T-A-X: The case for a National Tax Bee
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IRS, tax pros preparing for 2010 e-filing

Yes, millions of folks still haven't filed their 2008 returns (that final deadline is Oct. 15; more on that soon), but the IRS also is getting ready for the 2010 e-filing season.

The agency has released the updated version of Publication 1436, Test Package for Electronic Filing of Individual Income Tax Returns for Tax Year 2009.

The Service requires all software developers and electronic forms transmitters to perform the tests in the package before they will be accepted into the upcoming e-filing program.

As you can imagine, the process involves lots of acronyms, but basically the IRS wants to make sure that, prior to live processing, tax pros transmit in the correct format and meet the IRS electronic filing specifications. The IRS also wants to make sure that providers understand the mechanics of e-file.

This year the IRS also is getting feedback on its Modernized e-File (MeF) technology. MeF already is in use to process electronically filed corporation, partnership, excise tax and exempt organization tax returns.

The IRS is incorporating individual tax forms into MeF. For the upcoming filing season, MeF will  support the following 2009 tax year filings:

Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Return
Schedule A Itemized Deductions
Schedule B Interest and Ordinary Dividends
Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business
Schedule D Capital Gains and Losses
Schedule E Supplemental Income and Loss 
Schedule EIC Earned Income Credit
Schedule M (new for 2009) Making Work Pay Credit
Schedule R Credit for the Elderly or Disabled
Schedule SE Self-Employment Tax
Form 1099-R Retirement plan distributions
Form 2106 Employee Business Expenses
Form 2210 Underpayment of Estimated Tax 
Form 2441 Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Form 4562 Depreciation and Amortization
Form 4868 Extension to File
Form 8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions
Form 8812 Additional Child Tax Credit
Form 8829 Business Use of Home
Form 8863 Education Credits
Form 8880 Retirement Savings Credit
Form 8888 Direct Deposit to Multiple Accounts 
Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement

The IRS' Forms and Publications Web page has the latest versions of the existing tax forms that will be part of the modernized e-filing system next year if you want a sneak preview.

As for what other e-filing steps the IRS is exploring, check back tomorrow when I'll give you a preview courtesy of a session I attended at the Dallas Nationwide Tax Forum last month.

Programming note 10/4/09: A perfect storm of home repairs, story deadlines and the upcoming Tax Carnival have forced me to move the aforementioned elaboration on e-filing issues to Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Update: The promised (threatened?) post on the increasingly electronic IRS is now posted!

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