Dear Taxpayer,

We recently sent you a letter that said you might not be entitled to the earned income tax credit (EITC) you claimed on your 1999 tax return. Our letter contained some misinformation about whom you should call on child custody issues. This letter replaces the previous one. Please accept our apology for any confusion and inconvenience we may have caused you.

Our purpose in sending the original letter was to ask taxpayers who claimed the EITC last year to review the rules to make sure they had, in fact, correctly claimed the credit. The requirement that we are most concerned about is relatively simple:

Any children who are used to calculate your eligibility for the EITC must have lived with you for more than half of the year.

What You Should Do

Please take a moment to look at your tax return from last year. If you and your child (or children) did not live together for more than half of 1999, you should consider filing an amended return. For your future tax returns, please remember that you can only claim the EITC for children who have lived with you for more than half a year.

Again, our apologies for any confusion we may have caused. If you have any questions about the EITC or this letter please call us at 1-800-829-1040.

Despite the statements in our previous letter, State Child Support Offices do not have child custody information. Therefore, these offices cannot help you resolve this EITC issue. PLEASE DO NOT CALL YOUR STATE OFFICE OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT.

Only the IRS can help you make certain you are eligible for the EITC.