Forms & Downloads



E-File FAQ

An Authorized IRS e-file Provider (Provider) is a business or organization accepted by the IRS to participate in IRS e-file. It may be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other entity. A Provider may be an Electronic Return Originator (ERO), Intermediate Service Provider, Transmitter, Software Developer, or Reporting Agent. These roles are not mutually exclusive. Providers may also be tax return preparers, but the activities and responsibilities for IRS e-file and return preparation are each distinct and different from the other.

Accuracy! Security! Electronic Signatures! Proof of Acceptance! Fast Refunds with Direct Deposit! Electronic Payment Options! Federal/State e-file! Only IRS e-file offers these advantages.

Yes, you do. If you e-file and select direct deposit, you can get your refund back in as little as ten days. Ask your ERO for the estimated date of deposit. For more information about Direct Deposit, go to the Financial Management Service (FMS) Web site,

The IRS does not charge a fee for e-filing. Your ERO will be glad to explain their fees for tax preparation and e-filing. However, these fees are not based on any figures from your tax return.

Payments can be made for (1) current year Individual Income Tax Returns (1040 series), (2) Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, (3) Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and (4) Tax Year 2009 Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals.

You can schedule up to four quarterly estimated payments while e-filing your individual return, regardless of whether your individual return has a balance due or not.

Optionally, the Form 1040 series payment can also include penalty and interest.

Most tax preparation software allows you to e-file a balance due return and, at the same time, authorize an electronic funds withdrawal from your checking or savings account. The withdrawal cannot be authorized after the return is transmitted. A payment can be scheduled to be withdrawn on a future date beginning January 16, 2009. For a 1040 series payment to be considered timely, the payment should be scheduled for withdrawal on or before the return due date. The software includes instructions on the information needed to complete the payment, including your bank account number and the routing transit number of your financial institution. Check with your financial institution to be sure that electronic fund transfers can be authorized from your designated bank account (money management accounts, money market accounts, certificate of deposit accounts and some credit union savings accounts do not allow for such transactions). Your tax payment will be reflected as a "United States Treasury Tax Payment" on your bank statement as proof of payment. Additionally, you receive an electronic acknowledgment once your electronic return is received and accepted.

Note: Regarding fees see Question/Answer 4 above; there are no additional transaction charges for electronic funds withdrawals.

Note: Only authorized withdrawals can be made. No other funds can legally be withdrawn.

Payments can be made for (1) current year Individual Tax Returns (1040 series), including Balance Due Notices, (2) Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return, (3) Tax Year 2009 Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, (4) past due taxes including Installment Agreement and prior tax years payment, (5) Tax Years 2006-2008 Form 1040 advanced payment of a determined deficiency, (6) Trust Fund Recovery Penalty, and (7) Form(s) 940, 941, 944 and 945 series balances, including current and prior year, Installment Agreement and amended or adjusted return payments.

Check with your software provider regarding the availability of a card payment option when you e-file.

Service providers charge a convenience fee for payment transactions. You are informed of the convenience fee amount before you authorize the payment.

Note: The IRS does not receive or store credit or debit card numbers. The service providers verify the validity of the card and line of credit, and forward the appropriate tax payment information to the IRS.

Card payments must be made electronically. You can e-file and electronically pay by card if the tax software you use includes this option. You may also make a credit card payment by calling a toll-free service (1-888-PAY-1040 or 1-800-2PAY-TAX); or accessing the Internet ( or All major credit cards (American Express® Card, Discover® Card, MasterCard® card, and Visa® card) are accepted. To use an ATM/debit card, you may call (1-866-213-0675 or 1-866-4PAY-TAX) or access the Internet ( or You can make partial payments by phone or Internet, but there is a limit to the number of payments for each type of tax.

If you pay by credit card, you delay out-of-pocket expenses and may earn miles, points, rewards or money back from your credit card issuer. You will be provided a confirmation number at the end of the payment transaction and your account statement will provide proof of your payment. The payment and return data are reconciled by the IRS based on the social security number entered and the type of tax selected during the transaction.

Yes. Just be sure to enter the social security number of the first taxpayer listed on the return's pre-printed mailing label, postcard or form.

Take the easy way to pay ALL your business and individual federal taxes by enrolling in Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. EFTPS is a separate electronic system that is free, secure, easy, and offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The enrollment process takes 7-10 days, so enroll now! Then pay 24/7 from anywhere there is a phone or Internet connection. Refer to Publication 3611 for details. Better yet. Call EFTPS Customer Service at 1-800-555-4477 or visit

The tax preparation software used by your tax professional may allow you to make partial payments. If partial payments are allowed, you can make a payment for less than the balance due amount on your return. If you cannot pay in full by April 15, 2009, you can file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. This form is available electronically. An approved Installment Agreement allows you to make a predetermined series of partial payments. Please note that if tax is not fully paid by the due date of the return, penalty and interest charges continue to accrue until the balance is paid in full.

The amount owed on back taxes is automatically deducted from your refund just as if you filed a paper return. If you go to a tax preparer to get a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL), you must tell your tax preparer that you owe back taxes.

The only way for you to sign your electronic return is to use a Personal Identification Number (PIN). It's completely paperless! You have two methods of electronic signatures to choose from: Self-Select PIN method or Practitioner PIN method. With both methods you may select the PIN. If you file your tax return online you must use the Self-Select PIN method to sign your return. If your return contains certain forms that are required to be submitted to the IRS, you must use Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return to submit those attachments.

The Self-Select PIN method allows you to personally sign your electronic tax return using a five-digit number. You can either sign your own return with your PIN electronically, authorize the ERO to sign the return with your PIN, allow the ERO to assign you a PIN, or allow the software to generate a PIN.

The Self-Select PIN process includes entering a five-digit PIN; your Date of Birth; and from your prior year (Tax Year 2007) originally filed income tax return, the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount, or PIN if you signed electronically. You may use either your original prior year AGI or prior year PIN, or your software may allow the capability to enter both. The original AGI amount is not the amount from an amended tax return (Form 1040X) or a math error correction made by IRS. Your prior year AGI amount is on Line 37 of Form 1040, Line 21 of Form 1040A, or Line 4 of Form 1040EZ of your Tax Year 2007 return. Prior to e-filing, you should also ensure your Date of Birth is accurate and matches the information in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) files by checking your SSA statement entitled" Your Social Security Statement."

Since tax preparation software packages may vary, consult your particular package for more details. For additional information on qualifications and required taxpayer information on the Self-Select PIN Method, please visit IRS Web site at; keyword PIN.

The Practitioner PIN method is an additional electronic signature option for taxpayers who use an Authorized IRS e-file Provider to file their taxes electronically. Taxpayers using the Practitioner PIN method also use a five-digit PIN to sign their electronic tax return. Taxpayers choosing to use this method must complete Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization. Unlike the Self-Select PIN method, the Date of Birth and prior year's Adjusted Gross Income or PIN are not required with the Practitioner PIN method. Please visit the IRS Web site at for additional information.

Taxpayers who are eligible to file Forms 1041, 1065, 1065-B, 1120, 1120-F, 1120-S, 720, 2290, 8849 and Exempt Organization returns can use the Practitioner PIN. The taxpayer must use the applicable Form 8879 as follows:

Form 8879-F for Form 1041 return

Form 8879-PE for Form 1065 return

Form 8879-B for Form 1065-B return

Form 8879-C for Form 1120 return

Form 8879-I for Form 1120-F return

Form 8879-S for Form 1120-S return

Form 8879-PE for Exempt Organization returns

Form 8879-EX for Forms 720, 2290 and 8849 returns

For your convenience, you can get an automatic extension of time to file your tax return by filing Form 4868 electronically. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal from your checking or savings account. To be considered timely, a payment should be scheduled to be withdrawn on or before April 15, 2009. Also, you can get an extension if you pay part, or all, of your estimate of income tax due by credit or debit card.

Yes. The easiest way to split your refund is to electronically file Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund. Form 8888 allows you to deposit your refund in up to three designated accounts, such as checking and/or savings. Please see Form 8888 instructions for additional information.

No. The chance of an audit of an e-filed return is no greater than with a paper return.

Yes. There are 37 States and the District of Columbia participating in the IRS e-file program. To see if your state participates, please visit or ask your ERO for additional information.

Yes, you can e-file your state return with a "dummy" State Only Form 1040 attached. Visit for the names of the states participating in State Only Filing.