February 07, 1996
Electronic Filing for Home Computer Users
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service is expanding opportunities for filing tax returns from home. CompuServe and five transmission companies are participating in the 1996 IRS On-Line Filing Program. Together, they allow users of nine tax preparation software packages to file tax returns electronically from their personal computers to the IRS.
To file on-line, a taxpayer transmits a completed tax return
file to the on-line service or transmitter, which converts this file
from the tax preparation software's format to the format meeting IRS
specifications for electronic filing. The on-line filing provider
then transmits the return file to the IRS. The IRS will notify the
taxpayer through the on-line provider if the return is accepted or,
if not, which items the taxpayer must correct.
After the IRS accepts the return, the taxpayer must mail to the
designated transmitter, along with any W-2 forms, a signed Form
8453-OL. This one-page signature document is provided by either the
tax preparation software or the transmitter. The transmitter gathers
these forms from its clients and submits them to the IRS.
Interested computer users may get a list of On-Line Filing
Program companies by checking the electronic tax services option at
the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov. This list is also
posted on the IRIS at FedWorld bulletin board, accessible by modem
directly at 703-321-8020. The list includes the software handled by
each transmitter or on-line service, as well as numbers to contact
the various vendors about procedures and transmission fees.
Each on-line taxpayer may transmit up to three income tax
returns -- for example, a married couple could transmit their joint
return and the returns for two of their children.
Electronic filing offers greater accuracy, acknowledgement that
IRS accepts the return, and direct deposit to the taxpayer's
checking or savings account for any refund.
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