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Submitting the Electronic Return to the IRS

Once signed, an ERO must originate the electronic submission of a return as soon as possible. EROs must not electronically file individual income tax returns prior to receiving Forms W-2, W-2G or 1099-R. If the taxpayer is unable to secure and provide a correct Form W-2, W-2G, or 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., the ERO may electronically file the return after the taxpayer completes Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement or 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., in accordance with the use of that form. If Form 4852 is used, the non-standard W-2 indicator must be included in the record, and the ERO must maintain Form 4852 in the same manner required for Forms W-2, W-2G and 1099-R.

An ERO must ensure that stockpiling of returns does not occur at its offices. Stockpiling is:

  • collecting returns from taxpayers or from another Authorized IRS e-file Provider prior to official acceptance in IRS e-file; or
  • after official acceptance to participate in IRS e-file, stockpiling refers to waiting more than three calendar days to submit the return to the IRS once the ERO has all necessary information for origination.

The IRS does not consider current filing year returns held prior to the date it accepts transmission of electronic returns stockpiled. EROs must advise taxpayers that it cannot transmit returns to the IRS until the date the IRS accepts transmission of electronic returns. Although holding late returns during periods when IRS electronic filing is not available is not stockpiling, Providers should mail the returns to the IRS mailing addresses in the form’s instructions.

Internet Protocol Information

Internet Protocol (IP) information of the computer the ERO uses to prepare the return (or originate the electronic submission of collected returns) must be included in all individual income tax returns. The required Internet Protocol information includes:

  • Public/routable IP address
  • IP date
  • IP time
  • IP time zone

With many different ERO e-filing business models, the computer used to prepare (or originate the electronic submission of collected returns) may not have a public/routable IP address. If the computer used for preparation (or origination of the electronic submission of collected returns) is on an internal reserved IP network, then the IP address should be the public/routable IP address of the computer used to submit the return. If the computer used for preparation (or origination of the electronic submission of collected returns) is used to transmit the return to the IRS, then the IP address should be the public/routable IP address of that computer. If it is not possible to capture the public/routable IP address, then the ERO or software may have to hard code the IP address into each return.

The IRS will reject individual income tax returns e-filed without the required IP address. Any return received by the IRS containing a private/non-routable IP address will be flagged in the Acknowledgement File with an “R” in the Reserved IP Address Code field of the ACK key record indicating that a reserved IP address is present for the return.

Submission of Paper Documents to the IRS

IRS e‑file returns must contain all the same information as returns filed completely on paper. Forms that have an electronic format must be submitted in the electronic format unless IRS identifies an exception during the tax year. If a form/document can’t be submitted electronically, IRS can accept forms/documents in PDF format. Check the software package to see if this option is offered. EROs are responsible for ensuring that they submit to the IRS all paper documents required to complete the filing of returns. If the documents are not submitted electronically, they may be mailed to IRS. Attach all appropriate supporting documents that the IRS requires to the Form 8453, U.S. Individual income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, and send them to the IRS. Refer to page 2 of Form 8453 for the current mailing address. Below is a list of these supporting documents:

State income tax returns in the Federal/State Program often require that paper documents be prepared and forwarded to state tax administration agencies. Be sure to follow each state’s rules when state income tax returns are prepared.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 07-Apr-2014