A Guide For Handling Inquiries From Persons Who Indicate They Have Received A Notice From The IRS Regarding Their Claim For Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

As required in Welfare Reform Legislation, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) provides to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information from the Federal Case Registry (FCR) relating to individuals owing child support and the children they are required to support. OCSE obtains this information from State Child Support Agencies. The IRS uses this data in a match with their records to identify individuals who may not qualify for EITC.

From the FCR information provided, the IRS recently matched approximately 286,000 individuals nationwide who may not qualify for EITC because of their child support cases. During the first week of January, the IRS sent a notice to these individuals alerting them about their questionable eligibility for EITC. In this notice, the IRS provides to the taxpayers the name of the State, the State child support case number, child’s name and SSN and Non Custodial Parent’s SSN as provided by the FCR. The IRS also provides to the taxpayer the main phone numbers for each State Child Support Enforcement Office.

Because of misleading references to "custody", this notice may be confusing to the taxpayer. In the notice, the taxpayer is directed to call the Child Support office to correct "incorrect" information. The taxpayer may decide to call the Child Support office shown in the listing. Child Support staff answering these calls need to be aware that taxpayers will be calling the number expecting to correct "custody" information. However, the child support information at the State and in the FCR may be correct regardless of custody. These callers need to be told that if they are an obligor ordered to pay child support for the child indicated in the notice, the information provided to the IRS is correct and will not be changed. This could include involvement in past due or agency arrears as well as current support cases. If the child support case is correct, but the obligor maintains that the child resides with him or her, the caller will need to contact the IRS to establish these facts. The IRS phone number referred to in the taxpayer’s notice is 1-800-829-1040.

If the caller claims not to have any current involvement in a child support case with your agency, then the caller should be referred to the proper office in your State to resolve this "child support case" issue. The caller will have the State case number as indicated above. The FCR should be notified of any changes or closings through routine FCR transactions. The caller may still need to contact the IRS to establish these facts.

Since, these callers may be indicating only that they have received a notice from the IRS, please be careful not to confuse these callers with people inquiring about Tax Offset notices.