IRS E-File

Penny Qualls
Penny Qualls



P. L. Qualls & Company, P.C. is an authorized IRS E-File Provider. An Authorized IRS E-file Provider is a tax professional or firm accepted into the IRS electronic filing program.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding IRS E-File:

IRS E-file is a way to electronically file a Federal Income Tax Return. It is a fast, accurate, safe and paperless way to file a return AND you get your refund in half the time, even faster and safer with Direct Deposit in as few as 10 days. If you owe tax, you can e-file and electronically pay in a single step.

Q. What do I gain by using IRS e-file? 

A. Accuracy! Security! Electronic Signatures! Proof of Acceptance! Fast Refunds with Direct Deposit! Electronic Payment Options! Federal/State e-file! Only IRS e-file offers these advantages.

Q. Do I really get my refund faster?
A. With IRS e-file, you get it back in half the time. It’s even faster and safer if you have your refund deposited directly into your bank account— in as few as 10 days. For more information about Direct Deposit, go to the Financial Management Service (FMS) web site,

Q. Is there a fee for IRS E-file?
A. The IRS does not charge a fee for e-filing. P.L. Qualls & Company, P.C. will be happy to discuss our fees for tax preparation and e-filing. However, these fees are not based on any figures from your tax return.

Q. If I owe, how do I pay my taxes electronically?
A. You can authorize an electronic funds withdrawal from your checking or savings account at the time your Form 1040 series individual tax return is electronically prepared. You can also pay by credit card or use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

Q. What Federal individual income taxes can I pay by electronic funds withdrawal?
A. Payment can be made for current year:(1) Individual Income Tax Returns (1040 series), (2) Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, (3) Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and (4) Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals. Electronic payment eliminates the need to mail a paper Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, Form 4868, Form 2350 or Form 1040-ES. E-filing your balance due return with an electronic payment is a safe, secure and convenient way to be assured of on-time receipt of both the return and payment. This reduces the chance of errors.

Most tax preparation software allows you to e-file a balance due return and, at the same time, authorize an electronic funds withdrawal from your checking or savings account. The withdrawal cannot be authorized after the return is transmitted. You can schedule a withdrawal for a future date up to and including April 15. The software includes instructions on the information needed to complete the payment including your bank account number and the routing transit number of your financial institution. Check with your financial institution to be sure that electronic fund transfers can be authorized from your designated bank account (money management accounts, money market accounts, certificate of deposit accounts and some credit union savings accounts do not allow for such transactions). Your tax payment will be listed on your bank statement as a “United States Treasury Tax Payment” as proof of payment. Additionally, you receive an electronic acknowledgement once your electronic return is received and accepted. Note: There are no additional transaction charges for electronic funds withdrawals authorized to pay taxes. Only authorized withdrawals can be made. No other funds can legally be withdrawn.


Q. What types of Federal individual income taxes can I pay by credit card?
A. Payments can be made for (1) TY2002 and 2003 Individual Income Tax Returns (1040 series), including Balance Due Notices, (2) TY2003 Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, (3) TY2004 Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, and (4) Installment Agreements for TY2002 and after. Check with your software provider regarding the availability of a credit card payment option when you e-file. Credit Card service providers charge a convenience fee for payment transactions. You are informed of the convenience fee amount before you authorize the payment. Note: The IRS does not receive or store credit card numbers. The private credit card service providers verify the validity of the card and line of credit and forward the appropriate tax payment information to the IRS.

Q. How can I pay by credit card and which credit cards are accepted?

A. Credit card payments must be made electronically. You can e-file and electronically pay by credit card if the tax software you use includes this option. You may also pay by calling a toll-free service (1-800-2PAY-TAX or 1-888-PAY-1040) or accessing the Internet ( or All major credit cards (Discover® Card, MasterCard® card, Visa® card and American Express® Card) are accepted. You can make partial payments by phone or Internet, but there is a limit to the maximum number of payments for each type of tax. If you pay by credit card, you delay out-of-pocket expenses and may earn miles, points, rewards or money back from your credit card issuer. You will be provided a confirmation number at the end of the payment transaction and your credit card statement will provide proof of your payment. The payment and return data are reconciled by the IRS based on the social security number entered and the type of tax selected during the transaction.

Q. Can I pay my balance due by phone or Internet with a credit card if I’m a "married filing joint" filer?
A. Yes. Just be sure to enter the Social Security Number of the first taxpayer listed on the return’s pre-printed mailing label, postcard or Form.

Q. What if I owe and cannot pay the full balance due?
A. The tax preparation software used by your tax professional may allow you to make partial payments. If partial payments are allowed, you can make a payment for less than the balance due amount on your return. If you cannot pay in full by April 15, you can file Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. This form is available electronically. An approved Installment Agreement allows you to make a predetermined series of partial payments. Regardless of how you pay, you are responsible for paying the amount of tax due by April 15, or you will be subject to late payment penalties and interest.

Q. What happens if my return is filed electronically, I am receiving a refund, and I owe taxes from previous years?
A. The amount owed on back taxes is automatically deducted from your refund just as if you filed a paper return. If you go to a tax preparer to get a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL), you must tell your tax preparer that you owe back taxes.

Q. If my return is electronic, how do I sign it?
A. The most convenient way for you to sign your electronic return is to use a self-selected Personal Identification Number (PIN). It’s completely paperless! You have two methods of electronic signatures to choose from: Self-Select PIN method or Practitioner PIN method. With both methods the taxpayer selects the PIN. If you do not choose to use a PIN, you simply sign a signature document, Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Return. If your return contains an attachment required to be submitted to IRS, you must use Form 8453.


Q. What is the Self-Select PIN method?
A. The Self-Select PIN method allows you to personally sign your electronic tax return using a five-digit number. The Self-Select PIN method serves as your signature and actually takes the place of Form 8453. Taxpayers can either sign their own return electronically or authorize the ERO to sign the return with their (taxpayer’s) PIN. The process includes self-selecting a five-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) and entering your Adjusted Gross Income from your prior year (TY2002) originally filed income tax return. [This amount is not the amount from an amended tax return (Form 1040X), a corrected amount from a math error notice, or a changed amount from IRS]. The AGI is on Line 35 of Form 1040, Line 21 of Form 1040A, Line 4 of Form 1040EZ or Line I of the TeleFile Tax Record. You should ensure your Date of Birth is accurate and matches the information in Social Security Administration’s (SSA) files prior to e-filing by checking your SSA statement entitled, “Your Social Security Statement.” Since tax preparation software packages may vary, consult your particular package for more details. For more detailed information on qualifications and required taxpayer information on the Self-Select PIN Method or on IRS e-file, please visit the IRS web site at

Q. What is the Practitioner PIN method?
A. The Practitioner PIN method is an additional electronic signature option for taxpayers who use an Authorized IRS e-file Provider to file their taxes electronically. Taxpayers using the Practitioner PIN method must also select a five-digit PIN to sign their electronic tax return. Taxpayers choosing to use this method must complete Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization. Unlike the Self-Select PIN method, the Date of Birth and prior year’s Adjusted Gross Income are not required with the Practitioner PIN method. Please visit the IRS web site at for additional information

Q. How do I know that the IRS really has my return?

A. The IRS notifies your Authorized IRS e-file Provider within 48 hours of transmission that your return information was received. If the IRS detects any errors, it sends a message back to the Authorized IRS e-file Provider indicating the error. The error is corrected and the return is retransmitted to the IRS.

Q. Do I have a greater chance of getting audited by the IRS, if I use IRS e-file?
A. No. The chance of an audit of an e-filed return is no greater than with a paper return.

Q. Can my state tax return be e-filed with my Federal return at the same time?
A. There are 37 States and the District of Columbia participating in the IRS e-file program. To see if your state participates, please visit

Q. Can my state return be e-filed without my Federal return?
A. Yes, you can e-file your state return with a “dummy” State Only Form 1040 attached. Visit for the names of the states participating in State Only Filing.

Q. Where can I get additional information about IRS e-file?
A. Visit the IRS web site at or give us a call.