers filing as the Head of the Household (HOH). Filing under the HOH status and claiming credits for the dependents may provide significant tax benefits to the taxpayer.

Additional verification requirements

The tax preparer must complete Form 8867 and certify under perjury of law that the required documents were provided.

5. Did you satisfy the record retention requirement?

To meet the record retention requirement, you must keep a copy of your documentation referenced in 4b, a copy of this Form 8867, a copy of any applicable worksheet(s), a record of how, when, and from whom the information used to prepare Form 8867 and any applicable worksheet(s) was obtained, and a copy of any document(s) provided by the taxpayer that you relied on to determine eligibility for the credit(s) and/or HOH filing status or to compute the amount(s) of the credit(s)

List those documents, if any, that you relied on.

Leaving the list of documents blank may lead to a penalty of $540 imposed on the tax preparer.

Common documents to provide

Any document showing your children's names along with the address matching yours will suffice. Generally, school records are the easiest to obtain. Medical bills or notes from a pediatrician's office should also serve as adequate proof.

Note: if your child is not yet attending school and there are no letters from a health agency to prove the address, the date of birth certificate is sufficient. Resident cards for you and your family suffice for each year, unless the children have resided elsewhere. The IRS tends to be more lenient for newborns, and they do not enforce this too stringently unless there is a dispute.

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