Software Developers (updated 7/28/2011)
A Software Developer develops software for the purposes of formatting electronic return information according to IRS e-file specifications and/or transmitting electronic return information directly to the IRS. Software Developers may find IRS e-file specifications in Publication 1346. Software Developers must pass Participants Acceptance Testing (PATS) as prescribed in Publication 1436, Test Package for Electronic Filers of Individual Income Tax Returns.
A Software Developer must:
- Promptly correct any software error which causes the electronic portion of a return to be rejected and then promptly distribute that correction;
- Ensure that any software package for multiple Providers to use to transmit returns has the capability of combining returns into one IRS transmission file and take into account sorting requirements of the Declaration Control Number (DCN);
- Ensure that an IRS assigned production password is not incorporated into its software;
- Provide a copy of the software and accompanying documentation (a demonstration package is sufficient) to the IRS, if requested, upon successful completion of the communication testing;
- Ensure that its software contains appropriate language and version indicators for Consent To Disclose and Jurat statements;
- Ensure software contains IRS e-file Signature Authorization; and
- Ensure its software allows for input of different addresses on appropriate forms and schedules when they differ from the taxpayer’s address in the electronic individual income tax return. Also require the manual key entry of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) as it appears on Form W-2 for taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) who are reporting wages.
Exception: For 1040 MeF, Software Developers will find IRS e-file specifications in Modernized e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters">Publication 4164, Modernized e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters. Software Developers who develop MeF software must have their software approved through the Assurance testing System (ATS) as prescribed in Test Package for Electronic Filers of Individual Tax Returns">Publication 1436, Test Package for Electronic Filers of Individual Tax Returns.
Additional Requirements for Software Developers Participating in Online Filing
A Software Developer that participates in Online Filing must also:
- Ensure that its software package cannot be used to transmit more than five electronic returns;
- Ensure that its software, if available for use on an Internet Web site, cannot be used to file more than five electronic returns from one e-mail address;
- Ensure that its software contains a U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return">Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, that can be printed and used by a taxpayer to mail supporting documents to IRS;
- Ensure that its software contains a payment voucher that can be printed and used by a taxpayer to file with the IRS;
- Provide a copy of the software and accompanying documentation (a demonstration package is sufficient) to the IRS Headquarters Online Filing Analyst upon successful completion of testing (For address, see "Additional Requirements for Participants in Online Filing in the " e-file Rules and Requirements">IRS e-file Rules and Requirements" section); and
- Ensure the Internet Protocol (IP) statement is present.