Does the IRS assess a penalty for a missing Form 8867?
Yes. Per the IRS information about Form 8867:
"If the Form 8867 is not included with returns claiming EITC, CTC/ ACTC/ODC, AOTC and/or HOH filing status, you may get a warning letter or an alert with your acknowledgements during the filing season.
- Letter 5364 is sent to those who prepare paper returns which claim the credits and/or HOH filing status and received by IRS without the required Form 8867
- Acknowledgement Alerts are sent electronically to those preparers who e-file EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC, AOTC and/or HOH filing status returns without the required Form 8867.
We can't associate a Form 8867 with a return that is already processed. So please don't submit the form separately. Doing so has no effect on a potential penalty assessment.
If after we send the Letter 5364 or acknowledgement alerts, we continue to receive EITC, CTC/ACTC/ODC, AOTC and/or HOH filing status returns, prepared by you missing the Form 8867, we may also send you Letter 1125 with Form 5816, Report of Tax Return Preparer Penalty Case, assessing the Due Diligence penalty. For 2018 returns, the penalty is $520 for each credit and/or HOH filing status on the missing form. For example, on return missing Form 8867 claiming EITC, CTC, AOTC with the HOH filing status could result in a $2,080 penalty."
The IRS page EITC Central has additional information about the 8867, and preparer due diligence requirements.