More Tax Preparers Must Use E-filing

The ability to e-file income tax returns isn’t just a nifty option – it has already become a requirement for many tax preparation professionals and is about to become a requirement for many more. In fact, this year is the last year that many of you will be able to file returns by hand.

This tax season, it had already become mandatory for tax preparation professionals to electronically file their customers’ tax returns. Anyone preparing 100 or more forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and 1041 for individuals, trusts and estates were subject to the requirement.

Next year, anyone who anticipates filing 11 returns or more will be required to electronically file.

The rule for firms is that they compute the number of returns in the aggregate that they reasonably expect to file as a firm. If they expect to file at least 11 returns next year, then all members of the firm will have to e-file the returns they prepare, even those who prepare fewer than 11 returns themselves.

Of course, some of your clients will not be comfortable with the prospect of electronic filing their income tax returns. You may still file those returns on paper. Tax preparers must use form 8948- Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically. The IRS requires that the tax preparation professional document each client’s choice and mail in form 8948 with the client’s tax return.

Preparers who have not done so already will need to get an EFIN or Electronic Filing Identification Number. The process takes about 45 days and will take some pre-planning. Contact TaxSlayer Pro’s sales representatives for help with requesting an EFIN.