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e-file for Large and Mid-Size Corporations - Frequently Asked Questions (June 2009)

You should review these updated FAQs since many of these FAQs have been revised, updated, or deleted to reflect changes applicable to tax year 2008 returns. If you have additional questions after reviewing these FAQs, you can submit them via email to LargeCorporate@irs.gov

New FAQs

In Section B:

  • Q16. My corporation files Form 1120-F. How do I determine if we meet the $10 million asset threshold for corporations required to e-file?
  • Q17.  My corporation was required to e-file in 2008 but our total assets will drop below $10 million in 2009.  Are we still required to e-file?

In Section C:

  • Q30.  Revenue Procedure 2009-20 provides instructions for taxpayers that experienced losses in certain investment arrangements discovered to be criminally fraudulent.  In section 6.01(1) the taxpayer is told to mark “Revenue Procedure 2009-20” at the top of the Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, for the discovery year.  Paragraph (2) also instructs the taxpayer to complete and sign the statement provided in Appendix A of Revenue Procedure 2009-20.  How does a taxpayer follow these instructions on an electronically filed return?
  • Q31. My corporation intends to elect a carry back based on Section 1211 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  Revenue Procedure 2009-19 states that the taxpayer should type or write “2008 NOL Carryback Election Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2009-19” across the top of the form or “Amended NOL Carryback Election Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2009-19” across the top of the amended 1120X.  It also states that the taxpayer making the election should provide a statement that includes the following:

    • Clearly states that the taxpayer is electing to apply “§172(b)(1)(H)”
    • Describes the length of the NOL carryback period elected by the
      taxpayer (3, 4, or 5 years); and
    • If applicable, states that the taxpayer is electing to apply the carryback
      provision to the taxable year that begins in 2008.     

    The statement should be attached to both the return filed (Form 1120) as well as to any application for a tentative refund (Form 1139) or amended return (Form 1120X).  How do I satisfy these conditions if I am electronically filing my initial or amended return?

     

     

     

     


Index to FAQs:

A. Modernized e-file, Benefits, and Overview

B. Corporations Required to e-file

C. Communication and General e-file

D. e-file for Corporations That Use a Tax Professional to Prepare Their Income Tax Return

E. e-file for Corporations Which Prepare Their Own Returns

F. Sources for Additional Information on Large and Mid-Size Corporations e-file

Documents accessed from this page that are in pdf format contain "(pdf)" at the end of the file name. To view PDF documents, download the most recent free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

A. Modernized e-file, Benefits, and Overview

Q1. What is e-file for large and mid-size corporations?

A1. IRS e-file is the name for the electronic filing of tax returns. When a corporation e-files they send their income tax return data to IRS electronically instead of on paper forms. In 2004 IRS started a new e-file system for corporations, referred to as “Modernized e-file” (MeF) that is web-based, allowing electronic filing of corporate income tax returns through the Internet. MeF uses the widely accepted XML format, a standardized way of identifying, storing and transmitting data.

Certain corporations are required to e-file as explained in these FAQs. With few exceptions, all corporations that file Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F may file electronically.

IRS e-file is available to corporations that prepare and/or transmit their own returns and to those that rely upon a tax professional to prepare and/or transmit their returns.

Corporate e-file provides additional information on the background and development of electronic filing for corporations.

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Q2. Are there corporations that file Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F that can not file their tax returns electronically?

A2. The Tax Year 2008 Corporate e-file Program does not accept and process the following corporate returns. Therefore, the corporation is excluded from the electronic filing requirement under TD 9363 unless otherwise noted.

  • Returns with tax periods ending prior to December 2006
  • Returns covering multiple tax periods
  • Bank Holding Company Tax Act. Election to make installment payments for a portion of the total tax attributable to the Bank Holding Company Tax Act.
  • Prompt Assessments
  • Returns with reasonable cause as related to failing to pay and/or file timely.

Note: Corporations or partnerships who meet the Final Treasury Regulation, issued in T.D. 9363criteria are still required to e-file their TY2008 return. They must send an explanation of reasonable cause as a separate letter to:

Internal Revenue Service
ARKA Monterrey Park
1973 N. Rulon White Boulevard
Mail Stop 6552 (ARKA)
Attention: AM Clerical Unit
Ogden, Utah 84404

 

These procedures do not apply to Form 2220 (Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Corporations) which should be filed as part of the electronic return.

  • Requests for overpayments to be applied to another account.

Note: Corporations or partnerships who meet the Final Treasury Regulation, issued in T.D. 9363 criteria are still required to e-file their TY2008 return. They must send the request to apply overpayments in a separate letter to:

Internal Revenue Service
ARKA Monterrey Park
1973 N. Rulon White Boulevard
Mail Stop 6552 (ARKA)
Attention: AM Clerical Unit
Ogden, Utah 84404

The following forms cannot be filed electronically as a return at the parent level:

Corporations required to e-file subsidiary returns for the following forms must file them in XML format. Refer to " Tax Year 2008 Directions to e-file" for additional information.

 

1120-L Life Insurance Company
1120-PC  Property and Casualty

If the forms listed below are stand-alone filings (not part of a consolidated return), they must be filed in paper since the Modernized e-File (MeF) system does not process them at this time. However, if the following forms are part of a consolidated return, they may be attached in PDF format. They should be named appropriately and attached to the top-level consolidated return.

 

 

 1120-C (formerly 990-C)  Farmer's Cooperative Association
 1120-FSC  Foreign Sales Corporations
 1120-H  Homeowners Association
 1120-IC-DISC  Interest Charge Domestic International Sales
 1120-ND  Nuclear Decommission Trusts
 1120-REIT  Real Estate Investment Trust
 1120-RIC  Regulated Investment  Companies
 1120-SF  Settlement Funds

The 1120X cannot be e-filed as a stand-alone return.  It can only be submitted as an attachment to an 1120 return.

 

 1120X  Amended Return

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Q3. Does that mean a corporation can e-file a 52-53 week, short period, or final Tax Year 2008 1120/1120S income tax return?

A3. Yes, Beginning with Tax Year 2006 returns, IRS modified MeF programs so corporations can file income tax returns for:

  • 52-53 week
  • short period
  • final returns

Q4.  Can I electronically file my corporation State income tax return?

A4.   The IRS worked with the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) and 28 state tax agencies to develop a fed/state electronic filing system for business tax returns filed on Modernized e-File. The system was implemented by the IRS in 2006.  Check with your State tax authorities for specific information about state electronic filing options available to corporations

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B. Corporations Required to e-file

Q1.  Which corporations are required to file returns electronically?

A1.  Temporary Regulations issued January 11, 2005 and Final Regulations announced in TD 9363, which were implemented effective November 13, 2007, require certain corporations to electronically file.  Those corporations with $10 million or more in total assets and that file 250 or more returns a year are required to electronically file their Form 1120, 1120S, and 1120-F.

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Q2.  How do I determine whether the corporation meets the 250-return threshold?

A2. All returns filed by a corporation or members of a controlled group of corporations during the calendar year are counted. The total is determined by aggregating all returns, regardless of type, that are required to be filed over the calendar year, including income tax returns, returns required under section 6033, information returns, excise tax returns, and employment tax returns.  Corrected returns, amended returns, or forms filed with the 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F tax return, such as Form 5471, are not counted.

Example 1 - A corporation that files a consolidated return has 5 subsidiaries.  Each subsidiary and the parent have 25 employees, one of the subsidiaries files100 Forms 1099, and another subsidiary files 3 Forms 720. The corporation filing the consolidated return is deemed to have met the 250-return threshold because:

  • Each of the 150 Forms W-2 is considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 6 Forms 940 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 24 Forms 941 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 100 Forms 1099 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 3 Forms 720 are considered a separate return.

Example 2 – A controlled group, as defined by IRC §1563(a), has 4 members, 1 C corporation, 2 S corporations, and 1 exempt organization that files Form 990.  The C corporation has 50 employees, 1 S corporation has 300 employees and the other S corporation has 200 employees, and the exempt organization has 150 employees.  The aggregate number of returns filed for the controlled group is 724.  The C corporation is deemed to have met the 250-return threshold because:

  • Each of the 700 Forms W-2 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 4 Forms 940 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 16 Forms 941 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 4 Forms 1120/1120S/990 are considered a separate return.

The S corporation with 300 employees meets the 250-return threshold.  The S corporation with 200 employees and the exempt organization do not meet the 250-return threshold since the concept of aggregation does not apply to Forms 1120S and 990.

Example 3 – A controlled group as defined by IRC §1563(a) has 3 member corporations.  All members file Form 1120S.  Corporations A and C have 20 employees and Corporation B has 300 employees.  Only Corporation B is deemed to have met the 250-return threshold since the concept of aggregation does not apply when a controlled group does not have at least 1 member who files Form 1120.

Example 4 – A controlled group, as defined by IRC §1563(a), has 5 members, 1 Consolidated C corporation, 2 non-consolidated C corporations, and 2 S corporations.  The consolidated C corporation (Corp A) has 50 employees, 1 of the non-consolidated C corporations (Corp B) has 300 employees and 1 of the non-consolidated C corporations (Corp C) has 30 employees. 1 of the S corporations (S Corp D) has 300 employees and the other S corporation (S Corp E) has 200 employees.  The aggregate number of returns filed for the controlled group is 910.  The consolidated C corporation and both of the non-consolidated C corporations are deemed to have met the 250-return threshold because the concept of  aggregation applies to all C corporations in a controlled group:

  • Each of the 880 Forms W-2 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 5 Forms 940 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 20 Forms 941 are considered a separate return.
  • Each of the 5 Forms 1120/1120S are considered a separate return.

The concept of aggregation does not apply to Forms 1120S and 990.  The S corporation with 300 employees meets the 250-return threshold.  The S corporation with 200 employees does not meet the 250-return threshold.

Entity Actual Returns Filed Returns Deemed filed

Required to e-file

Corp A

56

  • 1 – 1120
  • 1 – 940
  • 4 – 941
  • 50 – W-2

910

Aggregation applies

Yes

Corp B

306

  • 1 – 1120
  • 1 – 940
  • 4 – 941
  • 300 – W-2

910

Aggregation applies

Yes

Corp C

36

  • 1 – 1120
  • 1 – 940
  • 4 – 941
  • 30 – W-2

910

Aggregation applies

Yes

S Corp D

306

  • 1 – 1120S
  • 1 – 940
  • 4 – 941
  • 300 – W-2

306

Aggregation does NOT apply

Yes

S Corp E

206

  • 1 – 1120S
  • 1 – 940
  • 4 – 941
  • 200 – W-2

206

Aggregation does NOT apply

No

Q3.  Are returns filed by a related partnership included when determining if a corporation meets the 250-return threshold?

A3.  No, a controlled group, as defined by IRC §1563(a), does not include partnerships.  Returns filed by a related partnership are not included when determining if a corporation meets the 250-return threshold.

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Q4.  If a corporation meets the asset and return filing thresholds, and files a 52-53 week return, are they required to e-file their tax return?

A4.  Yes, a corporation with a 52/53 week tax year must file electronically

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Q5.  Will the IRS grant waivers releasing taxpayers from the e-file requirement?

A5.  Notice 2005-88 provides that taxpayers can request waivers from the electronic filing requirement where the taxpayer can not meet electronic filing requirements due to technology constraints or where compliance with the requirements would result in undue financial burden on the taxpayer.  The notice also outlines the specific steps taxpayers should follow when requesting waivers from the IRS.

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Q6.  What actions should a corporation take to ensure they are ready for filing an income tax return electronically?

A6.  The answer depends on whether the corporation will use a tax professional to prepare their electronic income tax return or if the corporation plans to prepare their own electronic income tax return.

Corporations that plan to use a tax professional to prepare their electronic income tax return should check with them early and ensure they are IRS Authorized e-file Providers.  Also, these corporations should review the FAQs in section D of these FAQs. 

Corporations that plan to prepare their own income tax returns should discuss the various electronic filing options with their software vendor as soon as possible and may need to take steps to register and apply for electronic filing.  Additional information for these taxpayers is in section E of these FAQs.

Q7.  What happens if a corporate taxpayer required to e-file fails to comply?

A7.  If a corporate taxpayer fails to file an income tax return on magnetic media when required to do so by regulations, the IRS may determine that the taxpayer has failed to file the return. The taxpayer then becomes subject to §6651 additions to tax, typically resulting in monetary penalties on the amount of underpayment. Additionally, any return not in compliance with the electronic filing requirement will be considered to not have been timely filed rendering any elections invalid.

The Service contacts taxpayers who report assets exceeding $10M and filed a paper return.  We explain the electronic filing requirements to these taxpayers and work with them to subsequently electronically file if they are covered by TD 9363.  The Service will continue to monitor paper filing submissions and enforce the requirements of electronically filing.

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Q8.  If the corporation is required to file their Form 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F under TD 9363, are they also required to e-file their extension and employment tax returns?

A8.  No, the requirement to e-file under TD 9363 applies to Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F. Forms 7004 and the 94X family are not required to be e-filed.

Q9.  We officially amended our certificate of incorporation to reflect a new corporate name and were intending to notify IRS by checking the box on the face of the tax return. Can we file the corporation’s tax return on paper because the e-file system does not accept name changes?

A9. No, in January 2007, the Modernized e-File system was enhanced to accept name change returns.  Taxpayers with a name change that are otherwise required to e-file must file electronically unless they have received an approved waiver. 

Q10.  Prior versions of Publication 4163 and Publication 4164 indicated that Name Change Returns were excluded from electronic filing. Does that mean that a taxpayer covered by the electronic filing mandate that officially changed their name and intended to notify the IRS by checking the box on the face of the Form 1120, 1120S, or return is excluded from e-filing?

A10.  No, Publications 4163 and 4164 have been updated to remove the exclusion.  (see FAQ Q9 above)

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Q12.  How do you officially change the name of a Corporation with the Internal Revenue Service?

A12.   If you are filing a current year return, mark the appropriate name change box of the Form 1120 type you are using: 

  • Form 1120:  Page 1, Line E, Box 3
  • Form 1120S:  Page 1, Line F, Box 3
  • Form 1120-F: Page 1, Top Right "Name or Address Change" Box

If you have already filed your return for the current year, write to us at the address where you filed your return to inform us of the name change.  In addition: 

  • The notification must be signed by a Corporate Officer.
  • Articles of Amendment to the Certificate of Incorporation from the state that authorized the Corporation’s name change must be attached

Q13.  If I change the name of my corporation, do I need a new EIN?

A13.  In some situations, a name change may require a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a final return.  See Publication 1635, Understanding Your EIN, to make this determination.  If only the name is changing, you do not need a new EIN.

Q14.  If the corporation is required to file their Form 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F under TD 9363, are they also required to e-file any amended or superseding tax returns?

A14. Yes, for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006, both amended and superseding returns are required to be e-filed if the taxpayer is required to file electronically based on the regulations.   A taxpayer must have received an approved waiver to file that particular return in paper.

Q15.  If the corporation is required to file their Form 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F under TD 9363, are they also required to e-file any short-period tax returns?

A15. Yes, all short periods ending on or after November 13, 2007 are required to be e-filed if the taxpayer is required to file electronically based on the regulations.  A taxpayer must have received an approved waiver to file that particular return in paper.

Q16.  My corporation files Form 1120-F.  How do I determine if we meet the $10 million asset threshold for corporations required to e-file?

A16.  Treasury Regulations § 301.6011-5(a)(1) and (f) provide that a corporation must e-file its Form 1120 if it is required to file at least 250 returns during the calendar year ending with or within its taxable year and it reports “total assets at the end of the corporation’s taxable year that equal or exceed $10 million on Schedule L of their Form 1120.”  For foreign corporations filing a Form 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation, the foreign corporation can elect whether their Schedule L will include worldwide assets or limit it to U.S. connected assets. See Treasury Regulations. § 1.6012-2(g)(1)(iii).

Because Treasury Regulation §  301.6011-5(f) refers to total assets that equal or exceed $10 million on Schedule L, and Treasury Regulation § 1.6012-2(g)(1)(iii) gives the Form 1120-F filer an election to include only U.S. connected assets on Schedule L, the $10 million threshold determination is based on what the foreign corporation elects to report on its Schedule L.

Accordingly for purposes of determining the $10 million threshold for purposes of the corporate e-filing mandate, foreign corporations filing a Form 1120-F will be mandated to e-file their Form 1120-F if their Schedule L assets equal or exceed $10 million, and the $10 million threshold is determined based on the foreign corporation’s U.S. connected assets if the foreign corporation elects to complete its Schedule L based on its U.S. connected assets consistent with Treasury Regulation § 1.6012-2(g)(1)(iii).

Q17.  My corporation was required to e-file in 2008 but our total assets will drop below $10 million in 2009.  Are we still required to e-file?

A17.  Treasury Regulations § 301.6011-5(a)(1) and (f) provide that a corporation must e-file its Form 1120 if it is required to file at least 250 returns during the calendar year ending with or within its taxable year and it reports “total assets at the end of the corporation’s taxable year that equal or exceed $10 million on Schedule L of their Form 1120.”  The requirement to e-file is based on the number of returns and dollar threshold during the taxable year.  Since the total assets of the corporation dropped below $10 million in 2009, the corporation is not required to e-file the 2009 return.  If the total assets of the corporation is over $10 million in 2010 and the corporation is still required to file at least 250 returns during the calendar year, then the corporation would be required to e-file their corporate return in 2010.

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C.  Communication and General e-file

Q1.  Can a corporation that voluntarily files an electronic return, use the procedures included in “ Tax Year 2008 Directions for Corporations Required to e-file”?

A1.  No, “ Tax Year 2008 Directions for Corporations Required to e-file” only applies to corporations required to e-file.

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Q2.  If a corporation who is required to e-file uses the procedures provided by IRS in “Tax Year 2008 Directions for Corporations Required to e-file ,” is there a need to also file a waiver notifying IRS?

A2.   No, if a corporation who is required to e-file follows the procedures exactly as provided by IRS in “ Tax Year 2008 Directions for Corporations Required to e-file,” there is no need to file a waiver.

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Q3.  Does a corporation need special software to file an electronic income tax return?

A3.  The answer depends on if the corporation uses a tax professional to prepare their income tax return or if the corporation prepares their own income tax return.

If the corporation uses a tax professional to prepare the income tax return, it does not need special software to file electronically.  The corporation’s tax professional will need to use software approved for electronic filing and also be an IRS Authorized e-file Provider.  Taxpayers should check with their tax preparer early to ensure they are ready to file their electronic income tax return. These taxpayers should also review section D of these FAQs.

Corporations that purchase tax preparation software and prepare their own income tax return should discuss the various electronic filing options with their software vendor as soon as possible, and review the additional information in section E of these FAQs.

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Q4.  My corporation uses tax preparation software to prepare our income tax return in-house, but after the return is complete, we contract with a tax professional to review and sign the return as paid preparer.  Does my corporation need special software or will my tax professional be able to file the electronic return for me?

A4.  You should discuss the preparation of your electronic return with your tax professional and/or your paid preparer.  If they are an IRS Authorized e-file Provider and use the same software used by your corporation to prepare the return, they may be able to “originate” your electronic return.   If the tax professional uses a different software package, you will need to follow the procedures in Publications 4163 and 4164 to “originate” your electronic return.

Q5.  What if a corporation prepares the income tax return “in-house” but does not use tax preparation software?

A5.  You will be required to purchase software approved for electronic filing, develop your own software, or use an IRS Authorized e-file Provider to prepare your electronic return.  If you choose to develop your own software, you should review Publication 4164.  Additionally, the software must be approved by the IRS before it can be used to file an electronic return.

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Q6.  Corporations that choose to develop their own tax preparation software must have the software approved by IRS.  Does this requirement apply to corporations that use software approved for electronic filing for a portion of their return but develop their own software to prepare other portions of the income tax return?

A6. Yes, this requirement also applies to corporations that choose to develop their own software for portions of the return.  You should review Publication 4164 for additional information.

Q7.  My corporation prepares our income tax return using separate tax preparation software, one for the domestic portion of the return and another for International forms (i.e. Form 5471).  Assuming both have been approved for electronic filing, am I still required to transmit the entire electronic income tax return to IRS in one file?

A7.  Yes, MeF can only process electronic income tax returns if the entire return is transmitted to IRS in one file.  Some software vendors have developed tools to “aggregate or merge” files as outlined in your example.  You should discuss your situation with both of your software vendors.

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Q8.  What is my tax preparer, ERO, or transmitter required to provide me with as a copy of an electronically filed tax return?

A8. The preparer, ERO, or a transmitter must provide a complete copy of the return filed with the IRS to the taxpayer in any media, including electronic media that is acceptable to both the taxpayer and the preparer, ERO, or transmitter.  A complete copy of a taxpayer's return consists of the electronic portion of the return, including all schedules, forms, pdf attachments, and jurats, filed with the IRS.  The copy provided to the taxpayer must include all information submitted to the IRS to enable the taxpayer to determine what schedules, forms, electronic files, and other supporting material has been filed with the return.  The copy, however, need not contain the taxpayer identification number of the paid preparer. The electronic portion of the return can be contained on a replica of an official form or on an unofficial form. On an unofficial form, however, data entries must be referenced to the line numbers or descriptions on an official form. The preparer, ERO, or transmitter should advise the taxpayer to retain a complete copy of the return and any supporting information.

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Q9.   What is the difference between an Amended and a Superseding corporate return?

A9.   A superseding return is a subsequent return filed within the filing period (including extensions).    A superseding return is considered the return of record because it takes the place of any other return previously filed during the filing period, with extensions.  An amended corporate return is a subsequent return filed after the expiration of the filing period (including valid extensions).

Q10.  My corporation prepares and submits more than one tax return prior to the due date, including extensions, of the return.  These subsequent filings are commonly referred to as “Superseding” returns.  Will my corporation be able to file more than one electronic return for the same tax period?

A10.  Yes, Since January 8, 2007, MeF can process multiple electronic income tax returns for the same tax period.  A taxpayer filing a superseding return must indicate the return is such by selecting the Superseded Return checkbox designation in the software. 

  • The instructions relating to Amended and Superseding Returns are specific to each tax year.  Go to the link for the tax year you need to update.  

Q11.  Regarding pensions, do I have to make the contributions to my pension plan before I can file the tax return that claims the deduction for the contributions?

A11.  Under Code Section 404(a)(6), if the taxpayer files before the due date of the return (with extensions), so long as the deduction is on the return, the taxpayer has until the due date to make the contribution. The actual cite is:

Code Sec. 404. Deduction for contributions of an employer to an employees' trust or annuity plan and compensation under a deferred-payment plan.
  (a) GENERAL RULE
     (6) TIME WHEN CONTRIBUTIONS DEEMED MADE
     For purposes of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), a taxpayer shall be
     deemed to have made a payment on the last day of the preceding
     taxable year if the payment is on account of such taxable year and is
     made not later than the time prescribed by law for filing the return
     for such taxable year (including extensions thereof).

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Q12.  Regarding rejected electronic returns, if a timely filed electronic return is rejected and, after contact with the IRS e-Help desk, it is ultimately determined that the return must be submitted in paper, how long does the taxpayer have to submit the paper to the appropriate submission processing center to have the return still be considered timely?

A12.  .  If a timely filed electronic return is rejected and the reason(s) for the rejection cannot be corrected to comply with electronic filing requirements, then the taxpayer must file a paper return. To be considered timely filed this paper return must be postmarked by the later of the due date of the return (including extensions) or 10 calendar days after the date the Service last gives notification that the return was rejected. The paper return should include an explanation of why the paper return is being filed after the due date, include a copy of the reject notification, the eCase number assigned by the IRS e-Help desk, a brief history of actions taken to correct the electronic return, and the taxpayer must write in red at the top of the first page of the paper return  - REJECTED ELECTRONIC RETURN – (DATE) where the date will be the date of first reject within the 20 day timeframe.  The information published in Notice 2005 – 88 incorrectly states that in order for the paper return to be considered timely, it must be filed by the later of the due date, or 5 calendar days after the date the Service last gives notification to the taxpayer that the return has been rejected, as long as the first transmission was made on or before the due date of the return (including extensions). 5 calendar days is incorrect – the correct number is 10 calendar days.

Q13.  How does a corporation amend an e-filed tax return?

A13.  As of January 8, 2007, taxpayers may use Modernized e-File (MeF) to amend returns for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006.  You should check with your software vendor to determine the tax periods that they support electronic amended return filing. 

  • Additional information on electronic amended return filing may be found at e-file for Large and Mid-Size Corporations.  The instructions relating to Amended and Superseding Returns are specific to each tax year.  Go to the link for the tax year you need to update.

*Note: For Tax Years 2006 and 2007, Carryback Claims, situations in which the change is due to a net operating loss carryback, a capital loss carryback, or a general business credit carryback, are exempt from the e-file requirement and should be filed using the existing paper process.  For Tax Years 2008 and forward, Carryback Claims may be filed electronically.

Q14.  How can a corporation submit omitted documents after the return has been e-filed?

A14.  Once a tax return has been e-filed, it is considered the return of record.  Documents that were not attached when the return was e-filed cannot be considered as part of the return.  There is no process to associate forgotten or missed documents with an electronic return.  If a taxpayer feels that the missed or forgotten items are material enough to warrant sending to the IRS, then an amended return should be filed.  As of January 8, 2007, taxpayers may use Modernized e-File (MeF) to amend returns for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006.

Q15.  I used Form 8453-T to submit some forms that I erroneously forgot to include as part of my e-filed return.  I mailed this information to:

Internal Revenue Service
PO Box 3205, Mail Stop 3205
Ogden, UT  84409

Why did the post office return this information to me?

A15.  IRS no longer accepts forgotten or omitted items using the 8453-T process.  The post office box has been closed and all information is “Returned to Sender.”  If you have forgotten or omitted items, you should refer to FAQ 24 above.  Form 8453-T is now obsolete.

Q16.  I e-filed my international Forms 5471, 5472, and 5713.  Is there still a requirement to send a duplicate copy of these forms?

A16.   No, you no longer need to send a duplicate paper copy of Forms 5471, 5472, and 5713 if you electronically file the original form. 

Q17.  My corporate return is subject to a penalty other than estimated tax penalty.  We would like to pre-compute the penalty and interest and submit it when we electronically file our return.  How do we include pre-computed penalty and interest with our return?

A17.  Pre-computed penalties and interest may be included with the electronically filed return.  A PDF file should be attached to the return including the pre-computed amount for each penalty and interest owed.  The Description field should be “Pre-computed Penalty and Interest” and the file should be named “Pre-computedPenaltyAndInterest.pdf”.  Taxpayers should remember the IRS will re-compute the penalty and interest upon the filing of the return as a matter of standard practice.  The taxpayer will receive a notification of any changes to the amounts of penalties and/or interest owed.   The taxpayer may receive a notice even if the pre-paid amounts are computed correctly.  Please note: do not include the additional pre-computed penalties and interest amounts on the front of the Form 1120 at the top consolidated level.  If you include these amounts on the Form 1120, these entries could cause the return to reject.  For information on making your payment, see the Payments Section of Publication 4163, Modernized e-file (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Business Returns Tax Year 2008.

If you are subject to an estimated tax penalty, you should complete Form 2220 in XML, attach the form to your electronic Form 1120, and include the amount on Form 1120, Line 33.

Q18.  My corporation needs to alert the IRS of certain information that will assist in the processing of our return, i.e. additional withholding credits, explanations of withholding from Schedules K-1, Forms 1099-G, etc.  What would be the best format to alert the processing areas that such information exists and how to find it? 

A18.  Your software should provide an "OtherRefundableCreditsSchedule”.  This schedule will allow you to itemize the additional credits and provide fields for Description, Explanation, and Amount.  The sum of the additional credits will be included in the amount on Form 1120, Line 32(f). 

If a taxpayer needs to attach statements providing additional information or clarification, these documents should be attached directly to the return.  The file should be in PDF format, the Description field should be something explanatory like “Explanation of Withholding from Schedule K-1”, “Explanation of Withholding from Form 1099-G”, etc  and the file should be named something like“ExplanationOfWithholdingFromScheduleK-1.pdf”, “ExplanationOfWithholdingFromForm1099-G.pdf”, etc. This will alert the processing units that additional clarification to supplement the return information is available and how to easily identify this attachment.

Q19.  My corporate return has an overpayment for the current tax year.  We would like to designate that credit overpayment to the subsequent tax year.   If circumstances change, for example a subsequent balance due as the result of an examination, can we re-designate that overpayment once our return is filed to fulfill an outstanding balance due?

A19.  No.  Under Revenue Ruling 77-339, 1977-2 C.B. 475, Once an elected amount is credited as a payment of estimated tax for the succeeding year, it loses its character as an overpayment for the year in which it arose, and the IRS cannot thereafter offset it against any subsequently determined tax liability.  Accordingly, the IRS cannot offset an overpayment shown on a return, that was applied at the taxpayer's election to estimated tax for the succeeding year, against any additional tax subsequently determined for the year of the overpayment.

Q20.  My corporation needs to file an Application for Change of Accounting Method, Form 3115.  This form must be submitted to the National Office for approval prior to the filing of the corporate income tax return.   The Form 3115 instructions state to include a Power of Attorney, Form 2848, if the contact person is someone other than an individual authorized to sign the Form 3115.  If my corporation submits the Form 2848, Power of Attorney, with the Form 3115, must we submit a copy of the Form 2848 as a PDF attachment with our e-filed return?

A20.  No.  A copy of the Form 2848, Power of Attorney, need not be submitted in PDF with the e-filed Form 1120 in cases when a Form 3115 is filed with the National Office for approval or as an automatic notification.  

Q21.  My corporate e-filed return has rejected.  Despite our best efforts, we cannot get this return accepted by the MeF system and have been instructed by the e-Help Desk that we must file a paper return.  We included a Form 8453-C/8879-C as our signature document when we e-filed the return.  Is this Form acceptable as a signature for the paper-filed return?

A21.  No.  The Form 8453-C, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Return, and the Form 8879-C, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1120, contains representations tailored to an electronically filed corporate income tax return.  The Form 8453-C declares that the corporate officer has given the electronic return originator, transmitter or intermediate service provider information that corresponds with the numbers on the Form 8453-C, and that it was true and correct.  The Form 8879-C declares that the corporate officer examined the copy of the corporation's electronic income tax return and that it was true and correct.

Additional guidance can be found in Publication 4163 under the heading “Transmission Perfection Period” in the event that you must paper file a return which is otherwise required to be electronically filed. 

Consequently, it is improper when filing a paper Form 1120 to use either the Form 8453-C or Form 8879-C to sign the paper return.  These forms do not properly make declarations that are appropriate for a filed paper return.  In cases where the purported e-file return has not been accepted, no signature or signature alternative has been accepted or retained by the IRS. Accordingly, a paper return must be signed on the return to comply with the signature requirement under Code Sections 6061 and 6062.

Q22.  There still appears to be some confusion regarding the electronic postmark. Is a transmitter's electronic postmark for an electronically filed federal return reflecting the transmitter's time zone deemed by the IRS to be the official filing date/time if the postmark is on/before the due date?

A22.  Treas. Reg. §301.7502-1(d)3(ii) provides that the term electronic postmark means a record of the date and time (in a particular time zone) that an authorized electronic return transmitter receives the transmission of a taxpayer's electronically filed document on its host system. However, if the taxpayer and the electronic return transmitter are located in different time zones, it is the taxpayer's time zone that controls the timeliness of the electronically filed document.

Based on the regulations, the Electronic Postmark is adjusted to the taxpayer’s time zone – the ERO is not mentioned in Treas. Reg. § 301.7502-1(d)(3)(ii).  A change will be requested to make Publication 1345 and Publication 4163 agree with the regulation. 

Q23.  My corporation files their income return electronically using the services of foreign return preparer.  When any paid preparer information is included in the electronic file, SSN/PTIN is a required field.  But foreign preparers do not have these numbers assigned to them.   How can my corporation successfully complete these fields when filing an income tax return?

A23.  As a short tem solution until a change can be made to the preparer SSN/PTIN field, in the case of foreign return preparers, the preparer name and SSN/PTIN may be left blank in the XML file.  The preparer can sign the return and supply the firm’s Employer Identification Number through the Form 8453-C, filed as a PDF attachment with the corporation's electronically filed income tax return.  As such, it is considered part of the return for purposes of electronic filing of the Form 1120.   This practice will fulfill the requirements of I.R.C. §§ 6109(a)(4) and 6695(c), and Treasury Regulation §§ 1.6109-2(a) and 1.6695-1(c).

Q24.  My corporation files its return with affiliates that are based in foreign countries.  We need to place these codes into various e-filing forms.  How can we determine what are the proper codes to include on our e-file return for these foreign countries?

A24. List of Foreign Country Codes 

Q25.  My corporate return has backup withholding that we would like to report and submit it when we electronically file our return.  How do we include these backup withholding amounts with our return?

A25.  Backup withholding may be included with the electronically filed return.  Line 32f(1) of the schema allows for the taxpayer to enter a write-in “Backup Withholding” and a field for the Backup Withholding amount.  The Backup Withholding amount then should be included on Line 32f(1).  Consult with your software developer for more information on how these fields should be entered.  Note: The Form 1120 instructions state that the Backup withholding should be entered on line 32g but the schema currently allows that entry on 32f(1).  A correction will be made to the schema in future releases to have the Backup withholding entered on line 32g.  Until this change is made, enter the amount in the total on line 32f(1).

Q26.  My corporate return needs to electronically file a short period return.  We would like to include an explanation of this short period return and related information.  How do we include this explanation with our return?

A26.  If you would like to include an explanation of the short period return and/or related information, you should include this information in a PDF file attached to the return.  The Description field should be “Short Period Return” and the file should be named “ShortPeriodReturn.pdf”.   This file should be attached at the top consolidated return level.  The file name may contain up to 64 characters if you would like to include more detail in the name of the file, such as the corporate name.    

Q 27.  My corporation will have a business need to file a superseding corporate income tax return for the same tax period prior to the extended due date of the return. We would like to include an explanation in the first filed return and advise that we will be filing a superseding return.  How do we include this explanation with our return?

A27.  If you would like to include an explanation, you should include this information in a PDF file at the top consolidated return level.  The Description field in the XML should be “Intent To File Superseding Return Explanation” and the PDF file should be named ““IntentToFileSupersedingReturnExplanation.pdf” . The file name may be modified to contain up to 64 characters, if you would like to include more detail in the name of the file, such as the corporate name.

Q28. Our corporation plans to e-file our return and request a Direct Deposit using Form 8050.  How quickly will we receive our refund?
 
A28.  In general, if there are no issues that cause downstream processing problems, a corporation can expect to see their refund one week earlier than a corporate return filed on paper.

Q29.  My corporation files a calendar year return.  We filed an extension on February 15, 2008.  On March 10, 2008, we filed our Form 1120 income tax return.  Circumstances required us to file a subsequent return with new information for the same taxable year.  We filed the second Form 1120 tax return on September 10, 2008.   Since we filed an extension, we assume that our extended due date is still September 15, 2008.  Is that correct?
 
A29.  The filing of Form 1120 on March 10, 2008 does not change the September 15, 2008 due date granted with the extension.  The Form 1120, filed on September 10, 2008, is considered to be a timely filed income tax return that supersedes the Form 1120 filed on March 10, 2008. 

Q30.  Revenue Procedure 2009-20 provides instructions for taxpayers that experienced losses in certain investment arrangements discovered to be criminally fraudulent.  In section 6.01(1) the taxpayer is told to mark “Revenue Procedure 2009-20” at the top of the Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, for the discovery year.  Paragraph (2) also instructs the taxpayer to complete and sign the statement provided in Appendix A of Revenue Procedure 2009-20.  How does a taxpayer follow these instructions on an electronically filed return?

A30.  A partnership or corporate return filing their return electronically may create a General Dependency and enter “Revenue Procedure 2009-20” in the Description field.  The signed statement may be scanned and attached to the electronically filed return as a PDF document.  Name the PDF file “RevenueProcedure2009-20.PDF” (no spaces) and enter “Revenue Procedure 2009-20” as the Description of the BinaryAttachment.xsd. 

Q31. My corporation intends to elect a carry back based on Section 1211 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  Revenue Procedure 2009-19 states that the taxpayer should type or write “2008 NOL Carryback Election Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2009-19” across the top of the form or “Amended NOL Carryback Election Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2009-19” across the top of the amended 1120X.  It also states that the taxpayer making the election should provide a statement that includes the following:

  • Clearly states that the taxpayer is electing to apply “§172(b)(1)(H)”
  • Describes the length of the NOL carryback period elected by the
    taxpayer (3, 4, or 5 years); and
  • If applicable, states that the taxpayer is electing to apply the carryback
    provision to the taxable year that begins in 2008.     

The statement should be attached to both the return filed (Form 1120) as well as to any application for a tentative refund (Form 1139) or amended return (Form 1120X).  How do I satisfy these conditions if I am electronically filing my initial or amended return?

A31.  Revenue Procedure 2009-19 was modified by Revenue Procedure 2009-26.  The modification states that the taxpayer only needs to attach a statement to the initial return and no label is needed.   A taxpayer filing their initial return electronically may create a General Dependency and enter “ARRA - Rev Proc 2009-26” in the Description field.  Provide the statement “2008 NOL Carryback Election Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2009-26” and the information listed in the three bullets above in the Attachment Information field of the General Dependency.  If this information cannot be provided in XML because it is in columnar format, then the statement may be output or scanned as PDF and attached to the return.  Name the PDF file “ARRA-RevProc2009-26.PDF” (no spaces) and enter “ARRA-Rev Proc 2009-26” as the Description of the BinaryAttachment.xsd.

Revenue Procedure 2009-26 further states that no statement or label is needed on the amended return.  If the taxpayer wishes to attach a statement to their amended electronic return, they may create a General Dependency and enter “ARRA - Rev Proc 2009-26” in the Description field.  Provide the statement “Amended NOL Carryback Election Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2009-26” and the information listed in the three bullets above in the Attachment Information field of the General Dependency.  If this information cannot be provided in XML because it is in columnar format, then the statement may be output or scanned as PDF and attached to the return.  Name the PDF file “ARRA-RevProc2009-26.PDF” (no spaces) and enter “ARRA-Rev Proc 2009-26” as the Description of the BinaryAttachment.xsd.

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D.  e-file for Corporations That Use a Tax Professional to Prepare Their Income Tax Return

Q1.  If a corporation uses a tax professional to prepare the income tax return, what extra steps are required in order to comply with the requirements to file an electronic return?  

A1.  If your corporation uses a tax professional to prepare the entire income tax return there should be minimal impact.  You should check with your tax professional to ensure they are an IRS Authorized e-file Provider and discuss their responsibilities to “originate” your electronic return.  You should also ensure that your tax professional uses software that fully supports your e-file requirements.  Your Corporate Officer will also sign the electronic return using the appropriate Form 8453 or Form 8879.  

IRS requires the entire electronic return to be sent to IRS in one electronic file.  As a result, some of your internal tax preparation processes may change.  You should discuss the preparation of your electronic return with your tax professional and they should be able to assist you.

Q2.  What is my responsibility if my tax professional uses e-filing software that does not fully support my e-filing requirements?  For example, my corporation files a consolidated tax return and the software that my tax professional uses does not support consolidated tax returns.

A2.  The requirement for certain large corporations to e-file is the responsibility of the corporation.  Within this requirement is your need to use software that complies with IRS published guidance.  The published guidance allows some latitude in specific filing situations.  Your return needs to be prepared and filed using approved software that fully supports your specific filing situation consistent with this published guidance.

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E.  e-file for Corporations Which Prepare Their Own Income Tax Return

Q1.  If a corporation required to e-file prepares its own return, what extra steps are required in order to comply with the requirements to file an electronic return?

A1.  Your corporation should be aware of the issues discussed in Section C of these FAQs, “Communication and General e-file”, and then determine if you meet the IRS definition of “Large Taxpayer”.

Q2.  What is the IRS’s definition of a “Large Taxpayer”?

A2.  For purposes of electronic filing, the IRS defines a “Large Taxpayer” as a business or other entity with assets of $10 million or more, or a partnership with more than 100 partners, which originates the electronic submission of its own return(s).

Q3.  How does a Large Taxpayer “originate” the electronic submission of its own returns(s)?

A3.  After a Large Taxpayer completes the preparation of their corporate income tax return, tax preparation software approved for electronic filing will provide the necessary instructions to “originate” the electronic submission of the return and authorize the filing of the return via IRS e-file. During this process, the electronic return data is converted into the format defined by IRS for electronic filing. 

According to Publication 3112 (pdf), Application and Participation in IRS e-file, the taxpayer originates the electronic submission of a return by:

  • Electronically sending the return to a transmitter who will transmit the return to the IRS;
  • Directly transmitting the return to the IRS; or
  • Providing a return to an Intermediate Service Provider for processing prior to transmission to the IRS.

Q4.  Are Corporate Officers or Principals of the firm required to complete the registration and application process required for “Large Taxpayers” to participate IRS e-file?

A4.  No. Corporations meeting the definition of Large Taxpayer may assign a “Responsible Official” who will complete the online registration and application process.  The Responsible Official is not required to be a Corporate Officer or a Principal of the firm.  IRS recommends that corporations have 2 or more “Responsible Officials” listed on their e-file Application in the event that the “Responsible Official” is unavailable and IRS needs to contact them regarding the e-file process of the corporation’s tax return.

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Q5.  If a corporation meets the definition of “Large Taxpayer,” will IRS perform the suitability checks discussed in Publication 3112 (pdf)?

A5.  No, these suitability checks are not performed on the Responsible Official, Delegated Official, Corporate Officer, or Principals of entities meeting the definition of a Large Taxpayer since they are required to e-file their return and do not prepare returns for profit.  IRS only performs the suitability checks discussed in Publication 3112 on applicants that prepare returns for profit.

Q6.  How does a corporation submit the attachments, explanations, etc. required by the Form 1120/1120S/1120-F instructions and the additional information required by IRS regulations?

A6.  In all situations where you are asked to provide supporting data, an explanation, or a description, the software should prompt you for the necessary information and automatically create the proper “supporting data”.  This is referred to as a “structured” attachment.  In situations where the data cannot be entered into the software (such as an appraiser statement), you will be allowed to scan the documents and send a PDF file attached to the electronic return.  In addition, the Form 1120/1120S/1120-F software includes a General Dependency Schema that may be used to send other information.  Additional information can be found in Tax Year 2008 Directions for Corporations Required to e-file

Q7.  How does a Corporate Officer “sign” an electronic return that they are transmitting directly to the IRS?

A7.  Large Taxpayers who file their return directly with IRS must use a Form 8453 signature document.   After the Form 8453 is signed by the corporate officer, the form must be scanned and saved in PDF format.  The PDF file is then attached to the electronic return.

Q8.  What additional information is available for corporations that prepare their own returns?

A8.  Corporations that prepare their own return should review Publication 4163.

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Q9.  Our corporation has many subsidiaries that file as part of our consolidated return, but we also have non-consolidated subsidiaries, brother/sister, and other business related corporations for whom we prepare and file returns.  Do I need a different EFIN and/or ETIN for those corporations or can I use the one I received for our corporation?

A9. You may e-file the returns for all corporations who fall within your “business” controlled group.  The EFIN and ETIN are IRS’ approval for you to e-file (EFIN) and transmit (ETIN) returns and that includes “sister”, “brother”, or “related” corporations for whom you would normally prepare and submit returns as part of your business processes.

Q10.  My corporation will be filing an 1120-F return.  We are planning on preparing and transmitting our own return.  Do we need to create an IRS e-file Application? 

A10.  Yes.  If you decide to originate and transmit your own return, you will need to create an e-file Application for Large Taxpayers (pdf, 1.42MB).  There are step-by-step instructions that walk the Large Taxpayer through the process of creating their IRS e-file Application. 

Q11.  If a foreign corporation does not have a U.S.citizen or legal resident aliens to register for e-Services, how can we electronically file our 1120-F return? 

A11.  A foreign corporation that has no U.S. citizens or legal resident aliens to register for e-Services may do one of the following:

  • Use an IRS Authorized e-file Provider to originate and transmit their return
  • Designate an employee to register for an ITIN and then to act as the Responsible Official on the corporation's IRS e-file Application. 

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F.  Sources for Additional Information on Large and Mid-Size Corporations e-file  

Q1. Will the IRS provide additional information and respond to questions concerning the new e-file requirements?

A1.   Yes. The IRS updates this e-file for Large and Mid-Size Corporations web page with new information as it becomes available. Check back regularly for updates.

IRS also provides e-mail addresses where interested parties can submit questions concerning corporate e-file requirements.

  • Corporate taxpayers (Forms 1120, 1120S, and 1120-F) may email questions about e-file to: largecorporate@irs.gov.  Note: This email service is for e-file related questions only, not account or tax law questions.
    • Taxpayers with account or tax law questions may call 1-800-829-4933.
    • Tax practitioners with account or tax law questions may call 1-800-829-8374.
  • Tax Practitioners or Software Developers should contact the e-Help Desk at 1-866-255-0654 for assistance with inquiries. 

While individual responses may not be possible due to the volume of questions submitted, IRS will post answers to frequently-asked e-file questions on this web site.

Q2.  How will IRS communicate more information about the new e-file requirements with external audiences and stakeholder groups?

A2.  Since the e-file requirements were issued, IRS officials have been holding regular meetings with representatives from key external stakeholder groups (TEI, ACT, and AICPA) to discuss e-file requirements and administrative processes.  These meetings will continue.

Interested parties may also subscribe to e-file News for Large and Mid-Size Corporations to receive email alerts to new e-file developments affecting large and mid-size corporations.

Q3.  If a Large Taxpayer has questions about electronic filing during the actual return preparation process, what other resources are available?

A3.  The best source of information during actual return preparation will be your software vendor. Publication 4163 is also a good source of information.  The IRS e-Help Desk at 1-866-255-0654 can answer basic questions about electronic filing but cannot assist with return preparation.

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Q4.  We just learned that my corporation will be required to electronically file our tax year 2008 Form 1120-F.  Where can I find more information on what I need to do to successfully e-file our return? 

A4.  The main source of information on filing the 1120-F return electronically is a web page called 1120-F e-file for Foreign Corporations.  This page provides important information including links to the regulations requiring electronic filing, e-file for foreign corporations, Publication 4163 and 4164, Known issues and workarounds, etc.   

 


Return to:    e-file for Large and Mid-Size Corporations

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Jan-2014