IRS News Release  
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 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.

Previous | Next

1996 IRS News Releases | News Releases Main | Home