Form 8867

Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist

When it comes to tax filing, professionals and taxpayers often encounter various IRS forms, each serving a unique purpose. Among these, the 8867 form plays a critical role, especially in ensuring the accuracy and eligibility for certain tax credits.

What is a 8867 Form?

The 8867 form, officially known as the "Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist for the Earned Income Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and/or Credit for Other Dependents", is a document designed by the IRS. Its primary purpose is to guide tax preparers in confirming the eligibility of their clients for specific tax credits, namely the Earned Income Credit (EIC), the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), the Child Tax Credit (including additional child tax credit), and the Credit for Other Dependents (ODC).

Components of the Form:

  • Checklist Items: Questions to ensure clients meet the qualifications for the credits.
  • Computation Area: Where applicable credit amounts are calculated.
  • Signatures: Spaces for both the taxpayer and the preparer to sign, affirming the accuracy of the information.

Who Needs a 8867 Form?

This form is mandatory for all tax return preparers who are compensated for preparing tax returns claiming any of the aforementioned credits.

Criteria and Obligations:

  • Preparers handling returns that claim the EIC, AOTC, CTC/ACTC/ODC.
  • A requirement to maintain a copy of the form for at least three years.


The form must be submitted with each tax return claiming any of the relevant credits.

How to Read and Understand 8867 Form

Understanding the 8867 form requires attention to:

  • The Checklist: Each item on the checklist should be thoroughly reviewed and marked accurately.
  • Documentation: Knowing what documents or information are necessary to satisfy each checklist item.

How to Get Your 8867 Form

Preparers can obtain the 8867 form directly from the IRS website.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common mistakes include overlooking a client's eligibility for a credit or failing to ask for sufficient documentation. To avoid these errors:

  • Review each checklist item carefully.
  • Consult IRS guidance documents on each credit.

8867 Form and Tax Filing

The accurate completion and submission of the 8867 form can significantly impact a tax return by:

  • Ensuring eligibility for valuable tax credits.
  • Avoiding potential penalties for both preparers and taxpayers.

FAQ Section

1. Can I file my tax return without the 8867 form if I'm claiming one of the credits?

  • No, if a paid preparer is involved, the 8867 must accompany the return.

2. What happens if a preparer fails to meet the due diligence requirements?

  • The IRS may impose penalties for each failure.

3. Are there resources available to help understand how to qualify for credits?

  • Yes, the IRS provides guides and publications on their website.

4. Can I submit the 8867 form electronically with the tax return?

  • Yes, the form can be e-filed along with the return.

5. How can I ensure I'm meeting the due diligence requirements?

  • Follow the checklist accurately, keep up with IRS updates, and consider consulting a tax professional.


Understanding and utilizing the 8867 form correctly is vital for tax preparers to ensure their clients' compliance and eligibility for specific tax credits. It is crucial to stay informed on the latest IRS guidelines and requirements to avoid any potential issues or penalties. If unsure about any aspects of the form or eligibility for credits, seeking advice from a tax professional is highly recommended.

For further details and to download the 8867 form, tax preparers and interested parties are encouraged to visit the official IRS page. This resource is invaluable for staying abreast of any changes or updates to the tax code and ensuring compliance with all due diligence requirements related to the 8867 form.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.