IRS Form 8862 must be filled out if you hope to claim your Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) after it has been previously reduced or denied when it wasn't due to a math or clerical error.
IRS Form 8862 must be filed in order to back your EITC if it has been lowered or canceled by the IRS since 1996.
There are three scenarios in which you should not file Form 8862: if you have already filed Form 8862 and gotten your EITC back; if the IRS lowered or canceled your benefit because you didn't have a qualifying child, but now you're trying to take the EITC without a qualifying child; or if you had your EITC taken away in the last two years due to disregard of the rules or fraud in the last 10 years.
Conditions for Qualifying Children
There are three conditions to qualifying a child: a close relationship to the child, age and residency.
Filling Out the Form
There are three parts to Form 8862, although everyone will fill out only two of them. The first part applies to everyone using the form and consists of three questions that basically establish that you should be filling out the form. Then you fill out Part II if you have a qualifying child and Part III if you don't.
Filing Without a Qualifying Child
If you're filing to regain the EITC without a qualifying child, you (and your spouse, if you're filing jointly) must have lived in the United States more than half of the prior year.