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e-file Using a Computer

IRS e-file is the fastest most accurate way to file your taxes.

Filing your federal tax return using IRS e-file is easier and more convenient than ever before! Most taxpayers can use this program. Access to a personal computer and the Internet is necessary to conveniently, quickly and safely transmit your return and receive proof of acknowledgement. You decide the manner of tax preparation to quickly and conveniently e-file your Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ or Form 1040SS (PR) using a personal computer. You can:

• Purchase commercially available software from a retailer,
• Download software from an Internet site and prepare your return offline, or
• Prepare and file your return online.

NOTE: IRS cannot compete with private enterprise and does not offer free e-file software or direct filing. A number of companies, tested and approved by the IRS, do offer free use of their software and free filing, while others will charge nominal fees. Terms and conditions vary among companies and you are advised to review the information on each company's web site and choose the product that is right for you.

Anyway you choose, it's a simple process. As always, IRS e-file means a more accurate return, fast refunds - in half the time compared to filing a paper return - and even faster and safer with Direct Deposit! IRS e-file also offers the convenience of filing your tax return early and delaying payment up until the due date.

The Self-Select PIN is the only IRS e-file signature method available to you when filing online. This requirement makes electronic filing more secure and paperless!

For more information about simultaneously e-filing federal tax return with your state income tax return, go to e-file your Federal and state tax returns. Your personal computer and IRS e-file does it all!

Here is how the IRS e-file option works:

You prepare your tax return on a personal computer and transmit the information via the Internet to an electronic return transmitter. You can transmit a maximum of five returns using tax preparation software, so you can prepare returns for family and friends as well.

The electronic return transmitter converts the file you send to a format that meets IRS specifications, and transmits it to the IRS. IRS checks the return and notifies the transmitter (who then informs you) whether the return has been accepted or rejected. Approximately 89 percent of returns are accepted the first time they are transmitted.

NOTE: The IRS does not charge a fee for e-file. However, an electronic return transmitter offering this service to taxpayers may charge a fee for transmission. Check out the Free File Home or IRS e-file Partners web page to learn about free and low cost e-file opportunities. If you have additional questions, you can also contact IRS toll-free customer service at 1-800-829-1040.

If you have supporting documents that are required to be submitted to the IRS, you will need to mail in Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, within 3 business days after you have received acknowledgement that the IRS has accepted your electronically filed tax return. Include your name, address and social security number on the Form 8453. If you filed a joint return, the name and social security number of your spouse is also required.

Mail Form 8453 with supporting documents to:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Shipping and Receiving, 0254
Receipt and Control Branch
Austin, TX 73344-0254

                             Acceptable attachments to Form 8453 can be found on the IRS website

  • Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes (or equivalent contemporaneous written acknowledgment)
  • Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (or POA that states the agent is granted authority to sign the return)
  • Form 3115 Application for Change in Accounting Method
  • Form 3468, Investment Credit (attach a copy of the first page of NPS Form 10-168a, Historic Preservation Certificate Application (Part 2-Description of Rehabilitation), with an indication that it was received by the Department of the Interior or the State Historic Preservation Officer, together with proof that the building is a certified historic structure (or that such status has been requested)
  • Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels (attach the Certificate for Biodiesel and, if applicable, Statement of Biodiesel Reseller or a certificate from the provider identifying the product as renewable diesel and, if applicable, a statement from the reseller)
  • Form 5713, International Boycott Report
  • Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions Section A, (if statement or qualified appraisal is required) or Section B, Donated Property, and any related attachments (including any qualified appraisal or partnership Form 8283)
  • Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent (or certain pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement, that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009) (see instructions).
  • Form 8858, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect To Foreign Disregarded Entities
  • Form 8864, Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit (attach the Certificate for Biodiesel and, if applicable, Statement of Biodiesel Reseller or a certificate from the provider identifying the product as renewable diesel and, if applicable, a statement from the reseller)
  • Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Captial Assest, (or a statement with the same information, if you elect the same information, if you elect not to report your transactions electronically on Form 8949).

NOTE: There is no requirement to attach Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Forms W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, Forms W-2GU, Guam Wage and Tax Statement and Forms 1099-R, Distribution From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., with the Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return.  However, we advise you to keep copies of these attachments with a copy of your tax return for your records.

For filing season 2015, Tax Year 2014, individual income taxpayers across the nation will have until Wednesday, April 15, 2015, to file their 2014 returns and pay any taxes due.

If your return is not accepted, the electronic return transmitter will provide you with customer support to correct your return and resubmit it. Retransmissions for rejected Form 1040 series returns to all Centers must be accepted by the IRS on or before April 20, 2015 to be considered timely filed.

Refunds will be issued within three weeks after the acknowledgement date.

If you owe money, you can use an electronic payment option that provides an immediate acknowledgement when your payment is accepted by the IRS or mail a check or money order (made out to the United States Treasury) using form 1040-V, Payment Voucher.

Smart, safe, convenient AND paperless...that's IRS e-file!

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Nov-2014