3 Steps to E-Filing Your Return

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) partners with various private industry companies to bring taxpayers affordable, convenient, user friendly IRS e-file options available from home or through an approved IRS e-file Business Provider.

There are 3 Steps to E-Filing:

STEP 1: Gather your tax information.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and any dependents.
  • All W-2 forms
  • All 1099 forms for dividends, retirement income, or other income
  • Receipts for expenses for Itemized Deductions, if you itemize on Schedule A
  • Bank account numbers. If you expect a refund, you may split your refund for direct depositing using up to three different accounts. For example, a checking, savings, and money market account
  • For each bank account you intend to use, you will need: the account number and routing number.
  • Have your prior year's Adjusted Gross Income available.

STEP 2: Choose a method for e-filing.

  • Self-Select PIN Method or
  • Practitioner PIN Method

Selecting your own PIN number as your digital signature eliminates the requirement for signing a paper return. If you have tax software, you can use the self-select method to create a PIN.

You PIN number is your digital signature. If you prefer not to use a PIN, you may still e-file, but you must sign and mail to the IRS, Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file On-Line Return .

To self-select a PIN you may use any five digits you want. However, you cannot use all zeros.

Practitioner PIN Method:

The Practitioner PIN method can only be used by taxpayers who file electronically through a tax professional who is an Authorized e-file provider.

You may use a PIN as your digital signature using the practitioner PIN method .

If you use this method you are not required to provide your original Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or PIN from your prior year return or your Date of Birth.

STEP 3: Transmitting your return.

If you file your own taxes online using tax software, answer the simple questions in your tax preparation software, and the software will transmit your return and give a feedback as to the status of your return.

If you e-file using a provider online, you simply follow the online process.

For faster refunds, provide your bank account number and routing number to enable direct deposit.

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