The Internal Revenue Service reminds tax professionals that there are IRS tools to help them prepare accurate EITC claims. Tax professionals prepared 71 percent of the 21.1 million EITC claims for tax year 2004.

"This year, it's easier than ever for both tax preparers and taxpayers to complete accurate claims," said Mark W. Everson, IRS commissioner. "Because tax professionals prepare the vast majority of EITC claims, the IRS is appealing to them to use these tools as they perform due diligence. Both the IRS and our allies in the tax professional community need to ensure that all eligible taxpayers - but only eligible taxpayers - receive the EITC they deserve."

Preparers with many potential Earned Income Tax Credit clients should look at the special Web site set up for tax professionals, added EITC director David Williams. "They can do this through irs.gov, or go directly to www.eitcfortaxpreparers.com," he said.

The EITC Tax Preparer Electronic Toolkit is available at this Web site, and features resources to help the preparer determine clients' eligibility for the EITC, ensure full compliance with EITC rules and regulations, and file accurate claims.

There is also the EITC Assistant at www.irs.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to help tax professionals determine if the taxpayer is qualified for the EITC.

"Some preparers whose clients are distraught because they are not eligible for EITC this year are using the EITC Assistant to show them they don't qualify," said Williams.

For 2005, there are special rules for victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma who may be able to claim their 2004 earned income if it is larger than their 2005 earned income. "You can pick the year you want to use, as long as 2004 earned income is greater than 2005 earned income," said Williams.

Taxpayers who do not know their 2004 earned income may get it by calling the IRS disaster hotline at (866) 562-5227. A tax preparer will also be able to get the information so long as he knows certain "shared secrets" of the client.

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