I discussed IRS Notice 2010-85 in a previous post. In that article I covered how a tax return preparer can opt out of the new mandated e-file rules. There is also a new proposed procedure when the taxpayer decides they do not want their return electronically filed. The taxpayer need to sign a statement opting out of e-filing their return. In the case of a joint return, both taxpayer and spouse must sign the statement. The notice gave this example statement:
My tax return preparer[preparer’s name] has informed me that[s/he] may be required to electronically file my [inset tax year] individual tax return[type of return:1040/1040A,1040EZ, 1041,990-T]if[s/he] files it with the IRS on my behalf. I do not want to file my return electronically and choose to file my return on paper forms. My preparer will not file my paper return with the IRS. I will file my paper return with the IRS myself. I was not influenced by[preparer’s name] or any member of[his/her] firm to sign this statement.
I expect to have a couple of these at least. I have clients who I can’t convince to let me e-file the return. The IRS stresses that the decision to e-file is the taxpayer’s choice. They just sign the statement for me and I give them paper returns to mail. The signed statement is not sent to the IRS but I keep the statement in the client’s file. What is sent to the IRS with the paper return is Form 8948.
While the notice does not mention Form 8948, the IRS FAQ on the e-file mandate does. The form is not available yet but will go in with the mailed return and explains why the return is being mailed. Besides the taxpayer choosing to not e-file, there will be returns which can’t be e-filed. A return claiming the First Time Home Buyer’s Credit is a good example as are returns which are rejected because of duplicate SSNs or EINs. Form 8948 will have to be submitted for each return the preparer does not e-file no matter the reason.