What Are the E-File Requirements?

 

E-filing is a convenient way to submit your return to the IRS. However, there are certain times your return cannot be e-filed because it does not meet the e-file requirements. Some of the most common reasons for this are:

  • You have a return with a power of attorney in effect that requires the refund to be sent to a third party.
  • You have amended or corrected returns (even if the return being amended was originally e-filed). Only one valid 2020 return can be e-filed for any taxpayer.
  • You have a married filing separately return subject to community property rules.
  • You have a return in which the filing taxpayer, spouse, or any dependent, regardless of date of birth, doesn’t have a valid Social Security number (SSN). This requirement includes children born in 2020.
  • You claim a dependent that somebody already claimed.
  • Your return contains IRS forms that aren’t on the accepted forms and schedules list.

What IRS Forms Cannot Be E-filed Beyond a Certain Number?

In certain cases, you will be prevented from e-filing due to the number of forms that you need to file. You will not be able to e-file if you have:

  • Eight Schedules C
  • Two Schedules C-EZ (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • 15 Schedules E or Schedule E attachments (no more than 45 rental properties)
  • Two Schedules H (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Two Schedules SE (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • 50 Forms W-2
  • 30 Forms W-2G
  • 20 Forms 1099-R
  • 20 Forms 1116
  • Four Forms 2106 (two per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Two Forms 2555EZ (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Two Forms 2555 (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Two Forms 3903
  • Two Forms 4137 (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Four Forms 4835
  • Two Forms 4972 (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Two Forms 5329 (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • Two Forms 8271
  • Two Forms 8606 (one per taxpayer if married filing jointly)
  • 10 Forms 8814
  • Eight Forms 8829 (one for each Schedule C)

If you fall into any of the above situations, you’ll have to file your tax return by mail for this year.

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