Publication 4163 (Rev. 12 2017) P4163

User Manual: 4163

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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Publication 4163
Modernized e-File (MeF)
Information for Authorized
IRS e-File Providers for
Business Returns
Tax Returns
Processed in 2018
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
The Internal Revenue Service Mission
Provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them
understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax
law with integrity and fairness to all.
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Table of Contents
Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................................... iii
List of Tables ............................................................................................................................................... x
List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................ xi
Processing Year 2018 Nature of Substantive Changes ........................................................................ xii
1 Introduction and General Information .............................................................................................. 1
1.1 What is Modernized e-File (MeF)? ................................................................................................... 1
1.2 Using Publication 4163 .................................................................................................................... 1
1.3 General Information ......................................................................................................................... 1
1.4 Authorized IRS e-File Providers ....................................................................................................... 1
1.4.1 Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs), Electronic Transmitter Identification
Numbers (ETINs), and Passwords ....................................................................................................... 2
1.4.2 Electronic Return Originator (ERO) ......................................................................................... 2
1.4.3 Transmitter .............................................................................................................................. 3
1.4.4 Software Developer ................................................................................................................. 4
1.4.5 Online Provider ........................................................................................................................ 5
1.4.6 Intermediate Service Provider (ISP) ........................................................................................ 6
1.4.7 Reporting Agent ....................................................................................................................... 6
1.4.8 Large Taxpayer ....................................................................................................................... 6
1.5 Communicating with IRS .................................................................................................................. 7
1.5.1 Modernized e-File (MeF) Status Page .................................................................................... 7
1.5.2 Helpful Publications and Information ....................................................................................... 8
1.6 Overview and Benefits of Modernized e-File (MeF) ...................................................................... 11
1.7 New for Processing Year 2018 ...................................................................................................... 12
1.7.1 Forms..................................................................................................................................... 12
1.7.2 Processes and Procedures ................................................................................................... 12
1.8 Forms for Processing Year 2018 ................................................................................................... 13
1.8.1 Corporation Returns .............................................................................................................. 13
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
1.8.2 Employment Tax Returns ...................................................................................................... 13
1.8.3 Estate and Trust Returns....................................................................................................... 14
1.8.4 Excise Tax and e-filing Compliance Returns (ETEC) ........................................................... 14
1.8.5 Extension Applications .......................................................................................................... 14
1.8.6 Partnership Returns ............................................................................................................... 14
1.8.7 Tax Exempt/Government Entity (TEGE) Returns ................................................................. 14
1.9 Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Procedures ................................................................ 14
1.10 Tax Relief in Disaster Situations .................................................................................................... 15
1.11 The Requirement to e-File ............................................................................................................. 15
1.11.1 Large Business and International (LB&I) Corporations ......................................................... 15
1.11.2 Employment Tax Returns ...................................................................................................... 15
1.11.3 Estates and Trusts ................................................................................................................. 15
1.11.4 Excise Tax Returns ............................................................................................................... 16
1.11.5 Partnerships .......................................................................................................................... 16
1.11.6 Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE) ............................................................................ 16
2 MeF Rules and Requirements ......................................................................................................... 17
2.1 Participating in the IRS e-File Program .......................................................................................... 17
2.2 Maintaining Your IRS e-File Application ........................................................................................ 18
2.3 Adherence to MeF Rules ............................................................................................................... 18
2.4 Protecting Taxpayer Information: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and Federal Trade
Commission Rules .................................................................................................................................. 19
2.5 Safeguarding MeF Data from Fraud and Abuse ............................................................................ 20
2.5.1 Safeguarding Taxpayer Information ...................................................................................... 20
2.5.2 Safeguarding Against Fraud and Abuse ............................................................................... 20
2.6 Disclosure of Tax Return Information ............................................................................................ 20
2.7 Submitting a Timely-Filed Electronic Tax Return ........................................................................... 21
2.8 Preparer Penalties ......................................................................................................................... 21
2.9 Paperwork Reduction Act Notice ................................................................................................... 22
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
2.10 Provider Responsibilities in Obtaining, Handling, and Processing Return Information ................ 22
2.10.1 Making Substantive Changes to the Return .......................................................................... 22
2.10.2 Providing a Copy of the Return to the Taxpayer ................................................................... 23
3 MeF Information Applicable to All Form Types ............................................................................. 23
3.1 Preparing Your Return ................................................................................................................... 23
3.2 Validating Your Return ................................................................................................................... 24
3.3 Return/Extension Due Date Tables ............................................................................................... 24
3.4 Short Period Returns for Corporate, Partnership and Estate and Trust Tax Returns ................... 24
3.4.1 Current Year Software is Available ....................................................................................... 24
3.4.2 Current Year Software is Not Available ................................................................................. 25
3.4.3 Valid Reasons for Forms 1041 Short Period Returns ........................................................... 26
3.4.4 Valid Reasons for Forms 1120 or 1120-F Short Period Returns .......................................... 26
3.4.5 Valid Reasons for Form 1120S Short Period Returns .......................................................... 27
3.4.6 Forms 1065 and 1065-B Technical Termination Returns ..................................................... 27
3.5 Superseding and Amended Returns .............................................................................................. 27
3.5.1 Superseding Returns ............................................................................................................. 28
3.5.2 Amended Returns .................................................................................................................. 29
3.5.3 Form 2290 VIN Correction .................................................................................................... 30
3.6 Signing an Electronic Return ......................................................................................................... 31
3.6.1 Practitioner Personal Identification Number (PIN) Signature MethodForm 8879 .............. 31
3.6.2 Form 1041 Multiple Tax Return Listing (MTRL) .................................................................... 33
3.6.3 Scanned Form 8453 Signature Method ................................................................................ 33
3.6.4 Reporting Agents Personal Identification Number (PIN) Signature MethodForm 8655 .... 35
3.6.5 94x On-Line e-Filer Signature Method (IRS Authorized Signer) ........................................... 36
3.7 Applications for Extension of Time to FileForms 7004 and 8868 ............................................... 37
3.8 Other Forms and Elections Requiring Signatures ......................................................................... 38
3.8.1 Signature Requirements for Elections ................................................................................... 38
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
3.9 Attaching Portable Document Format (.pdf) Files .......................................................................... 38
3.10 Special Instructions for Supporting Data Required by Form 8865 ................................................ 39
3.11 Name Controls ............................................................................................................................... 39
3.11.1 Form 1041 Name Control Information ................................................................................... 43
3.12 Addresses ...................................................................................................................................... 46
3.12.1 Domestic Address Changes .................................................................................................. 46
3.12.2 Foreign Addresses ................................................................................................................ 47
3.12.3 Address Format ..................................................................................................................... 48
3.12.4 Foreign Country Codes for Forms 8858 and 926 .................................................................. 49
3.13 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes ................................................... 50
3.14 Refunds .......................................................................................................................................... 50
3.15 Payments ....................................................................................................................................... 51
3.15.1 General Payment Information ............................................................................................... 51
3.15.2 Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) ..................................................................................... 51
3.15.3 Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) ............................................................... 54
3.15.4 Check or Money Order .......................................................................................................... 54
3.16 Special Instructions When Copies of Original Forms are Required .............................................. 54
3.17 Submitting the Electronic Return to the IRS .................................................................................. 55
3.18 Record Keeping and Documentation Requirements ..................................................................... 55
3.19 Acknowledgements of Transmitted Return Data ........................................................................... 56
3.19.1 Acknowledgement Alerts for Form 1120-F ............................................................................ 57
3.20 Transmission Perfection Period ..................................................................................................... 57
3.20.1 How to Determine IRS Received Date .................................................................................. 58
3.21 Rejected e-Filed Returns ............................................................................................................... 59
3.21.1 Resubmission of Rejected Applications for Filing Extensions............................................... 61
3.22 Integrating Data/Elections into Your Return................................................................................... 61
3.22.1 Special Instructions for Consolidated Returns ...................................................................... 61
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
3.23 Preparing Supporting Data Required by IRS Forms or Form Instructions .................................... 66
3.23.1 Example 1Supporting data required by IRS forms ............................................................ 67
3.23.2 Example 2Supporting data required by IRS form instructions. .......................................... 68
3.23.3 Example 3Supporting data required as another IRS form ................................................. 69
3.23.4 Example 4Supporting data required for tables on IRS forms ............................................ 70
3.24 General Dependency ..................................................................................................................... 71
3.24.1 The Element “SpecialConditionDesc” ................................................................................... 72
3.25 Creating Elections Required by Forms or Form Instructions ......................................................... 72
3.26 Creating Elections/Disclosure Statements Required by Regulations or Publications ................... 72
3.26.1 Example 1Creating Elections and/or Disclosure Statements With No Columnar Data ..... 73
3.26.2 Example 2Creating Elections and/or Disclosure Statements That Apply to Multiple
Subsidiaries ........................................................................................................................................ 74
3.26.3 Example 3Creating Elections and/or Disclosure Statements With Columnar Data........... 74
3.27 Preparing Elections and/or Disclosure Statements That Require Supporting Data ...................... 75
3.28 Electronic Postmark ....................................................................................................................... 75
3.29 MeF Routine Maintenance ............................................................................................................. 76
3.30 Ensuring Taxpayer Data Integrity .................................................................................................. 77
3.31 MeF Fed/State Program................................................................................................................. 77
4 MeF Information for Specific Forms ............................................................................................... 79
4.1 Employment Tax Returns............................................................................................................... 79
4.2 Tax-Exempt Organization Returns ................................................................................................. 79
4.2.1 TY 2017, 2016, 2015 Form 990-N (e-Postcard) .................................................................... 81
4.3 Estate and Trusts ........................................................................................................................... 81
4.4 Partnership Returns ....................................................................................................................... 82
4.5 Corporate Returns .......................................................................................................................... 82
4.5.1 1120 Family Forms that cannot be e-filed as a Stand-Alone Return at the Parent Level ..... 82
4.5.2 Special Instructions for Form 1120 Section 847, Special Estimated Tax Payments ............ 83
4.5.3 Special Instructions for Form 8838 When Filed With Form 1120 ......................................... 83
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
4.5.4 Special Instructions for Form 1120-F when Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax is
Claimed............................................................................................................................................... 84
4.6 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information and
Other ReturnsForm 7004 .................................................................................................................... 84
4.7 Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization ReturnForm 8868 ............... 85
4.8 Excise Tax e-File and Compliance (ETEC) ................................................................................... 86
4.8.1 ETEC Extension Requests: ................................................................................................... 86
4.9 Return Due Dates .......................................................................................................................... 86
4.10 Accepted Forms and Schedules .................................................................................................... 87
5 IRS e-File for Large Taxpayers Filing Their Own Corporate Income Tax Return ...................... 88
5.1 Purpose of Section 5 ...................................................................................................................... 88
5.2 Why Certain Large Taxpayers are Required to e-File ................................................................... 89
5.3 How to Meet the Requirement to e-File ......................................................................................... 90
5.4 How to Register and Apply to e-file as a Large Taxpayer ............................................................. 94
5.4.1 Register with E-Services ....................................................................................................... 94
5.4.2 Apply to e-File ........................................................................................................................ 94
5.5 What is Different in Preparing Returns to e-File ............................................................................ 97
5.5.1 Traditional Paper Filing Process ........................................................................................... 97
5.5.2 MeF Filing Process ................................................................................................................ 97
5.5.3 Consolidated Returns ............................................................................................................ 98
5.5.4 Aggregation of Data from Different Sources ......................................................................... 98
5.5.5 Attaching Data Not Defined in XML Schemas ...................................................................... 98
5.5.6 Attaching Data in PDF Format .............................................................................................. 99
5.5.7 Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9300 - Eliminating Signature Requirements for Certain Forms .. 100
5.5.8 Return Address and Name Control ..................................................................................... 100
5.5.9 Signing the Electronic Return .............................................................................................. 101
5.6 How to Transmit Electronic Returns to the IRS ........................................................................... 102
5.6.1 Transmission Channels ....................................................................................................... 102
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
5.6.2 Methods of Transmission .................................................................................................... 104
5.6.3 Retrieving an Acknowledgement ......................................................................................... 104
5.7 Timely Filed Electronic Returns ................................................................................................... 107
5.8 Additional Resources ................................................................................................................... 109
5.8.1 Publication 5078 .................................................................................................................. 109
5.8.2 Publication 4164 .................................................................................................................. 110
5.8.3 Frequently Asked Questions for Large and Mid-Size Corporations .................................... 110
5.8.4 Telephone Assistance Contacts for Business Customers .................................................. 110
5.8.5 E-Services Online Tools for Tax Professionals ................................................................ 110
6 Exhibits ............................................................................................................................................ 110
Exhibit 1 Standard U.S. Postal Service State Abbreviations and ZIP Codes ................................ 110
Exhibit 2 Foreign Country Codes ................................................................................................... 110
Exhibit 3 Schemas and Business Rules ........................................................................................ 110
Exhibit 4 Recommended Names and Descriptions for PDF Files ................................................. 111
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
List of Tables
Table 11: MeF Information...................................................................................................................... 8
Table 12: Helpful Publications and Information ...................................................................................... 9
Table 31: Short Period Return Indicators ............................................................................................. 25
Table 32: Processed Superseding and Amended Returns .................................................................. 28
Table 33: PIN Signature Method Authorization Form ........................................................................... 33
Table 34: Scanned Form 8453 Method Authorization Form ................................................................ 35
Table 35: General Name Control Rules ............................................................................................... 40
Table 36: Name Control Rules for Partnerships ................................................................................... 42
Table 37: Additional Name Control Rules for Other Organizations ...................................................... 43
Table 38: Estate Name Controls .......................................................................................................... 44
Table 39: Trust Name Controls ............................................................................................................ 45
Table 3–10: Received Date Determination Chart ................................................................................... 58
Table 311: Consolidated Return Example - Attachment 1, F1120, line 10, Other Income
(ItemizedOtherIncomeSchedule) ............................................................................................................ 63
Table 312: Consolidated Return Example - Subsidiary 1, Hide 'N Seek Foods, Inc. ........................... 63
Table 313: Consolidated Return Example - Subsidiary 2, The Greek Playhouse ............................... 63
Table 314: Consolidated Return Example - Subsidiary 3, Acme Food Corp. ...................................... 64
Table 315: Consolidated Return Example - Data Format 1 ................................................................. 65
Table 316: Consolidated Return Example - Data Format 2 ................................................................. 65
Table 317: Consolidated Return Example - Data Format 3 ................................................................. 66
Table 318: Examples of Elections Required by Form Instructions ....................................................... 72
Table 319: Example 1Creating Elections and/or Disclosure Statements With No Columnar Data .. 73
Table 320: Example 2Creating Elections and/or Disclosure Statements That Apply to Multiple
Subsidiaries ............................................................................................................................................ 74
Table 321: Example 3Creating Elections and/or Disclosure Statements With Columnar Data........ 74
Table 41: Forms 8288-A and 8805 Special Instructions (FIRPTA Claims) .......................................... 84
Table 42: Return Due Dates ................................................................................................................. 87
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Table 43: Accepted Forms and Schedules........................................................................................... 87
Table 51: How to Meet the Requirements to E-File ............................................................................. 91
List of Figures
Figure 31: Supporting Data Required by IRS Forms ............................................................................ 67
Figure 32: Supporting Data Required by IRS Form Instructions .......................................................... 68
Figure 33: Supporting Data Required as Another IRS Form ................................................................ 69
Figure 34: Supporting Data Required for Tables on IRS Forms .......................................................... 70
Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Processing Year 2018
Nature of Substantive Changes
Page
Change
All
This publication was updated to reflect tax returns processed in 2018; this
includes 2015, 2016 and 2017 tax returns, and a few 2018 tax year returns.
All
2014 tax year products were removed.
All
2017 and 2018 tax year products were added.
12
Added New forms for Processing Year 2018
12
Added information regarding filing requirements for Forms 8975 and 8975
Schedule A
12
Added information regarding Summer/Fall 2017 updates to e-Services affecting
e-Services users
Note: When reading this Publication “We” refers to the IRS, while “You” refers to the
reader.
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
1 Introduction and General Information
1.1 What is Modernized e-File (MeF)?
Modernized e-File (MeF) is an important component of IRS re-engineering efforts to
improve service, enhance enforcement, and modernize technology and work processes.
It is an Internet-based system that uses standardized Extensible Mark-Up Language
(XML) constructs, which provide certain businesses the capability to electronically file.
MeF processes the following business forms: 720, 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS,
943, 943-PR, 944, 945, 94x On-Line Signature PIN Registration, 990, 990-EZ, 990-N,
990-PF, 1041, 1065, 1065-B, 1120, 1120-F, 1120-POL, 1120S, 2290, 7004, 8849, and
8868. Additional forms supported by MeF can be found at Modernized e-File (MeF)
Forms on IRS.gov.
1.2 Using Publication 4163
This document addresses Tax Years 2015, 2016, 2017 and some Tax Year 2018
business returns filed during 2018. Publication 4163 provides authorized IRS e-file
Providers and Large Taxpayers with specific requirements and procedures for electronic
filing through the MeF system. E-file instructions for Large Taxpayers filing their own
corporate income tax returns are included in Section 5 of this publication. The
procedures in this publication apply to all MeF business e-file programs. All publications
referenced in this document are available at Forms and Publications on IRS.gov. Be
sure to check the web page frequently for updated information on e-filing through
Modernized e-File (MeF) Program Information.
1.3 General Information
When a new tax form is added to the MeF platform, that form may only be filed
electronically during the current processing year (for example, PY 2018) and future
processing years. Furthermore, for any given processing year, MeF will accept returns
for the most recent tax year and two prior tax years. For example, during processing
year 2018 Form(s) 1120/1120S/1120-F can only be e-filed for TY 2017, TY 2016 and
TY 2015.
1.4 Authorized IRS e-File Providers
Authorized IRS e-file Providers are firms and organizations that develop software,
originate and/or transmit electronic returns to the IRS, and provide services to a
multitude of taxpayer clients. The roles and responsibilities of providers vary according
to the e-file activities that firms conduct. A firm identifies its e-file activity by selecting the
appropriate Provider Option in the IRS e-file application. Each Provider Option entails a
different role and may have different responsibilities that relate specifically to the e-file
activity of the firm. Some providers may have more than one e-file business activity. For
example, an Electronic Return Originator (ERO) may also be a Transmitter. Providers
must adhere to all IRS e-file rules and requirements applicable to their multiple e-file
roles. The following details the roles and responsibilities of each provider option.
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
1.4.1 Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs), Electronic Transmitter
Identification Numbers (ETINs), and Passwords
All providers must protect their EFINs, ETINs, and passwords from unauthorized use.
Providers must never share the numbers and passwords with others, including the
transferring of EFINs or ETINs to another entity when transferring the business by sale,
gift, or other disposition. If the IRS learns that a Provider’s EFIN or ETIN is
compromised, the IRS changes the number and notifies the Provider by mailing a new
acceptance letter to the Provider. Refer to Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and
Participation for additional information.
1.4.2 Electronic Return Originator (ERO)
The ERO is the Authorized IRS e-file Provider who originates the electronic submission
of a return to the IRS. The ERO is usually the first point of contact for most taxpayers
filing a return using IRS e-file. Please refer to Publication 3112 and Revenue Procedure
(Rev. Proc.) 2007-40, Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB): 2007-26 for additional
information. Revenue Procedure 2007-40 informs authorized IRS e-file providers of their
obligations to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers, and other participants in the IRS
e-file Program, and combines the rules governing IRS e-file.
1.4.2.1 ERO Responsibilities
Origination of an Electronic Return: Although an ERO may also engage in return
preparation, that activity is separate and distinct from the origination of the electronic
submission of the return to the IRS. An ERO originates the electronic submission of a
return after the taxpayer authorizes the filing of the return via IRS e-file. An ERO must
originate the electronic submission of only returns that the ERO either prepared or
collected from a taxpayer. An ERO originates the electronic submission by any one of
the following:
Electronically sending the return to a Transmitter that will transmit the return to
the IRS (most taxpayers use this method); or
Directly transmitting the return to the IRS (rarely used); or
Providing a return to an ISP for processing, prior to transmission to the IRS
(rarely used).
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
In originating the electronic submission of a return, the ERO has a variety of
responsibilities including, but not limited to:
Timely originating the electronic submission of returns;
Submitting required supporting paper documents to the IRS;
Providing copies to taxpayers;
Retaining records and making records available to the IRS;
Accepting returns only from taxpayers and authorized IRS e-file Providers; and
Working with the taxpayer and/or the Transmitter to correct rejected returns.
If the taxpayer chooses not to have the electronic portion of a return corrected and re-
transmitted to the IRS or if the electronic portion of a return cannot be accepted for
processing by the IRS, the taxpayer must file a paper return. See 3.20, Transmission
Perfection Period, for detailed instructions about filing a paper return.
Taxpayers required to e
-file their return under Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9363
or Section 1224
of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 must contact the e-help
Desk for authorization to file their paper return
.
1.4.3 Transmitter
A Transmitter sends the electronic return data directly to the IRS. EROs may apply to
be Transmitters and transmit return data themselves, or they may contract with an
accepted third-party Transmitter to transmit the data.
1.4.3.1 Transmitter Responsibilities
A Provider participating in MeF as a Transmitter has a variety of responsibilities that
include, but are not limited to:
Conducting a one-time communication test: no further testing is required as
additional forms are added to MeF. This applies to MeF Transmitters using
Software Developers’ software to prepare and transmit returns;
Transmitting all electronic portions of returns to the IRS within three calendar
days of receipt;
Retrieving the acknowledgement file within two business days of transmission;
Matching the acknowledgement file to the original transmission file and sending,
or making available, the acknowledgement file to the ERO, ISP or Large
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Taxpayer for all rejected and accepted returns, within two business days of
retrieval;
Retaining an acknowledgement file received from the IRS until the end of the
calendar year in which the electronic return was filed, or, for fiscal year filers, for
nine (9) months after the transmission date, whichever is later;
Immediately contacting the IRS e-help Desk toll-free number 1-866-255-0654 for
further instructions if an acknowledgement has not been received within 24 hours
of transmission;
Working with the ERO or Large Taxpayer to promptly correct any transmission
error that caused an electronic transmission to be rejected;
Contacting the IRS e-help Desk toll-free number 1-866-255-0654 for assistance if
the electronic portion of the return has been rejected after three transmission
attempts;
Ensuring the security of all transmitted data; and
Ensuring against the unauthorized use of its EFIN or ETIN. A Transmitter must
not transfer its EFIN or ETIN by sale, merger, loan, gift, or any other transaction
to another entity.
The Transmitter must notify the ERO, ISP or taxpayer of the following:
Accepted Returns
Date the return was accepted
Rejected Returns
Date the return was rejected;
Business Rule(s) explaining why the return rejected;
Steps the ERO or taxpayer need to take to correct any errors that caused the
reject.
1.4.4 Software Developer
A Software Developer creates software that formats electronic return information
according to IRS e-file specifications and/or transmits electronic return information
directly to the IRS. IRS e-file specifications are found in Publication 4164, Modernized
e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters. Additional resources,
such as the Automated Enrollment (AE) External User Guide, MeF Submission
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Composition Guide and MeF State and Trading Partners Reference Guide can be found
on the Modernized e-File (MeF) User Guides and Publications page.
Software Developers must pass the Assurance Testing System (ATS). If an Authorized
IRS e-file Provider is a Software Developer whose only role in IRS e-file is software
development, the Principals and Responsible Officials need not pass a suitability check
during the application process. However, if a Software Developer performs the function
of any provider options, in addition to software development, then suitability checks will
apply.
Software Developers are not required to retest when new Schemas, either major or
minor, are released. However, retesting using the ATS system is strongly recommended
when updating software with Schema changes.
1.4.4.1 Software Developer Responsibilities
A Software Developer has a variety of responsibilities that include, but are not limited to:
Adhering to specifications provided in official IRS publications;
Ensuring its software creates accurate electronic returns;
Promptly correcting all software errors that cause tax returns to reject; and
Distributing the corrections to all affected parties.
1.4.5 Online Provider
An Online Provider transmits business income tax return information prepared by a
taxpayer using commercially purchased software or software provided by an Internet
site.
1.4.5.1 Online Provider Responsibilities
An Online Provider has a variety of responsibilities that include, but are not limited to:
Ensuring the use of an EFIN or ETIN obtained for online filing;
Ensuring the EFIN of the ISP is included in the electronic return data when
applicable;
Transmitting online returns electronically to the IRS;
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
Notifying the taxpayer of the status of a return by:
o Sending an electronic transmission to the taxpayer or the ISP, when
applicable, within two business days of retrieving the acknowledgment file
from the IRS, or
o Mailing a written notification to the taxpayer within one business day of
retrieving the acknowledgment file;
Providing the Internet Protocol (IP) information, which consists of the IP Address,
IP Date, IP Time and IP Time Zone;
Entering into agreements with companies to allow access to online filing only if
the company correctly captures the IP Address of the computer submitting the
return and the date, time, and time zone of the computer receiving it; and
Including the Originator Type “Online Filer” in the Return Header.
1.4.6 Intermediate Service Provider (ISP)
An ISP assists with processing return information between an ERO, or the taxpayer in
the case of Online Filer, and a Transmitter.
1.4.6.1 ISP Responsibilities
An ISP has a variety of responsibilities that include, but are not limited to:
Including its EFIN and the ERO’s EFIN with all return information forwarded to a
Transmitter;
Serving as a contact point between its client ERO and the IRS, if requested;
Providing the IRS with a list of each client ERO, if requested; and
Adhering to all applicable rules that apply to Transmitters.
1.4.7 Reporting Agent
A Reporting Agent originates the electronic submission of certain returns for its clients,
and/or transmits the returns to the IRS. A Reporting Agent must be an accounting
service, franchiser, bank, or other entity that complies with Rev. Proc. 2012-32, IRB
2012-34, and is authorized to perform one or more of the acts listed in Rev. Proc. 2012-
32 on behalf of a taxpayer. Reporting Agents must submit Form 8655 Reporting Agent
Authorization to the IRS prior to updating or submitting an IRS e-file application.
1.4.8 Large Taxpayer
A Large Taxpayer is also a Provider Option on the IRS e-file Application but it is not an
Authorized IRS e-file Provider. The creation of an IRS e-file Application for Large
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Taxpayers is different from the Authorized IRS e-file Providers Application. Therefore,
large corporations should carefully read Section 5 of this publication for specific
information.
For purposes of electronic filing, the IRS defines a Large Taxpayer as a
business or other entity
(excluding partnerships)
with assets of $10 million or
more, or
a partnership with more than 100 partners
(asset criteria does not
apply to partnerships), which originates the electronic submission of its own
return(s).
1.5 Communicating with IRS
The following IRS e-file information resources are available to providers.
The IRS e-help Desk provides assistance in support of MeF software and
communication testing for corporate, partnership, estates and trusts, employment,
excise, and tax exempt returns throughout the filing season. The e-help Desk also
provides assistance with e-Services registration and the IRS e-file application
processes. Contact the e-help Desk at 1-866-255-0654 or if outside the U.S. and U.S.
Territories 1-512-416-7750. You may also contact the e-help Desk with comments or
suggestions regarding Publication 4163 or if you have technical questions regarding the
e-filing of Forms 720, 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944, 94x On-
Line Signature PIN Registration, 945, 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, 990-PF, 1041, 1065, 1065-
B, 1120, 1120-F, 1120-POL, 1120S, 2290, 7004, 8849 and/or the 8868.
1.5.1 Modernized e-File (MeF) Status Page
The MeF Status page provides information on:
Current system status
System maintenance
Unplanned system interruptions and processing delays
MeF uses QuickAlerts, an IRS email service, to disseminate information quickly
regarding MeF issues to subscribers. This service keeps tax professionals up to date on
MeF issues throughout the year.
After subscribing, authorized IRS e-file Providers receive round-the-clock
communications about issues such as processing delays, program updates, and early
notification of seminars and conferences. New subscribers may sign up through the
subscription page link located on the QuickAlerts “More” e-file Benefits for Tax
Professionals page.
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The subject line of a QuickAlert will usually identify targeted providers such as Software
Developers and Transmitters, and/or electronic return originators as well as the targeted
taxpayer type, either individual or business e-file.
For additional information and assistance on MeF and forms and publications, refer to
Table 1–1.
Table 1–1: MeF Information
Topic
Service
Electronic Funds
Withdrawal (Direct
Debit) Payments
Check the status of payments or cancelled
deferred payments. Visit the Electronic Funds
Withdrawal page for more information.
Publications and
Tax Forms
Obtain IRS publications and tax forms by
phone or go to the Forms and Publications
page
Draft Tax Forms
and Instructions
Obtain draft versions of IRS tax forms and
instructions on the Draft Tax Forms page.
Business and
Specialty Tax
Help
Request IRS Tax Assistance for corporate,
partnership, tax exempt, employment or excise
returns.
1.5.2 Helpful Publications and Information
Use any of the following methods to access publications and information in the
subsequent table:
1. Access the Telephone Assistance Contacts for Business Customers page
2. Access the Forms and Publications page
3. Access the following link: Modernized e-File (MeF) User Guides & Publications
4. Search on IRS.gov “Keyword/Search Terms” box
5. Access the links in Table 1–2:
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Table 1–2: Helpful Publications and Information
Process
Provider Option
Publication Description and/or Link
E-Services
Registration
All
Registration for e-Services allows
individuals to conduct business
electronically with the IRS. To register for
e-Services, follow the guidance on the e-
Services page on IRS.gov.
Creating an IRS
e-file Application
EROs, Transmitters,
Software
Developers, Online
Providers, ISPs and
Reporting Agents
Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application
and Participation: Provides information on
how to create an IRS e-file application.
Successful completion of the IRS e-file
application provides an Electronic Filing
Identification Number (EFIN) and
Electronic Transmitter Identification
Number (ETIN) necessary to originate and
transmit returns to IRS.
Large Taxpayers
Section 5 of Publication 4163, IRS e-File
for Large Taxpayers Filing Their Own
Corporate Income Tax Return: Provides
information on how to create an IRS e-file
application specific to Large Taxpayers.
Successful completion of the IRS e-file
application provides an Electronic Filing
Identification Number (EFIN) and
Electronic Transmitter Identification
Number (ETIN) necessary to originate and
transmit returns to IRS.
Current Schema
Known e-file Issues
and Solutions
Software
Developers and
Transmitters
Known e-file Issues and Solutions:
Contains temporary workaround solutions
for known issues within active Schema
versions. The issues are posted, by form
and tax year.
Assurance Test
System (ATS)
Testing
All
Publication 5078, Modernized e-File
(MeF)Test Package Business
Submissions:
Contains testing information for
Corporations, Partnerships, Estates and
Trusts, Employment, Excise and Tax
Exempt returns. Test Scenarios can be
found on the Modernized e-File (MeF)
Assurance Testing System (ATS) Updates
page.
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Process
Provider Option
Publication Description and/or Link
Technical
Information
Software
Developers and
Transmitters
Publication 4164, Modernized e-File (MeF)
Guide for Software Developers and
Transmitters: Contains communications
procedures, transmission formats,
Business Rules and validation procedures
for returns e-filed through MeF.
Attachments to:
Unique Tax
Returns: Forms
720/2290/8849
Exempt
Organization
returns: Forms
990/990-EZ/990-
PF/1120-POL
Estate and Trust
Tax Returns:
Form 1041
Partnership Tax
Returns: Form
1065/1065-B
Corporate Tax
Returns: Form
1120/1120S/
1120-F
EROs, Software
Developers, and
Transmitters
Each form family’s Schemas and Business
Rules page on IRS.gov contains a list of all
attachments, forms and schedules that
can be filed for each tax year. Also refer to
Section 4.10 of this publication.
Attachments to
Employment Tax
returns: Forms 940,
940-PR, 941, 941-
PR, 941-SS, 943,
943-PR, 944, and
945.
EROs, Reporting
Agents, Software
Developers, and
Transmitters
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1.6 Overview and Benefits of Modernized e-File (MeF)
The Modernized e-File (MeF) system was developed to provide a standardized format
using the widely accepted Extensible Markup Language (XML) format and standardized
transmission methods for e-filed returns. IRS works regularly with stakeholders,
including accounting firms, practitioners, Software Developers and the states, to identify
and resolve issues relative to MeF return and downstream processing. MeF also
provides:
More explicit error conditionsPlain English explanations in the
Acknowledgement File pinpoint the location of the error(s) in the return and
provide complete information.
Faster acknowledgementsTransmissions are processed upon receipt and
acknowledgments are returned in near real-time.
Integrated refund and payment optionsRefunds can be electronically
deposited in bank accounts or balance due payments can be electronically
withdrawn from bank accounts. Payments are subject to limitations of the Federal
Tax Deposit Rules found in Publications 3151, The ABCs of Federal Tax
Deposits and 3151A, The ABC's of Federal Tax Deposits (Resource Guide).
The capability to attach supporting forms and schedulesForms 720, 940,
940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944, 94x On-Line Signature PIN
Registration, 945, 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, 990-PF, 1041, 1065, 1065-B, 1120, 1120-
F, 1120S, 1120-POL, 2290, 7004, 8868, 8849 and their supporting forms and
schedules can be e-filed in MeF. See each form family’s Schemas and Business
Rules page at IRS.gov for tax year accepted forms and schedules. Also refer to
Section 4.10 of this publication.
24/7 transmissionsMeF allows Transmitters to send transmissions to the IRS
year round, except for a short cutover period at the end of the calendar year.
A completely paperless processTaxpayers using a third-party practitioner
can use the Practitioner Personal Identification Number (PIN) option; see Section
3.6, Signing an Electronic Return. Forms 8453-C, 8453-S, 8453-I, 8453-PE,
8453-B, 8453-EX, 8453-EO, 8453-EMP and 8453-FE can be printed, signed by
the Corporate Officer, Principal or Fiduciary and when applicable, the ERO
and/or Paid Preparer, and then scanned and attached to the return as a Portable
Document Format (.pdf) file. Form 8655 is used by reporting agents to sign and
file certain returns electronically. All other attachments for which XML Schemas
have not been developed can be attached as PDF files.
Support for filing prior-year returnsMeF can process the current and two
previous years of returns. For Processing Year 2018, taxpayers can e-file returns
for TY 2017, TY 2016, TY 2015, and for some TY 2018 returns.
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1.7 New for Processing Year 2018
1.7.1 Forms
Beginning Processing Year 2018, new forms include:
Form 8838P
Form 8974
Form 8975 (available for production since July 30, 2017)
Form 8975 Schedule A (available for production since July 30, 2017)
Form 9100 (PDF)
Form 943 (Schedule R)
1.7.2 Processes and Procedures
1.7.2.1 Schema and Business Rules Posting
For Tax Years 2016 and subsequent, Schemas and Business Rules are distributed
through your e-Services mailbox. In order to access these files you must have an active
e-Services account and be listed on an e-File application with the provider option of
Software Developer or State. Your role must be Principal, Responsible Official, or
Delegated User with MeF authorities. These mailbox messages are purged after 30
days so please make sure to download them as soon as possible. Instructions for
accessing the Secure Object Repository (SOR) Mailbox were created for your use.
1.7.2.2 Form 8975 and Form 8975 Schedule A
Treasury Decision 9773 contains final regulations that require annual country-by-
country reporting by certain United States persons that are the ultimate parent entity of
a multinational enterprise group. The final regulations affect United States persons that
are the ultimate parent entity of a multinational enterprise group that has annual
revenue for the preceding annual accounting period of $850,000,000 or more.
Form 8975 and Form 8975 Schedule A schemas were made available in package
version 2016v4.2. Voluntary TY2016 ATS testing started June 18, 2017. Software
developers were strongly encouraged to participate in the voluntary ATS testing for
TY2016 but are mandated to test for TY2017. Returns with Form 8975 were accepted
into production starting July 30, 2017.
1.7.2.3 Updates to E-Services
In Summer and Fall 2017, we began implementing a series of actions to improve e-
Services usability and security, including:
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Launching a new e-Services platform and landing page;
Establishing a new e-Services agreement;
Protecting e-Services accounts with our Secure Access authentication process.
All registered users must accept the revised terms of the new e-Services User
Agreement to have access to e-Services and its products.
Further information is available on the e-Services page.
1.8 Forms for Processing Year 2018
MeF can process all the following parent forms in XML. Check IRS.gov for the exact
date MeF will begin processing. A complete listing of forms, including new forms, that
MeF accepts can be found on the IRS.gov website at each form family’s Schemas and
Business Rules page and in Section 4.10 of this publication.
1.8.1 Corporation Returns
Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return
Form 1120-F, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation
Form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation
1.8.2 Employment Tax Returns
Form 94x On-Line Signature PIN Registration
Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return
Form 940-PR, Planilla para la Declaración Federal Anual del Patrono de la
Contribución Federal para el Desempleo (FUTA)
Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return
Form 941-PR, Planilla para la Declaración Federal TRIMESTRAL del Patrono
Form 941-SS, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return (American Samoa,
Guam, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin
Islands)
Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees
Form 943-PR, Planilla para la Declaración Anual de la Contribución Federal del
Patrono de Empleados Agrícolas
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Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return
Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax
1.8.3 Estate and Trust Returns
Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts
1.8.4 Excise Tax and e-filing Compliance Returns (ETEC)
Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return
Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return
Form 8849, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes (All Schedules available)
1.8.5 Extension Applications
Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain
Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns
Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization
Return
1.8.6 Partnership Returns
Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income
Form 1065-B, U.S. Return of Income for Electing Large Partnerships
1.8.7 Tax Exempt/Government Entity (TEGE) Returns
Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax
Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax
Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not
Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ
Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1) Trust Treated
as Private Foundation
Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations
1.9 Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Procedures
Beginning January 1, 2011, all paid preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification
Number (PTIN) before preparing returns. Also, all enrolled agents are required to have
a PTIN.
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All PTINs expire on December 31 of each year. PTIN renewal open season begins
approximately October 16 each year for the following year.
The fees for processing a new or renewed PTIN application are no longer applicable.
Additional information on the PTIN process can be found on IRS.gov.
1.10 Tax Relief in Disaster Situations
Special tax provisions may help businesses recover financially from the impact of
disasters. For additional information, please access Disaster Assistance.
1.11 The Requirement to e-File
While millions of taxpayers e-file voluntarily, certain corporations, partnerships,
employment tax and tax exempt organizations are required to e-file. In the past several
years, the Department of the Treasury issued regulations requiring certain entities to e-
file. Complete regulations and the history of the requirement to e-file can be found on
the IRS.gov website at the following links.
1.11.1 Large Business and International (LB&I) Corporations
1.11.1.1 Form 1120-F Foreign Corporations
Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9363 provides authorization to extend the requirement to e-file
for certain corporations, including Form 1120-F. For tax years ending on or after
December 31, 2008, foreign corporations who file Form 1120-F and meet the T.D.
9363 criteria are required to e-file their return(s). Be sure to check the IRS.gov
website for the latest information on the requirement to e-file this form.
1.11.2 Employment Tax Returns
1.11.2.1 Forms 941/941-PR/941-SS filers
Beginning 2017, Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9768 requires approved certified professional
employer organizations (CPEOs) to file Schedule R (Form 941) and all other required
schedules with Form 941 electronically, unless granted a waiver by the IRS
Commissioner. The 1st quarter 2017 Form 941 will first be filed in April 2017. The IRS
began accepting applications for CPEO certification on July 1, 2016. The CPEO
program is a voluntary program; a person that does not wish to file Form 941, on
magnetic media (electronically as prescribed by the IRS Commissioner) is not obligated
to apply for or obtain certification as a CPEO. Although, this is a voluntary program,
once certification is obtained as a CPEO the consequence of any failure to file these
forms and associated schedules on magnetic media is the potential suspension or
revocation of certification as a CPEO.
1.11.3 Estates and Trusts
Any tax preparer who anticipates preparing and filing 11 or more Forms 1040, 1040A,
1040EZ and 1041 during a calendar year must use IRS e-file. Section 6011(e)(3) of the
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Internal Revenue Code requires specified tax return preparers to electronically file
certain federal income tax returns that they prepare and file for individuals, trusts or
estates. Final Regulations provide further guidance on this requirement. See T.D. 9518.
See also Most Tax Return Users Must Use IRS e-File on IRS.gov.
1.11.4 Excise Tax Returns
The American Jobs Creation Act statutorily requires that any taxpayer who files a Form
2290 with respect to 25 or more vehicles for any taxable period shall file such returns
electronically.
Note: Corporations, partnerships or tax exempt organizations not meeting the criteria
set out for their particular form in Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9363 and the
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Section 1224 (December 31, 2000), and American
Jobs Creation Act (October 2004) are excluded from the requirement to e-file.
However, these entities are encouraged to e-file voluntarily.
1.11.5 Partnerships
Treasury Regulations Section 301.6011-3(a) provides that if a partnership with more
than 100 partners is required to file a partnership return, the information required by the
applicable forms and schedules must be filed electronically, unless a waiver from the
electronic filing requirement has been granted. Returns filed electronically must be
prepared in accordance with applicable revenue procedures or publications.
Announcement 2002-3 excludes Fiscal Year filers for Tax Year 2001 only.
1.11.6 Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TEGE)
Required e-filing of Forms 990 and 990-PF for certain large tax-exempt
organizationsFor tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006, exempt
organizations with $10 million or more in total assets may be required to e-file if the
organization files at least 250 returns in a calendar year, including income, excise,
employment tax and information returns. Private foundations and non-exempt charitable
trusts are required to file Forms 990-PF electronically regardless of their asset size, if
they file at least 250 returns annually. The electronic filing requirement does not apply to
Form 8868. Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt
Organization Return, can be filed electronically or in paper format.
Annual Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Exempt Organizations, Form 990-
N (e-Postcard)Most small tax-exempt organizations whose annual gross receipts are
normally $50,000 or less ($25,000 for tax years ending after December 31, 2007 and
before December 31, 2010) are required to electronically submit Form 990-N, also
known as the e-Postcard, unless they choose to file a complete Form 990 or Form 990-
EZ instead.
There is no requirement to file Forms 990-EZ or 1120-POL electronically (e-file).
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2 MeF Rules and Requirements
2.1 Participating in the IRS e-File Program
To begin e-filing tax returns or developing tax preparation software for the submission of
returns to the IRS, you must apply and be accepted as an authorized IRS e-file
Provider.
To apply for IRS e-file, you must first register with e-Services. Registration for e-
services allows individuals to conduct business electronically with the IRS. To register
for e-Services, follow the guidance on the e-Services page on IRS.gov.
Effective Oct. 1, 2012, applications to become an IRS e-file Provider must be submitted
online. The IRS will no longer accept paper e-file applications.
Once you have successfully registered, you will need to complete an online IRS e-file
application for your business location. Section 1.4 of this publication and Publication
3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation, explain the different types of provider
options as well as the roles and responsibilities of being an Authorized IRS e-file
Provider. They also include information on passing suitability and other requirements.
Note: Software Developers with no other provider options (ERO, Transmitter, and so
on) are not required to undergo suitability.
W
e recommend you complete the e-Services registration and IRS e-file
Application process at least 45 days before you plan to e
-file any returns. IRS
als
o recommends that you have at least two Responsible Officials for back-up
purposes.
In order to transmit returns directly to IRS, all providers must designate one or more
representatives on the IRS e-file application as their MeF Internet Transmitter (IFA)
and/or MeF System Enroller (A2A).
Section 5 of this publication provides details for Large Taxpayers who electronically file
their own income tax return. For purposes of electronic filing, the IRS defines a Large
Taxpayer as a business or other entity (excluding partnerships) with assets of $10
million or more, or a partnership with more than 100 partners (asset criteria does not
apply to partnerships), which originates the electronic submission of its own return(s).
Revenue Procedure 2007-40 informs Authorized IRS e-file Providers of their obligations
to the IRS, taxpayers, and other participants in the IRS e-file program. Revenue
Procedure 2007-40, IRB 2007-26, which was published on June 25, 2007, supersedes
Revenue Procedure 2005-60 (2005-35 IRB 449).
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2.2 Maintaining Your IRS e-File Application
Important information on maintaining your IRS e-file Application:
1. Form Types IRS e-file applications must be current and must list all the form
types (1120, 1065, 990, etc.) that you plan to originate and transmit to the IRS
throughout the year. To avoid having returns reject because of an incorrect form
type, IRS e-file Applications must be kept up to date. Please be aware of all the
forms that each family includes, e.g., the 1120 family includes 1120, 1120S, and
1120-F; the 1065 family includes 1065 and 1065-B. In your e-file application,
check the appropriate box for each of the forms you plan to file.
2. Maintain your IRS e-file ApplicationUpdate your IRS e-file application to
remove any Principal, Responsible Official or Delegated User who no longer
works with your organization and who is no longer assigned the designated
responsibility on the application. Also ensure your business and/or mailing
address is updated on your IRS e-file application.
3. You must keep your e-Services password active to maintain your IRS e-file
application. IRS recommends that you have at least two Responsible Officials for
back-up purposes.
You should keep all other information (for example, addresses, phone
numbers) on
the application current to avoid having your ETIN/EFIN disabled.
2.3 Adherence to MeF Rules
All providers must adhere to IRS e-file rules and requirements to continue participation
in IRS e-file. Certain requirements are included in Revenue Procedure 2007-40, IRB
2007-26, which was published on June 25, 2007, and supersedes Revenue Procedure
2005-60 (2005-35 IRB 449). Adherence to all rules and requirements, regardless of
where published, is expected of all providers. Some rules and requirements are specific
to the activities performed by the Provider and are included in appropriate parts of this
publication. The following list of requirements, while not all-inclusive, applies to all
Authorized IRS e-file Providers of corporate income tax returns, tax-exempt
organization returns, excise returns, partnership returns, estate and trust returns and
employment returns. These rules do not apply to Software Developers who do not
engage in any IRS e-file activity (such as transmitting returns) other than software
development.
Authorized IRS e-file Providers requirements:
Maintain an acceptable cumulative error or reject rate,
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Adhere to the requirements for ensuring that tax returns are properly signed,
Include the ERO’s EFIN as the return EFIN for returns the ERO submits to an
Intermediate Service Provider (ISP) or Transmitter,
Include the ISP’s EFIN in the designated ISP field in the electronic return record,
and
Submit an electronic return to the IRS with information that is identical to the
information provided to the taxpayer.
2.4 Protecting Taxpayer Information: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and
Federal Trade Commission Rules
Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act) of 1999 established the policy stating
that “financial institutions” have an obligation to respect the privacy of and protect the
security and confidentiality of their customers’ nonpublic personal information. Financial
institutions is defined in GLB Act15 USC Subchapter II, as “any institution engaged in
the business of providing financial services to customers who maintain a credit, deposit,
trust, or other financial account or relationship with the institution,and are significantly
engaged in financial activities. Financial institutions include tax preparation firms as well
as their affiliates. Refer to 16 CFR 313.2 and 313.3 for more information on the
definition of financial institutions.
The GLB Act directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish the Financial
Privacy Rule and the Safeguards Rule. The Financial Privacy Rule requires companies
to give consumers privacy notices that explain the institutions' information-sharing
practices. In turn, consumers have the right to limit somebut not allsharing of their
information. The Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions under FTC jurisdiction to
have measures in place, such as a written information security plan, to keep customer
information secure. The Safeguards Rule also applies to recipients of and service
providers to financial institutions. Thus, tax preparation firms that collect nonpublic
personal information from customers have an obligation to make sure that their service
providers safeguard the information.
FTC advises, “The Financial Privacy Rule does not supersede the restrictions in
Section 7216. The GLB Act and the Agencies' implementing regulations do not
authorize a financial institutionto disclose nonpublic personal information in a way that
is prohibited by some other law. Therefore, you [financial institutions] may not avoid the
restrictions of Section 7216 by providing customers with an opt-out notice and a
reasonable opportunity to opt out.”
The GLB Act, the Financial Privacy Rule and the Safeguards Rule cover volunteer tax
assistance services. The Financial Privacy Rule does not apply to businesses such as
Payroll Service Providers whose customers are other businesses and not individual
consumers.
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For additional information please visit the Federal Trade Commission website where
you can find documents, guidance, and useful information about the GLB Act, the
Financial Privacy Rule and the Safeguards Rule.
2.5 Safeguarding MeF Data from Fraud and Abuse
2.5.1 Safeguarding Taxpayer Information
IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data: A Guide for Your Business
provides guidance on federal and state information security laws and regulations, as
well as industry standards and best practices. Providers should read this publication to
ensure they are handling taxpayer data in the manner prescribed by law.
IRS Publication 4600, Tips for Safeguarding Taxpayer Data is a brochure that
summarizes and introduces Publication 4557. Businesses may use the brochure as an
information security awareness and marketing tool.
If you have any comments on Publication 4557 or Publication 4600, please send an
email to Safeguard.data.tp@irs.gov.
2.5.2 Safeguarding Against Fraud and Abuse
A potentially abusive return is a return that the taxpayer is required to file but contains
inaccurate information that may lead to an understatement of a liability or the
overstatement of a credit resulting in a refund to which the taxpayer may not be entitled.
Neither the IRS nor providers benefit when fraud or allegations of abuse tarnish the
integrity and reputation of IRS e-file. Safeguarding of IRS e-file from fraud and abuse is
the shared responsibility of the IRS and Authorized IRS e-file Providers. Providers must
be diligent in recognizing and preventing fraud and abuse in IRS e-file.
Each Principal, Responsible Official and Delegated User is responsible for ensuring
they conform to IRS e-file rules and requirements. Providers with problems involving
fraud and abuse may be suspended or expelled from the IRS e-file program, may be
assessed civil and preparer penalties, or may be subject to legal action.
To learn about the integrity of MeF data and security during transmission of MeF returns
over the Internet access the Security During Transmission of MeF Returns Using the
Internet page.
2.6 Disclosure of Tax Return Information
Under 26 CFR § 301.7216, disclosure of tax return information among Authorized IRS
e-file Providers for the purpose of preparing a tax return is permissible. For example, an
ERO may pass on tax return information to an ISP and/or a Transmitter for the purpose
of having an electronic return formatted and/or transmitted to the IRS. However, if the
tax return information is disclosed or used in any other way, an ISP and/or a Transmitter
may be subject to the penalties described in § 301.7216 and/or the civil penalties in
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Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 6713 for unauthorized disclosure or use of tax return
information.
2.7 Submitting a Timely-Filed Electronic Tax Return
All prescribed due dates for filing paper income tax returns apply to electronic returns.
All Providers must ensure that returns or applications for extensions of time to file are
timely processed. See Section 3.28 for information concerning Electronic Postmarks.
An electronically filed return is not considered filed until the electronic portion of the tax
return has been acknowledged by the IRS as “accepted” for processing. To be
accepted, all e-filed returns must have a signatureeither an attached PDF signature
document (Form 8453 series), through use of the Practitioner PIN method (Form 8879
series), via the Reporting Agents PIN method for 94x family of forms (Form 8655), or
through the 94x On-Line e-Filer Signature Method. See Section 3.6, Signing an
Electronic Return for more information.
Transmitters may provide electronic postmarks to taxpayers if the Transmitters adhere
to the requirements in Section 3.28 of this publication. The receipt of an electronic
postmark will provide taxpayers with confidence that they have filed their return timely.
All requirements for signing the return, as well as resubmitting a rejected timely filed
return, must be adhered to for the electronic postmark to be considered the date of
filing.
2.8 Preparer Penalties
Preparer penalties may be asserted against an individual or firm meeting the definition
of an income tax preparer under IRC § 7701(a)(36) and IRC § 301.7701-15. Preparer
penalties that may be asserted under appropriate circumstances include, but are not
limited to, those set forth in IRC § 6694, 6695, and 6713.
Under IRC § 301.7701-15(d), Authorized IRS e-file Providers are not income tax return
preparers for the purpose of assessing most preparer penalties, as long as their
services are limited to “typing, reproduction, or other mechanical assistance in the
preparation of a return or claim for refund. If an ERO, ISP, Transmitter, or the tax
preparation product of a Software Developer alters the return information in a non-
substantive way, this alteration will be considered to come under the “mechanical
assistance” exception described in IRC § 301.7701-15(d). A non-substantive change is
a correction or change limited to a transposition error, misplaced entry, spelling error, or
arithmetic correction.
If an ERO, ISP, Transmitter, or the tax preparation product of a Software Developer
alters the return in a way that does not come under the “mechanical assistance”
exception, the Authorized IRS e-file Provider may be considered income preparersfor
purposes of asserting income tax return preparer penalties. See IRC § 301.7701-15;
Rev. Rul. 85-189, 1985-2 C.B. 341 which describes a situation in which the Software
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Developer was determined to be an income tax return preparer and subject to certain
preparer penalties.
In addition to the above-specified provisions, the IRS reserves the right to assert all
appropriate preparer and non-preparer penalties against an Authorized IRS e-file
Provider as warranted. For further information about rules for tax preparers who are
authorized to e-file, see Publication 3112.
2.9 Paperwork Reduction Act Notice
The collection of information contained in this publication has been reviewed and
approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507) under control number 1545-1708.
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a
collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control
number. Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as
long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal
revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as
required by 26 U.S.C. § 6103.
This information is required to implement IRS e-file and to enable taxpayers to file their
corporate, partnership, excise, estate and trust, employment and tax-exempt
organization income tax returns electronically. The information will be used to ensure
taxpayers receive accurate and essential information regarding the filing of their
electronic returns and to identify the persons involved in the filing of electronic returns.
The collection of information is required to retain the benefit of participating in IRS e-file.
The likely respondents are business or other for-profit institutions.
2.10 Provider Responsibilities in Obtaining, Handling, and
Processing Return Information
Details for those Large Taxpayers required to electronically file their own income tax
return may be found in Section 5 of this publication. For purposes of electronic filing, the
IRS defines a Large Taxpayer as a business or other entity (excluding partnerships)
with assets of $10 million or more, or a partnership with more than 100 partners (asset
criteria does not apply to partnerships), which originates the electronic submission of its
own return(s).
2.10.1 Making Substantive Changes to the Return
An ERO who chooses to originate returns collected, but not prepared, becomes an
income tax return preparer of the returns when, as a result of entering the data,
discovers errors on the return that require substantive changes and then makes the
changes to correct those errors. A non-substantive change is a correction limited to a
transposition error, misplaced entry, spelling error or arithmetic correction. The IRS
considers all other changes substantive, and an ERO becomes a tax return preparer
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when these changes are made. As such, the ERO may be required to sign the tax
return as the tax return preparer.
A substantive change is one in which the “Total Income” amount differs by
more than $150 or the “Taxable Income” amount differs by more than $100. If
the electronic return data on a corporate income tax return is changed after
the taxpayer signed the jurat, the taxpayer must sign a new Form 8453 (as
applicable to the form type) if there is a substantive change in the Total
Income or Taxable Income.
2.10.2 Providing a Copy of the Return to the Taxpayer
An ERO is required to submit an electronic return to the IRS with information that is
identical to the information provided to the taxpayer and provide a complete copy of the
return filed with the IRS to the taxpayer. The copy given to the taxpayer may be in any
media acceptable to both the taxpayer and the Provider. A complete copy of a
taxpayer's return consists of the electronic portion of the return, including all schedules,
forms, PDF attachments and jurats, which were filed with the IRS. The copy provided to
the taxpayer must include all information submitted to the IRS to enable the taxpayer to
determine what schedules, forms, electronic files and other supporting material have
been filed with the return. The copy, however, need not contain the taxpayer
identification number of the Paid Preparer. The electronic portion of the return can be
contained on a replica of an official form or on an unofficial form. On an unofficial form,
however, data entries must be referenced to the line numbers or descriptions on an
official form.
The taxpayer should be advised to retain a complete copy of the return and any
supporting information. It is recommended to retain this information for a minimum of
three years from the due date or extended due date of the tax return. This corresponds
to the Statute of Limitations for that tax period, which is generally three years from the
date the tax return is filed.
3 MeF Information Applicable to All Form Types
3.1 Preparing Your Return
Most corporations, partnerships and tax-exempt organizations have used software to
prepare their returns for years. Whether you prepare your own return or have a third-
party tax professional prepare it, you need to ensure that the software purchased has all
the forms and schedules necessary to file your return. Not all software providers support
all forms and schedules. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to verify the software provider
chosen supports all the forms and schedules required, including the ability to file
amended tax returns and/or short period returns, if necessary.
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You can find Software Developers who have passed ATS on the Approved IRS e-File
for Business Providers page.
3.2 Validating Your Return
Validating an e-file return involves running the diagnostics built into the software used to
prepare a return. IRS provides Software Developers all the Business Rules and XML
Schema requirements needed for each form and schedule to build into their software
(see Exhibit 3). To ensure that the electronic return is complete and contains all
required information, please follow the steps below:
1. Prepare the return using IRS-approved software that has all the forms and
schedules necessary to file.
2. Check/validate the return to make sure it includes all forms, schedules, and
attachments required to be filed with the return.
3. Check/validate the return to make sure it will be accepted by IRS.
4. Receive proper authorization to e-file the return.
5. Transmit the return.
When the return is transmitted to IRS, each of the XML Schema requirements and
Business Rules are checked. If there are no errors, the return will be accepted. If the
return fails any of the Business Rules or Schema requirements, the Transmitter
receives an acknowledgement from the IRS with the error description(s). When third-
party Transmitters are used, they must notify their clients of the rejection.
3.3 Return/Extension Due Date Tables
Links to the return due date and extended due date tables for each tax year can be
found in each form family’s tax year Schemas and Business Rules page on IRS.gov and
Section 4.9 of this publication.
3.4 Short Period Returns for Corporate, Partnership and Estate and Trust
Tax Returns
MeF accepts short period corporate, partnership and estate and trust tax returns.
3.4.1 Current Year Software is Available
When a taxpayer needs to file a short period return and the current year software is
available, ensure the Tax Year in the Return Manifest and Return Header reflect the
Tax Year of the Schemas being used (e.g., in the current year, use TY2017). Then,
enter the actual Beginning and Ending Date of the short period return (e.g., 11/01/2017–
01/31/2018).
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3.4.2 Current Year Software is Not Available
In certain situations, a taxpayer may need to file a short period return before their
software is ready for the next tax year. For instance, at the beginning of calendar year
2018, a taxpayer may need to file a short period TY2018 return with Tax Period
Beginning Date 01/01/18 and Tax Period Ending Date 01/31/18. Such a return would
normally be filed on TY2018 software, but in this scenario, the TY2018 software may
have not been developed. In this case, the taxpayer may use TY2017 software. Ensure
that the Tax Year in the Return Manifest and Return Header reflect the Tax Year of the
TY2017 Schema and then enter the actual Beginning and Ending Dates of the short
period return (i.e., 01/01/2018 - 01/31/2018). The return must reflect the laws applicable
to the TY2018 return even though the Schema being used is a TY2017 Schema. When
a short period corporate return is filed, regulations may require the taxpayer to attach
Form 1128, provide an explanation of why the short period return is being filed, and/or
cite the applicable Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.).
Note: Once current year TY 2018 software becomes available, it must be used to
prepare the short period TY 2018 return.
If you use the Form 1128, attach it to the top-level of the return as a PDF file and
describe it as “Form 1128 for Short Period Return.
If a Revenue Procedure is required to be cited on the tax return, then the Schema
provides the ability to indicate “Pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2006-45” or “Pursuant to Rev.
Proc. 2006-46.”
To prevent processing delays, a number of indicators have been added to the 1041,
1120, 1120S and 1120-F Schemas, which include a list of valid reasons that should be
used to explain why a short period return, is being filed. The indicators are listed in
Table 3–1.
Table 3–1: Short Period Return Indicators
Schema
Indicator
1041
ShortPeriodReason1041Ind
1120
shortPeriodReasonCd
1120-F
shortPeriodReason11201120FInd
1120S
shortPeriodReasonCd
If the reason for your short period return is not on this list for Forms 1120, 1120S or
1120-F, use the General Dependency to indicate the reason that a short period return is
being filed.
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The General Dependency may be submitted in the General Dependency XML
document or in a PDF file. Provide the regulatory citation and explanation in the General
Dependency PDF file with the description "Short Period Return Explanation."
Note: The values transmitted in the return must be labeled precisely using one of the
following values. Failure to name these items exactly as shown will cause the
return to reject with a Schema reject.
3.4.3 Valid Reasons for Forms 1041 Short Period Returns
Form 1128 attached as a PDF
IRS granted change in tax period
Trust is changing tax period under IRC Reg. 1.442.1(c)
Rev. Proc. 76-10
Rev. Proc. 85-58
Rev. Proc. 87-32
Rev. Proc. 2003-38
Rev. Proc. 2006-46
IRS Regulation 1.502-76
Section 806 of Tax Reform Act of 1986
Tax Period month changing to 12
3.4.4 Valid Reasons for Forms 1120 or 1120-F Short Period Returns
National Office Grant Letter
Filed under Revenue Procedure 2006-45 or 2006-46
Notation referring to Section 898 (c)((1) A)
Election Change in taxable year under Section 898 (c)(2)
Section 1398 Election
Second Short Year after Section 1398 Election
Section 444 Election Terminated
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3.4.5 Valid Reasons for Form 1120S Short Period Returns
National Office Grant Letter
Filed Under Revenue Procedure 2006-46
S Election Termination or revocation is checked
Statement on Qualifying Disposition under Reg. 1.1368-1(g)(2)(i)
Statement on Termination of Shareholders Interest under Reg. 1377(a)(2) and
1.1377-(1)b
Statement referring to S Election and taxpayer is changing to 12/31 calendar
year end
Statement the S corporation is coming out of consolidation
Statement the corporation is a qualified sub chapter S subsidiary
Section 444
1120S, Box A contains a date which matches the Tax Period Begin Date
Section 1398 Election
Second Short Year after Section 1398 Election
3.4.6 Forms 1065 and 1065-B Technical Termination Returns
Section 708(b)(1)(B) provides that a termination occurs where, “within a 12-month
period, there is a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interest in partnership
capital and profits.” This is known as a type B termination or technical termination.
Returns should be prepared for the appropriate tax period reflecting the respective
partnership interests during that time. The final return for the period prior to the change
in partner interest should have the “Technical Termination” and the “Final Return
checkbox marked. A second return will also be filed to reflect the initial return of the new
partner(s)’ interest(s) and should have the “Technical Termination” and the “Initial
Return checkbox marked. For further information, please see the Form 1065
instructions.
3.5 Superseding and Amended Returns
The MeF system processes both superseding and amended returns for Forms 1041,
1120, 1120S, 1120-F, 1065 and 1065-B. For Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF and 1120-
POL, MeF only processes amended returns. The table below indicates the form types
for which superseding and amended returns can be processed through MeF
(A=amended return, S=superseding return).
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Table 3–2: Processed Superseding and Amended Returns
Tax
Year
94x
Series
990
Series
1041
1120
1120S
1120-F
1065
1065-B
2290
2015
A
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A
2016
A
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A
2017
A
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A/S
A
2018
If a taxpayer is or was required to e-file an original return in tax years ending on or after
December 31, 2015, and the taxpayer needs to file an amended or superseding return,
for that tax year, the amended or superseding return must also be e-filed.
Any taxpayer who has received an approved waiver from IRS to file on paper is
exempted from this requirement. For tax years 2006 through 2014, which are no longer
available on MeF, if the taxpayer was previously required to e-file an original return and
is now filing an amended return, they are exempt from the requirement to e-file and
should file using the existing paper process. In this situation, the taxpayer is not
required to request a waiver.
Partnerships who are required to file an amended return electronically for a tax year no
longer supported by MeF must contact the e-help Desk at 1-866-255-0654. The
taxpayer should indicate they are required to file electronically an amended return, but
MeF no longer supports the tax year for which they are filing the amended return.
Therefore, they are requesting a waiver from the requirement to file the amended return
electronically.
Note: Corporate amended returns with carryback claims may be e-filed as long as the
carryback claim box is checked.
3.5.1 Superseding Returns
A superseding return is a return filed subsequent to the originally filed return but filed
within the filing period, including extensions. A superseding return must be a complete
XML filing of the entire return, with all required forms, schedules and attachments (XML
or PDF, if applicable).
Note: A Superseding Return” checkbox is available on certain MeF business returns;
however, this checkbox is not available on their paper counterparts.
Access corporate superseding returns for more information.
For partnership returns, see Guidance for Amended Partnership Returns.
To file a superseding Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 1120-POL, and 2290, within the filing
period (including extensions), the taxpayer should check the “Amended Return” box in
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the relevant Schema. This eliminates the possibility of receiving a rejection for a
duplicate filing.
For Forms 1041, 1065, 1065-B, 1120, 1120S, 1120-F, a taxpayer filing a superseding
return must select the Superseded Return checkbox (designation) in the software or the
return will reject as a duplicate filing. All of the Business Rules enforced for e-filing
original returns are also enforced for superseding returns.
3.5.2 Amended Returns
An amended return is a return filed subsequent to the originally filed or superseding
return and filed after the expiration of the filing period (including extensions).
Note: An “Amended Return” checkbox is available on certain MeF business returns;
however, this checkbox may not be available on their paper counterparts.
When amending Form 1120, 1120S, 1120-F, 1065, and 1065-B returns, the taxpayer
should include the main form and any forms and schedules necessary to support the
changes that were made. When amending Form 1041, complete the entire return and
correct the appropriate lines with the new information.
For Form 1120, 1120S and 1120-F amended returns, only a subset of Business
Rules relevant to the corresponding original returns will be enforced. This subset
is posted on IRS.gov.
For 1065, 1065-B and 1041 amended returns, all of the Business Rules for e-
filing original returns will be enforced.
Beginning in Tax Year 2011 and subsequent years, partnerships who are required to file
a Form 8082 along with their amended return will need to:
1. Complete the Form 8082 available electronically, and
2. Attach the “GeneralDependencySmall” to indicate if
a. You are a Tax Matters Partner (TMP) filing an Administrative Adjustment
Request (AAR) on behalf of the pass through entity and you are or not
requesting a substituted return treatment.
b. You are an Electing Large Partnership
Most taxpayers who e-file an amended return have previously e-filed the underlying
original tax return. In these situations, the easiest way to e-file an amended return is
simply to update the original return for the changed items. Once this has been
completed, attach the required XML document (see below) and any other supporting
explanations and e-file the amended return, ensuring that the Amended Return
checkbox is selected.
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Amended returns require at a minimum:
1. The corrected Form 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F return, completed in its entirety (all
pages of the return), with the Amended Return checkbox selected.
2. All forms, schedules and attachments that changed or that support changes on
the amended Form 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F including any subsidiary returns (if
changed) and the information to support those changes.
3. One of the following:
For Form 1120Attach to the amended Form 1120, the XML Form 1120X
completed through Part I, line 10 or 11, as applicable, and Part II with the line
number of each amended item, the corrected amount or treatment of the item,
and an explanation of the reasons for each change.
For Forms 1120S and 1120-F—Attach to the amended Form 1120S or Form
1120-F, the XML document, AmendedReturnChanges, which identifies the
line number of each amended item, description, the amount on the previous
return, the amount on the amended return, and an explanation of the reasons
for each change.
4. A signed signature document, Form 8453-C/S/I, as applicable or use of a
Practitioner’s PIN.
5. Appropriate forms to make a payment, request a refund or request a credit
carryover to another year.
For Forms 1041, 1065, 1065-B, 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 1120-POL, and 2290, there is an
“Amended Return” box in the XML Schema. For these amended returns, a subset of
Business Rules is currently not in place. In order to pass the Business Rules for these
forms, you need to complete the entire return and all applicable fields.
An amended return for Form 720 (Form 720X) must be filed using the existing paper
procedures.
For information on Form 1065/1065-B amended returns, see Guidance for Amended
Partnership Returns.
3.5.3 Form 2290 VIN Correction
For Form 2290 a VIN Correction is treated the same as an Amended Return. If you
must correct a VIN(s) previously reported on an e-filed Form 2290 due to a
typographical error (transposed or incorrectly entered characters), a corrected Form
2290 must be filed with the IRS. The VIN Correctioncheckbox located on page 1 of
the Form 2290 must be checked and the Schedule 1 must be completed using the
corrected VIN(s). An explanation identifying which VIN(s) are being corrected from the
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original accepted e-filed return and why the VIN(s) are being corrected must be
included. There are two (2) ways this can be done:
1. Attach a binary attachment (.pdf), or
2. Use the General Dependency Medium the Description Element in the General
Dependency Medium Schema should be identified as "VIN Correction."
3.6 Signing an Electronic Return
A tax return filed through MeF is a composite of electronically transmitted data. As with
any income tax return submitted to the IRS on paper, an electronic income tax return
must be signed by an authorized tax return signer of the entity type (corporation,
partnership, estates and trusts, employment taxes or exempt organization), the ERO (if
applicable) and the paid preparer (if applicable). If the electronic return does not have
an appropriate signature (see below), the return will be rejected. Treasury Decision
(T.D.) 9300 provides guidance on signing requirements for each return type.
The MeF system requires taxpayers and providers to use specific signature methods for
signing electronic returns. Available options are the Practitioner Personal Identification
Number (PIN) method using Form 8879 or the Scanned Form 8453 method. Reporting
agents should use the Reporting Agent PIN method with Form 8655. On-Line e-Filers
should use the 94x Online Signature PIN method.
3.6.1 Practitioner Personal Identification Number (PIN) Signature Method
Form 8879
The Practitioner PIN option can only be used if the taxpayer uses an ERO. Follow the
processes below to sign the return electronically:
1. The ERO contacts the taxpayer and requests they choose a five-digit, self-
selected PIN as their electronic signature. The taxpayer can authorize the ERO
to input this in the software (by phone, fax, etc.), or they can come to the ERO’s
office and enter the PIN directly into the software.
2. Each Form 8879 is tailored to a unique parent form (see Table 3–3). The ERO
completes and prints out the appropriate Form 8879 and includes their PIN and
the taxpayer’s self-selected PIN. The ERO’s electronic signature is comprised of
an 11-digit PIN. The first six positions of the PIN are made up of the ERO’s
Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) and the next five positions are
made up of numeric characters the ERO chooses.
Note: The ERO must sign and complete the requested information in the
“Declaration of Electronic Return Originator [ERO]” section after
thoroughly reading the declaration. An ERO may authorize members of its
firm or designate employees to sign for the ERO, but the ERO is still
responsible for all electronically filed returns originated by its firm. EROs
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do not have to disclose their Employer Identification Number (EIN) or
Social Security Number (SSN) on the copies they provide to taxpayers.
3. If the return was prepared for a fee, the ERO’s responsibility is to identify the paid
preparer in the appropriate fields of the electronic return record for transmission.
The ERO should complete the Form 8879 with the information received from the
taxpayer. The paid preparer should keep a copy of the return approved and
signed by the taxpayer using the Form 8879.
4. The ERO must retain the Form 8879 for three years from the return due date,
extended due date, or the IRS received date, whichever is later. The ERO should
provide a copy of the Form 8879 to the taxpayer, along with other return data as
required. Do not mail these forms to the IRS.
As the ERO completes the XML Schema return header, the following fields are required
for the Form 1120 family practitioner PIN method, or the return will be rejected.
Practitioner PIN
PIN Entered By Code
Name of Officer
Title of Officer
Taxpayer PIN/ Fiduciary PIN
Date Signed
Note: Form 1041 return header Schema does not include Name of Officer or Title of
Officer. For the Form 1041, the taxpayer PIN is replaced by Fiduciary PIN. Other
Form families may have other specific fields that are required to be completed.
Signature authorization is made on the following Forms 8879 for corporate, partnership,
employment, estate or trust, tax-exempt organizations and excise tax filers (see Table
3–3). The forms are available for downloading on the Forms and Publications page.
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Table 3–3: PIN Signature Method Authorization Form
Form
Signature Authorization Form
940, 940-PR, 941,
941-PR, 941-SS, 943,
943-PR, 944 and 945
8879-EMP (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature for Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-
SS, 943, 943-PR, 944, and 945
990, 990EZ, 990-PF,
1120-POL and 8868
8879-EO (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for an Exempt Organization
1041
8879-F (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1041
1065
8879-PE (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1065
1065-B
8879-B (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1065-B
1120
8879-C (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1120
1120S
8879-S (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1120S
1120-F
8879-I (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 1120-F
720, 2290 and 8849
8879-EX (.pdf),
IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Forms 720, 2290, and
8849
3.6.2 Form 1041 Multiple Tax Return Listing (MTRL)
As part of a regular review process, the IRS has determined that the Multiple Tax
Return Listing (MTRL) process used to sign electronically filed Form 1041, U.S. Income
Tax Return for Estates and Trusts must be modified. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the IRS e-
file Signature Authorization document, Form 8879-F, can only be associated with a
single 1041 return, not with multiple forms as used in previous years.
This change is required for two reasons following additional legal review by the IRS.
First, the perjury statement on the form refers to amounts in Part 1 of the form and the
relevant amounts are actually on the attached listing. Second, a signature on one form
cannot ensure that the signer reviewed and approved each of the Forms 1041 in the
listing.
3.6.3 Scanned Form 8453 Signature Method
The Scanned Form 8453 method involves signing a paper document and attaching it
electronically to the e-filed return as a PDF document. The authorized tax return signer
of the entity type (corporation, estate or trust, employment, partnership, exempt
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organization, excise tax filer), signs the appropriate form (see Table 3–4). The form is
then scanned and attached to the electronic return as a PDF file. The tax preparation
software selected will provide instructions on how and where to attach this document to
the electronic return. You must describe the scanned Form 8453 attachment in the
return software as “8453 Signature Document.”
The Form 8453 series may be used as a declaration that the taxpayer signed the
electronic return. This document is a jurat, an affidavit in which the taxpayer attests to
the truth of the information contained in the return and attached return information. It
has the same legal effect as if the taxpayer had actually and physically signed the
return.
These forms were created specifically for each parent return type and need to be signed
and dated by the authorized tax return signer of the entity type. The IRS will not accept
these documents submitted on paper. Once signed and dated, they are to be
scanned and submitted with the e-filed return as a PDF file. Signing and dating the
Forms 8453 authorizes the ERO, Transmitter, or ISP to send the return to the IRS. The
Consent to Disclosure authorizes the IRS to disclose information to the taxpayer’s
Authorized IRS e-file Provider. See each individual Form 8453 for specifics on the
extent of disclosure authorized. EROs, Transmitters and ISPs are authorized to receive
acknowledgement of receipt or reason for rejection of the electronic return from IRS.
The Multiple Tax Return Listing (MTRL) used for legacy Form 8453-F does not apply to
Form 1041 in MeF. Form 8453-FE, which is available for the 1041 MeF program, will
not include an option to mail the Form 8453 Signature Document to IRS. Each Form
1041 MeF Submission must have a signed Form 8453-FE if the Scanned Form 8453
Signature Method is used. Form 8453-FE cannot be used as a transmittal to attach
paper documents.
If the electronic return data on a corporate income tax return is changed after
the taxpayer signed the jurat, the taxpayer must sign a new Form
8453 if the
“Total Income” amount differs by more than $150 or the “Taxable Income”
amount differs by more than $100.
A copy of the signed form should be retained by the entity type, but should not be
mailed to the IRS.
Signature authorization is made on the following Forms 8453. The forms are available
for downloading on the Forms and Publications page.
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Table 3–4: Scanned Form 8453 Method Authorization Form
Form
Signature Authorization Form
940, 940-PR, 941,
941-PR, 941-SS, 943,
943-PR, 944 and 945
8453-EMP,
Employment Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Return - For use
with Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR,
944, and 945
990, 990EZ, 990-PF,
1120-POL and 8868
8453-EO,
Exempt Organization Declaration & Signature for Electronic
Filing
1041
8453-FE,
U.S. Estate or Trust Income Tax Declaration and Signature for
an IRS e-file Return
1065
8453-PE,
U.S. Partnership Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing
1065-B
8453-B,
U.S. Electing Large Partnership Declaration for an IRS e-file
Return
1120
8453-C,
U.S. Corporation Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file
Return
1120S
8453-S,
U.S. S Corporation Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file
Return
1120-F
8453-I,
Foreign Corporation Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file
Return
720, 2290 and 8849
8453-EX,
Excise Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Return
Note: Form 2290 on-line filers who do not use an ERO should refer to Publication 4164
for alternative signature requirements.
3.6.4 Reporting Agents Personal Identification Number (PIN) Signature
MethodForm 8655
Reporting AgentA Reporting Agent is an accounting service, franchiser, bank, or
other entity that complies with Rev. Proc. 2012-32, IRB 2012-34, and is authorized to
prepare and electronically file Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR,
944 and 945 for a taxpayer. Reporting agents sign all of the electronic returns they file
with a 5-digit PIN signature. The Reporting Agent PIN is issued through the IRS e-file
application process as a result of selecting Reporting Agent as a provider option on the
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application. Reporting agents may transmit their own returns, or may use the services of
a third-party Transmitter. See Publication 1474.
Become a Reporting Agent, and receive a 5 digit PIN to sign 94x returns transmitted via
the Employment Tax e-file System. Potential e-file participants that use the 94x e-file
Program select the Reporting Agent provider option on their IRS e-file Application.
Applications can be completed on-line after first registering for e-Services.
Authorized Reporting Agents prepare, sign and e-file all 94x Family of returns for his/her
clients. For complete guidelines refer to Publication 3112 and Revenue Procedure
2007-40.
Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, gives the tax professional authority to sign
the client’s return with their reporting agent’s 5 digit-PIN.
Note: Reporting agents must adhere to the following:
Revenue Procedure 2012-32, Requirements for Completing and Submitting
Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization
Publication 1474, Technical Specification Guide for Reporting Agent
Authorization and Federal Tax Depositors
Submit an agent’s list containing the names, EINs, and addresses of the
taxpayers for whom they will file returns. Publication 1474, page 13, Exhibit 2
shows how to create an agent list.
Submit an authorization made on Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization
with a revision date of May 2005 or later (or its equivalent), for each taxpayer
included on the agent’s list. For instructions on preparing Form 8655, see
Rev. Proc. 2012-32.
3.6.5 94x On-Line e-Filer Signature Method (IRS Authorized Signer)
On-Line e-FilerThis signature method is only available for use when submitting
Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944 and 945. Only a Principal
for the business or organization can apply to become the IRS Authorized Signer and
participate in the Form 94x On-Line e-Filer Program.
1. To become a Form 94x On-Line e-Filer participant, the applicant must first
complete the electronic 94x PIN Registration Process. The 94x PIN Registration
Process is used to request an IRS issued 10-digit PIN, used by the Authorized
Signer to sign the 94x Family of On-Line e-filed returns. The Authorized Signer
must register for the Form 94x On-Line e-Filer PIN through an approved software
provider who offers this service to their clients, by completing the 94x PIN
Registration via the Internet, using a personal computer, modem, and IRS
Approved Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software. The IRS Approved
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software must be downloaded from an Internet site and prepared off-line or the
software can be used on-line. Prospective Form 94x On-Line e-Filers must
submit the 94x Registration at least 45 days in advance of the due date of the
94x return to ensure timely filing of 94x e-file returns.
2. The IRS Authorized Signer will receive a 10 digit PIN used to sign electronically
filed 94x returns through the IRS Approved COTS software. This method is not
acceptable for tax professionals. Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization,
gives the tax professional authority to sign the client’s return with their Reporting
Agent’s 5 digit PIN, NOT the On-Line e-filer’s assigned 10 digit PIN. The On-Line
e-filer’s 10 digit PIN is not to be shared; therefore, if the tax professional enters
the client’s 10 digit PIN on their behalf, they are doing so without a signed
authorization.
The Authorized Signer acts for the entity in legal and/or tax matters and is held
liable for filing all 94x returns and making all 94x tax deposits and payments,
adhering to all rules and regulations as set forth in Publication 4163,
Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide and Revenue Procedures
2007
-40.
Approved
Form 94x On-Line e-
Filers are only allowed submission of 5 returns
a year, using the IRS Approved COTS software. Approved
Form 94x On-Line
e
-Filers cannot file bulk returns or e-file returns for other businesses.
3.7 Applications for Extension of Time to FileForms 7004 and 8868
If a payment is not submitted with Form 7004 a signature is not required.
If a payment is submitted with Form 7004 you must use the Practitioner PIN or the ACH
Debit Agreement Indicator to sign the extension application and payment.
When filing through an ERO, you may use the Practitioner PIN to sign your
extension.
If you are not filing through an ERO then the ACH Debit Agreement Indicator is
the option you must use to sign your return. Check with your Software Developer
for further instructions.
Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time to File an Exempt Organization Return,
does not require a signature if it is not submitted with a payment. If providing a payment,
you may use the Practitioner PIN or the scanned Form 8453-EO method to submit the
extension application and payment.
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3.8 Other Forms and Elections Requiring Signatures
Many forms that may be attached to MeF forms have separate signature lines. IRS
Chief Counsel reviewed regulations to identify forms and elections that require a
separate signature to determine if the requirements can be changed. Treasury Decision
(T.D.) 9300 and T.D. 9329 contain amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26
CFR Part 1) and Procedure and Administration Regulations (26 CFR Part 301). This
decision also eliminates some of the regulatory requirements considered impediments
to the electronic submission of tax returns and other forms filed by corporations,
partnerships and other businesses with regard to third-party signature requirements.
These regulations impeded electronic filing by requiring taxpayers to:
1. Include third-party signatures on their tax returns,
2. Attach documents or statements generated by third-parties, and/or
3. Sign an IRS form and file it as an attachment to their income tax return.
3.8.1 Signature Requirements for Elections
IRS Counsel reviewed Treasury Regulations to identify elections that require a
signature to determine if the requirements can be changed. IRS published the results of
this review on IRS.gov on the e-file for Large Business and International web page.
Elections that require a separate signature may be submitted in PDF format.
3.9 Attaching Portable Document Format (.pdf) Files
Portable Document Format (.pdf) files attached to a return must contain a meaningful
file name and description. The description will be used when the IRS displays the name
of the attachment, for example, “Foreign Tax Credit Carryover” (see Exhibit 4 for
recommended names and descriptions for PDF files). We recommend that PDF files be
attached at the top-level return, unless there is a reason it needs to be attached at a
form level or to one of the General Dependency Schemas.
The reference is created from the element to the Binary Attachment XML document, not
to the PDF file. If no reference is created to the Binary Attachment XML document, then
the PDF file is considered to be “attached” to the submission. Creating reference(s) to
PDF files is necessary when the IRS specifies the conditions under which the reference
must be created and the reference locations within return data where the reference
must exist.
In order to facilitate the processing of your return,
do not password protect or
encrypt PDF attachments submitted through MeF.
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3.10 Special Instructions for Supporting Data Required by Form 8865
In many instances, information on schedules attached to Form 1065 will be the same
schedules as required to be filed with Form 8865, Return of U.S. Person with Respect
to Certain Foreign Partnerships. You should copy the data from Form 1065 completed
Schedules B, D, K, K1, L, M-1 and/or M-2 to the corresponding Form 8865 Schedules
and submit them with Form 8865. Do not attach these schedules with the Form 1065.
3.11 Name Controls
Name Control matching is a process in MeF that verifies the Employer Identification
Number (EIN) and Name Control of the filer against the IRS’s National Account Profile
(NAP) database. Name Control mismatch is one of the most common causes for the
rejection of returns in MeF so it is critical to ensure that each return submitted has the
correct Name Control.
The IRS uses the following rules to check Name Controls. Generally, the Business
Name Control is derived from the first four characters of the business name and
consists of up to four alpha and/or numeric characters. See the Section 3.11.1 for
special instructions for Form 1041.
If you are unable to determine your business name control with certainty after reading
the rules below, please contact the IRS Business and Specialty Help Line (1-800-829-
4933) and request assistance with verification of your organization’s Name Control. The
following are links with detailed information on Name Control:
Corporations: Using the Correct Name Control in e-filing Corporate Tax Returns
Partnerships: Using the Correct Name Control in e-filing Partnership Tax Returns
Name Control-General Information:
The Name Control consists of up to four alpha and/or numeric characters.
The Name Control can be fewer than four characters, but not more. Blanks may
be present only at the end of the Name Control.
The Name Control should be determined from the information specified on the
first name line. Generally, the Name Control is derived from the first four
characters of the entity name. The ampersand (&) and hyphen (-) are the only
special characters allowed in the Name Control.
Note: Do not include the letters “dba” (doing business as) or “fbo” (for benefit of)
as part of the Name Control.
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Name Control Valid Characters:
Alpha (A-Z)
Numeric (0- 9)
Hyphen (-)
Ampersand (&)
Name Control Special Rule:
If an invalid character is used in the name line, drop the special character from
the taxpayer's name (for example, “4U.com” should be “4UCO”).
The following examples should assist in establishing the correct Name Control. Please
note, many Software Developers have built the IRS’s Name Control parameters into
their software.
Table 3–5: General Name Control Rules
Name Control (Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
Sumac Field Plow Inc.
11TH Street Inc.
P & P Company
Y-Z Drive Co
ZZZ Club
Palm Catalpa Ltd.
Fir Homeowners Assn.
SUMA
11TH
P&PC
Y-ZD
ZZZC
PALM
FIRH
Derive the Name Control from the
first four significant characters of the
business name.
The Willow Co.
The Hawthorn
WILL
THEH
When determining the business
name control, omit “The” when it is
followed by more than one word.
Include the word “The” when it is
followed by only one word.
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Name Control (Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
John Hackberry PA
Sam Sycamore SC
Carl Eucalyptus M.D.P.A.
The Joseph Holly Fund
The Joseph Holly Foundation
Kathryn Fir Memorial Fdn.
JOHN
SAMS
CARL
JOSE
JOSE
KATH
If a business name contains any of
the following abbreviations, treat as
the business name of a corporation:
Inc – Incorporated
Co Company
Corp Corporation
Fdn Foundation
PC Professional Corporation
SC Small Corporation
PA Professional Association
PS Professional Service
LLC Limited Liability Company
Assn – Association
City of Fort Hickory Board
Walnut County Employees
Association
Rho Alpha Chapter Alpha Tau
Fraternity
House Assn. of Beta XI Chapter of
Omicron Delta Kappa
CITY
WALN
RHOA
HOUS
Apply the Name Control rules to local
governmental organizations or
chapter names of national fraternal
organizations.
In addition to the Name Control rules in Table 3–5, partnerships use the following Name
Control rules.
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Table 3–6: Name Control Rules for Partnerships
Partnership
(Name Control Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
Maple Pizza, LLC, John Maple Ptr
Harold J. Almond & Thad J. Balsam
et al Ptr. DBA Howard Elder
Development Co.
W.P. Plum & H.N. Laurel dba P&L
Pump
MAPLE
HOWA
P&LP
A trade name of DBA is present, use
the first four characters of the
business name.
E.J. Fig, M.L. Maple, & R.T. Holly
Partnership
Laurel, Birch & Hawthorn Ptrshp.,
Mark Laurel Gen. Ptr.
EJFI
LAUR
“Partnership” or an abbreviation of
that word appears with list of
partners’ names use the first four
letters of the partnership name.
Cedar, Teak & Pine, Ptrs.
Bob Oak & Carol Hazel
CEDA
OAK
Neither condition above is present
use the first four characters of the
first partner’s last name.
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Table 3–7: Additional Name Control Rules for Other Organizations
Exempt Organization
(Name Control Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
Local 210 International Birch Assn
AFLCIO Laborer’s Union
BPOE Benevolent Order of Elks
AMVETS American Veterans
Southbend American Legion
Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
INTE
LABO
BENE
AMER
AMER
BOYS
The Name Control is the first four
characters of the national title.
VFW Post 3120
VETE
“VFW” is present (an abbreviation for
“Veterans of Foreign Wars”), use
VETE
Parent Teacher’s Association of Los
Angeles
PTA of Georgia
PTAC
PTAG
The Name Control is “PTA” plus the
first letter of the state, whether or not
the state name is present as part of
the name of the organization.
Diocese of Kansas City St. Rose’s
Hospital
St. Silver’s Church Diocese of Lani
Building Fund, St. Bernard’s Church
STRO
STSI
STBE
For churches and their subordinates,
(for example, nursing homes,
hospitals) derive the Name Control
from the legal name of the church.
Committee to elect John Smith
Citizens for John Doe
Friends of Janice Doe
Smith for State Representative
Linda Jones for Congress
JOHN
JOHN
JANI
SMIT
LIND
Derive the Name Control of Political
Organizations from the first four
characters of the individual’s name.
3.11.1 Form 1041 Name Control Information
The rules for assigning the name control are different for trusts that applied for their
Employer Identification Number (EIN) via the Internet and trusts that applied for their
EIN using a paper application.
3.11.1.1 Internet Applications
Trusts that received their EIN via the Internet must use the same rules as
corporations when determining their correct Name Control. The IRS Internet
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computer program assigns the first four characters of the first name of the trust
as the name control, ignoring leading terms such as “Trust for” and selects the
first four characters of first name of the individual, organization, and so on. This is
a departure from procedures used for EIN applications for trusts that were filed
on paper.
Employer Identification Numbers for Trusts that were assigned via completion of
an Internet application begin with 20, 26, 27 or 45 (for example, 20-nnnnnnn; 46
and 47 are reserved for future use). Also, IRS notice CP 575B is used to notify
an applicant of the EIN assigned to the entity named in the application and
includes a tear-off tab that references the Name Control assigned to the EIN. The
Name Control should also appear at the top of the second page. In the following
example, NAME represents the Name Control.
(IRS USE ONLY) 575B 10-31-2008 NAME B 999999999 SS-4
3.11.1.2 Paper Applications
Trusts that applied for their EIN via a paper application (for example, Form SS-4)
were assigned name controls using the first four characters of the last name of
the trust. Please refer to the following examples to determine your correct name
control when completing the entity section of your electronic Form 1041.
The procedures for assigning the name control for an Estate has not changed.
Note: Filers (Fiduciaries or their authorized representatives) who cannot determine the
correct Name Control will need to contact the Business Specialty Tax Line at 1-
800-829-4933 for assistance.
Table 3–8: Estate Name Controls
Estate Name
(Name Control Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
Frank Walnut Estate, Allan Beech,
Exec.
WALN
The Name Control is the first four
characters of the deceased
individual's last name.
Note: The decedent's name may be
followed by or preceded by "Estate"
or the abbreviated “Est” on the name
line.
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Table 3–9: Trust Name Controls
Trust Name
(Name Control Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
Cedar Corp Employee Benefit Trust
Magnolia Association Charitable
Lead Trust
CEDA
MAGN
When any of the items below are
included in the name, use the first
four characters of the name of the
business.
Inc – Incorporated
Co Company
Corp Corporation
Fdn Foundation
PC Professional Corporation
SC Small Corporation
PA Professional Association
PS Professional Service
LLC Limited Liability Company
Assn – Association
0020 GNMA Pool
GNMA Pool No. 00100B
20GN
100G
GNMA pool, use the first four digits of
the pool number, but do not include
any leading zeros or trailing alphas. If
there are fewer than four numbers,
use the letters “GNMA” to complete
the Name Control.
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Trust Name
(Name Control Underlined)
Name
Control
Rule
Jan Fir Trust FBO Patrick Redwood
Redwood Chestnut Bank TTEE
Jan R. Fir Children’s Trust
JRF Children’s Trust
ABCD Trust No. 001036
Donald C Beech Trust FBO Mary &
Karen Redbud
Testamentary Trust U/W Margaret
Balsam, Drew Fig & Laura Fir
Maple-Birch Endowment Trust, John
J. Willow Trustee
Michael Teak Clifford Trust
FIR
FIRC
JRFC
ABCD
BEEC
BALS
MAPL
TEAK
If a named trust is listed, use the first
four characters of the trust’s name or
individual’s last name.
Note: Never include any part of the
word “trust” in the Name Control.
Trust No. 0129C FBO Margaret
Laurel
Trust No. 12100 FBO Margaret
Laurel
129
1210
For numbered trusts, use the first four
digits of the trust number,
disregarding any leading zeros and
trailing alphas.
Richard L. Aster, Charitable
Remainder Unitrust
Testamentary Trust Edward Buckeye
TTEE
Trust FBO Eugene Eucalyptus
Trust FBO The Dogwood Blossom
Society
ASTE
BUCK
EUCA
DOGW
If none of the above conditions are
met, use the first four characters of
the last name of the trustee (TTEE) or
beneficiary (FBO).
3.12 Addresses
3.12.1 Domestic Address Changes
MeF accepts all domestic address changes provided by the taxpayer in the entity
portion of the parent return. However in the case of a consolidated return, the name
change is effective only for the top consolidated entity. When the “Name or Address
Change” checkbox on the return is checked, the specific address entered on the return
will become the taxpayer’s new “officialaddress of record within IRS Master File. The
IRS uses a taxpayer’s address of record for various notices that are required to be sent
to a taxpayer’s “last known address” under the Internal Revenue Code and for refunds
of overpayments of tax, unless otherwise specifically directed by taxpayers, such as by
using Direct Deposit.
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It is important to enter all particulars of the mailing address (apartment numbers, suite
numbers, box numbers, etc.) in the street address line 1 field. This may require
abbreviation of lengthy address information in order to provide all pertinent information
necessary for accurate delivery.
In addition, any new address you provide to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) may also
update your address of record on file with us based on what the USPS retains in its
National Change of Address (NCOA) database. However, even if you notify the USPS,
you should still notify us directly as not all post offices forward government checks. If the
change of address relates to an employment tax return (94x Series), the IRS will issue
notices of confirmation (Notices 148A and 148B) for the change of both the former and
new address.
An ERO’s address should generally not be entered in fields reserved for taxpayers’
addresses in the electronic return record. The only exceptions are (1) if the ERO is the
taxpayer or (2) if the address of a power of attorney, for the taxpayer of the tax return, is
the same as the address of the ERO.
See Exhibit 1 at the end of this publication for a link to the Standard State Address
Abbreviations and Valid Postal ZIP Codes as recognized by the U.S. Postal Service.
3.12.2 Foreign Addresses
An income tax return or extension, except for Form 990-PF, with a foreign address in
the entity portion of the return may be filed electronically as long as the foreign address
is formatted correctly.
Foreign address changes are also accepted when filing through MeF. IRS will update
the business’ entity information with the change of address. The specific address
entered on the return will become the taxpayer’s new official address of record within
IRS Master File. The IRS uses a taxpayer’s address of record for various notices that
are required to be sent to a taxpayer’s “last known address” under the Internal Revenue
Code and for refunds of overpayments of tax, unless otherwise specifically directed by
taxpayers, such as by using Direct Deposit.
It is important to enter all particulars of the mailing address (apartment numbers, suite
numbers, box numbers, etc.) in the street address line 1 field. This may require
abbreviation of lengthy address information in order to provide all pertinent information
necessary for accurate delivery. If the change of address relates to an employment tax
return (94x Series), the IRS will issue notices of confirmation (Notices 148A and 148B)
for the change of both the former and new address.
Some returns, forms or attachments require the preparer to enter the two-character
Foreign Country Code. This code should always be the code of the Foreign Country or
Foreign Sovereignty as recognized by the United States Department of State.
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For example, England, Scotland, and Wales are part of the United Kingdom. The
Foreign Country Code for United Kingdom is “UK.” The Balearic Islands are a part of
Spain and should be coded as Spain (SP). When entering foreign addresses on the
return or form, the state or republic, such as England or Scotland, can be entered with
the city (for example, London, England) and the country as “United Kingdom” or “UK.”
See Exhibit 2 at the end of this publication for a link to the IRS.gov website for the
accepted Foreign Country Codes.
3.12.3 Address Format
Street Address Line 1 AddressLine1Txt cannot contain more than 35
characters, abbreviation of lengthy address information may be required in order
to provide all pertinent information.
Note: MeF will reject returns that contain address information on the Street
Address Line 2 field AddressLine2Txt. Individual Returns will reject with
business rules IND-055-02. Business Returns will reject with business
rules R0000-197-01.
Enter college, building or post office branch as the address if no other mailing
address is given.
Enter one-half as 1/2 (no spaces).
Plurals for apartment, avenue, road, street, etc., are entered as APTS, AVES,
RDS, STS, etc.
Replace a (.) period in the address line with a space. Never enter two
consecutive spaces.
Do not enter an In Care of Name in the street address field.
For military overseas addresses, enter the letters "APO" or "FPO" or “DPO” in the
first three left-most positions of the City field.
Do not use “NO”, “NO.”, “NUM”, “#’ symbol and “Number” as a prefix to a house,
apartment, Route, or PO Box number.
Note: If No or No. is used as a direction, enter “N” only.
Example
Enter As
859 Adams Avenue No 7
859 ADAMS AVE 7
57 Adams Avenue No. 7
57 ADAMS AVE 7
57 No 123 Ave
57 N 123RD AVE
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Example
Enter As
123 Third Street #5
123 THIRD ST 5
123 Third Street Number 5
123 THIRD ST 5
Only add "ST", "ND", "RD", "TH" to a numbered street when there is a street
designation (e.g. street, avenue, circle, road, etc.).
Exception: Do not add suffix to numbered streets with fractions.
Example
Enter As
102 S. 38 Road
102 S 38TH RD
102 S. 38
102 S 38
102 S. 38 Road W
102 S 38TH RD W
1801 N 13 1/2 Street
1801 N 13 1/2 ST
Use standard address abbreviations unless the word is a proper name.
Example
Enter As
45 Circle Drive
45 CIRCLE DR
96 Avenue C
96 AVE C
128 Northeast Lane
128 NORTHEAST LN
54 West Valley Street South
54 W Valley ST S
Abbreviate words not part of the proper name or numbered street.
Note: When a street address contains multiple, consecutive, street designations
(e.g. street, avenue, circle, road, etc.), abbreviate the last street
designation.
Example
Enter As
17 South Court Street
17 S COURT ST
57 Park Circle Boulevard
57 PARK CIRCLE BLVD
12291 Country Place Drive
12291 COUNTRY PLACE DR
3.12.4 Foreign Country Codes for Forms 8858 and 926
Form instructions for the 8858 and 926 specify that a foreign address has to be entered
with the country name using the full country name rather than an abbreviation.
However, taxpayers e-filing these forms through MeF should continue to use a country
code for the country name.
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3.13 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes
To facilitate the administration of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), a principal business
activity and associated code are used to classify an enterprise by the type of activity in
which it is involved. These principal business activity codes are based on the North
American Industry Classification System (NAICS). A list of valid Principal Business
Activity Codes (NAICS Codes) can be found in the instructions for Form 1120-FSC.
3.14 Refunds
There are several options available regarding refunds through MeF:
Apply it to next year’s estimated tax
Receive it as a Direct Deposit or paper check
Split it between portions applied to next year’s estimated tax with the remainder
received as Direct Deposit or paper check
Note: Direct deposits are not available for Excise tax returns, Estate and Trust tax
returns or Employment Tax returns.
Taxpayers often elect the Direct Deposit option because it is the fastest way of receiving
refunds. Providers must accept any Direct Deposit election to any eligible financial
institution designated by the taxpayer. Refunds may be designated for Direct Deposit to
qualified accounts in the taxpayer’s name. Qualified accounts include savings,
checking, share draft, or consumer asset accounts, for example, IRA or money market
accounts.
Direct Deposit refunds may not be designated to credit card accounts. Qualified
accounts must be held by financial institutions within the United States. Qualifying
institutions may be national banks, state banks, including within the District of Columbia
and political sub-divisions of the 50 states, savings and loan associations, mutual
savings banks, and credit unions.
Checking or share draft accounts that are payable through another institution may not
accept direct deposits. A taxpayer should verify Direct Deposit policy of its financial
institution before electing this option.
A taxpayer choosing Direct Deposit must supply its provider with account numbers and
routing numbers for qualified accounts. This information is best obtained from official
financial institution records, account cards, checks or share drafts that contain the
taxpayer’s name and address.
A provider is not allowed to charge a separate fee for a taxpayer using Direct Deposit
and must accept any Direct Deposit election by a taxpayer to any eligible financial
institution. The Provider must advise the taxpayer that a Direct Deposit election cannot
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Publication 4163 (Rev. 12-2017) Catalog Number 36165C Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov
be rescinded. The Provider must not alter the Direct Deposit information in the
electronic record after a taxpayer has signed the tax return and cannot make changes
to routing numbers of financial institutions or to a taxpayer’s account numbers after IRS
has accepted its return.
Prov