Political organizations required to file Form 8871 must do so electronically. Those tax-exempt political organizations that are required to file Form 8872 and have, or expect to have, more than $50,000 in contributions or expenditures for the year, must file Form 8872 electronically.
The IRS provides the ability for political organizations to file these forms electronically with a web-based filing application, and also provides the ability for organizations to upload XML data files containing the information required to be reported on these forms. A successful file upload requires the use of data formatting accomplished by software written for this purpose. These software products are not officially endorsed or approved by the IRS. Please check with your own software provider.
When a political organization uploads an XML data file, the system will first check the size of the file. Files that are less than 3.5MB will be immediately checked to determine whether the file conforms to the required XML schema. Larger files will be uploaded and processed overnight. Assuming the file conforms to the XML schema, the information will be available for review and submission on the IRS web site by 9:00 AM the following day.
Once a conforming file is accepted, the system enters the data uploaded into the web-based filing application and performs additional consistency checks. If necessary, the system will generate error messages and allow the political organization to correct the problem.
A Form is not actually submitted to the IRS until an authorized officer has signed the form by entering his or her name in the signature box on the IRS web site and clicked on the "Submit" button. Therefore, if your filing size is above 3.5MB, please start the filing process in advance of the actual deadline to allow for overnight upload, consistency checks, review and signature.
Form 8871 & Form 8872 XML Schemas are changing!
The Form 8871 & Form 8872 XML schemas are changing in February 2013. At that time, you will need to use the updated schemas to successfully upload your XML files. You can make the schema changes below now, as it will not affect your current submissions. The only change required is to the header(s).
The header for Form 8871 will need to to be exactly: <FORM8871 xmlns="http://forms.irs.gov/pofd/schema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://forms.irs.gov/pofd/schema/8871Schema.xsd">
The header for Form 8872 will need to be exactly: <FORM8872 xmlns="http://forms.irs.gov/pofd/schema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://forms.irs.gov/pofd/schema/8872Schema.xsd">