Submitting the Electronic Return to the IRS (Updated 11/23/2016)
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 must be included in all individual income tax returns. The required Internet Protocol information includes the following information, captured both at time of return creation and return submission:
- Public/routable source IP address
- Source TCP port number
- Timestamp corresponding to the capture of the Source IP address
With many different ERO e-filing business models, the computer used to prepare may not have a public/routable IP address. If the computer used for preparation is on an internal reserved IP network, then the software should utilize an “out-of-band” mechanism to capture the public/routable Source IP address and Source TCP Port number of the computer used to transmit the return across the Internet from the originating computer’s location. If the computer used for preparation is used to transmit the return to the IRS, then the IP address should be the public/routable IP address of that computer.
The IRS will reject individual income tax returns e-filed without the required IP address,TCP port numbers and timestamps. 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.
The IRS has implemented two Device ID fields for electronic return filers and preparers, including Device ID at return creation and Device ID at return submission. The IRS will utilize these unique identifiers; in addition to key elements we already collect to improve fraud and ID theft detection. Vendors implementing Device ID in their software should ensure that their privacy notice will cover Device ID.
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:
- Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes (or equivalent contemporaneous written acknowledgement);
- Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (only for an electronic return signed by an agent);
- Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method;
- Form 3468 - attach a copy of the first page of NPS Form 10-168a, Historic Preservation Certification 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 - 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 any 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 of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents (or certain pages from a post-1984 decree or agreement, 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 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit, and all required attachments; and
- Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, (or a statement with the same information), if you elect not to report your transactions electronically on Form 8949.
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.