Federal/State e-file is a cooperative tax‑filing effort between the IRS and most states, which allows Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) to file federal and state returns electronically to IRS. The state return can be sent linked to the federal return (by including the Submission ID of the federal return in the state submission), or it can be sent unlinked (standalone). On linked returns, the federal return must be accepted before the linked state return can be filed. In addition to accepting federal and state individual income tax returns electronically in a single transmission, State Only returns are also accepted if the return:
- was previously rejected by the state;
- is originated separately from the federal return;
- is a part-year residency return:
- is a non-resident state return; or
- is a married filing separately state return, but, the federal return was filed jointly.
The IRS provides state acknowledgement services. Participating states can send their acknowledgements to the IRS for transmitters to pick up when they pick up their federal acknowledgement.
Adding Federal/State e-file to a Provider’s business is very similar to the process it went through to become a Provider. Refer to Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation for further details. Also, the Provider should contact the state coordinators for the state programs in which it participates for further explanation of state rules and requirements.