26 CFR 301.6011-7 - Specified tax return preparers required to file individual income tax returns using magnetic media.

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§ 301.6011-7 Specified tax return preparers required to file individual income tax returns using magnetic media.
(a) Definitions.
(1) Magnetic media. For purposes of this section, the term magnetic media has the same meaning as in § 301.6011-2(a)(1).
(2) Individual income tax return. The term individual income tax return means any return of tax imposed by subtitle A on individuals, estates, and trusts.
(3) Specified tax return preparer. The term specified tax return preparer means any person who is a tax return preparer, as defined in section 7701(a)(36) and § 301.7701-15, unless that person reasonably expects to file 10 or fewer individual income tax returns in a calendar year. If a person who is a tax return preparer is a member of a firm, that person is a specified tax return preparer unless the person's firm members in the aggregate reasonably expect to file 10 or fewer individual income tax returns in a calendar year. Solely for the 2011 calendar year, a person will not be considered a specified tax return preparer if that person reasonably expects, or if the person is a member of a firm, the firm's members in the aggregate reasonably expect, to file fewer than 100 individual income tax returns in the 2011 calendar year. Solely for purposes of this section, a person is considered a member of a firm if the person is an employee, agent, member, partner, shareholder, or other equity holder of the firm.
(4) File or Filed.
(i) For purposes of section 6011(e)(3) and these regulations only, an individual income tax return is considered to be “filed” by a tax return preparer or a specified tax return preparer if the preparer submits the individual income tax return to the IRS on the taxpayer's behalf, either electronically (by e-file or other magnetic media) or in non-electronic (paper) form. Submission of an individual income tax return by a tax return preparer or a specified tax return preparer in non-electronic form includes the transmission, sending, mailing or otherwise delivering of the paper individual income tax return to the IRS by the preparer, any member, employee, or agent of the preparer, or any member, employee, or agent of the preparer's firm.
(ii) An individual income tax return will not be considered to be filed, as defined in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, by a tax return preparer or specified tax return preparer if the tax return preparer or specified tax return preparer who prepared the return obtains, on or prior to the date the individual income tax return is filed, a hand-signed and dated statement from the taxpayer (by either spouse if a joint return) that states the taxpayer chooses to file the individual income tax return in paper format, and that the taxpayer, and not the preparer, will submit the paper individual income tax return to the IRS. The IRS may provide guidance through forms, instructions or other appropriate guidance regarding how tax return preparers and specified tax return preparers can document a taxpayer's choice to file an individual income tax return in paper format.
(iii) The rules contained in this section do not alter or affect a taxpayer's obligation to file returns under any other provision of law. The definition of file or filed by a tax return preparer or specified tax return preparer contained in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section applies only for the purposes of section 6011(e)(3) and these regulations and does not apply for any other purpose under any other provision of law.
(b) Magnetic media filing requirement. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(4)(ii) and (c) of this section, any individual income tax return prepared by a specified tax return preparer in a calendar year must be filed on magnetic media if the return is filed by the specified tax return preparer.
(c) Exclusions. The following exclusions apply to the magnetic media filing requirement in this section:
(1) Undue hardship waiver. The IRS may grant a waiver of the requirement of this section in cases of undue hardship. An undue hardship waiver may be granted upon application by a specified tax return preparer consistent with instructions provided in published guidance and as prescribed in relevant forms and instructions. A determination of undue hardship will be based upon all facts and circumstances. The undue hardship waiver provided to a specified tax return preparer may apply to a series or class of individual income tax returns or for a specified period of time, subject to the terms and conditions regarding the method of filing prescribed in such waiver.
(2) Administrative exemptions. The IRS may provide administrative exemptions from the requirement of this section for certain classes of specified tax return preparers, or regarding certain types of individual income tax returns, as the IRS determines necessary to promote effective and efficient tax administration. The IRS may provide administrative exemptions and any criteria or procedures necessary to claim an administrative exemption through forms, instructions, or other appropriate guidance.
(d) Reasonably expect to file—
(1) In general. The determination of whether a tax return preparer reasonably expects, or if the preparer is a member of a firm, the firm's members in the aggregate reasonably expect, to file 10 or fewer individual income tax returns (or, in the case of the 2011 calendar year, fewer than 100 individual income tax returns) is made by adding together all of the individual income tax returns the tax return preparer and, if the preparer is a member of a firm, the firm's members reasonably expect to prepare and file in the calendar year. In making this determination, individual income tax returns that the tax return preparer reasonably expects will not be subject to the magnetic media filing requirement under paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section or are excluded from the requirement under (c)(2) of this section are not to be counted. Individual income tax returns excluded from the magnetic media filing requirement under paragraph (c)(1) of this section are to be counted for purposes of making this determination.
(2) Time for making determination of reasonable expectations. The determination regarding reasonable expectations is made separately for each calendar year in order to ascertain whether the magnetic media filing requirement applies to a tax return preparer for that year. For each calendar year, the determination of whether a tax return preparer and the preparer's firm reasonably expect to file 10 or fewer individual income tax returns (or, in the case of the 2011 calendar year, fewer than 100 individual income tax returns) is made based on all relevant, objective, and demonstrable facts and circumstances prior to the time the tax return preparer and the preparer's firm first file an individual income tax return during the calendar year.
(e) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section.
Example 1.
Tax Return Preparer A is an accountant who recently graduated from college with an accounting degree and has opened his own practice. A has not prepared individual income tax returns for compensation in the past and does not plan to focus his practice on individual income tax return preparation. A intends instead to focus his practice on providing specialized accounting services to certain health care service providers. A has no plans to, and does not, employ or engage any other tax return preparers. A estimates that he may be asked by some clients to prepare and file their individual income tax returns for compensation, but A expects that the number of people who do ask him to provide this service will be no more than seven in 2012. In fact, A actually prepares and files six paper Forms 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) in 2012. Due to a growing client base, and based upon his experience in 2012, A expects that the number of individual income tax returns he will prepare and file in 2013 will at least double, estimating he will prepare and file 12 Form 1040 returns in 2013. A does not qualify as a specified tax return preparer for 2012 because A reasonably expects to file 10 or fewer returns (seven) in 2012. Consequently, A is not required to electronically file the individual income tax returns he prepares and files in 2012. A's expectation is reasonable based on his business projections, individual income tax return filing history, and staffing decisions. A is a specified tax return preparer in 2013, however, because based on those same factors A reasonably expects to file more than 10 individual income tax returns (12) during that calendar year. A, therefore, must electronically file all individual income tax returns that A prepares and files in 2013 that are not otherwise excluded from the electronic filing requirement.
Example 2.
Same facts as in Example 1, except three of Tax Return Preparer A's clients specifically chose to have A prepare their individual income tax returns in paper format in 2012 with the clients mailing their respective returns to the IRS. A expects that these three clients will similarly choose to have him prepare their returns in paper format in 2013, with the clients being responsible for mailing their returns to the IRS. A is not required to electronically file these three returns in 2013 because the taxpayers chose to file their returns in paper format. A obtained a hand-signed and dated statement from each of those taxpayers, indicating that they chose to file their returns in paper format. These three individual income tax returns are not counted in determining how many individual income tax returns A reasonably expects to file in 2013. Because the total number of individual income tax returns A reasonably expects to file in 2013 (nine) does not exceed 10, A is not a specified tax return preparer for calendar year 2013, and A is not required to electronically file any individual income tax return that he prepares and files in 2013.
Example 3.
Tax Return Preparer B is a solo general practice attorney in a small county. Her practice includes the preparation of wills and assisting executors in administering estates. As part of her practice, B infrequently prepares and files Forms 1041 (U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts) for executors. In the past three years, she prepared and filed an average of five Forms 1041 each year and never exceeded more than seven Forms 1041 in any year. Based on B's prior experience and her estimate for 2012, made prior to the time she first files an individual income tax return in 2012, she reasonably expects to prepare and file no more than five Forms 1041 in 2012. Due to the unforeseen deaths of several of her clients in late 2011, B actually prepares and files 12 Forms 1041 in 2012. B does not find out about these deaths until after she has already filed the first Form 1041 in 2012 for another client. B is not required to electronically file these returns in 2012. She does not qualify as a specified tax return preparer for calendar year 2012 because prior to the time she filed the first Form 1041 in 2012, she reasonably expected to file 10 or fewer individual income tax returns in 2012.
Example 4.
Same facts as Example 3, except, in addition to the five Forms 1041 that she expects to prepare and file in 2012, Tax Return Preparer B also expects to prepare and file 10 paper Forms 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) in 2012, based upon the requests that she has received from some of her clients. Because the total number of individual income tax returns B reasonably expects to file in 2012 (fifteen) exceeds 10, B is a specified tax return preparer for calendar year 2012, and B must electronically file all individual income tax returns that B prepares and files in 2012 that are not otherwise excluded from the electronic filing requirement.
Example 5.
Firm X consists of two tax return preparers, Tax Return Preparer C who owns Firm X, and Tax Return Preparer D who is employed by C in Firm X. Based upon the firm's experience over the past three years, C and D reasonably expect to file nine and ten individual income tax returns for compensation, respectively, in 2012. Both C and D must electronically file the individual income tax returns that they prepare in 2012, unless the returns are otherwise excluded from the electronic filing requirement, because they are members of the same firm and the aggregated total of individual income tax returns that they reasonably expect to file in 2012 (nineteen), exceeds 10 individual income tax returns.
(f) Additional guidance. The IRS may implement the requirements of this section through additional guidance, including by revenue procedures, notices, publications, forms and instructions, including those issued electronically.
(g) Effective/applicability date. This section is effective on March 30, 2011, and applicable to individual income tax returns filed after December 31, 2010.
[T.D. 9518, 76 FR 17528, Mar. 30, 2011]

Title 26 published on 2014-04-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 26.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-08-12; vol. 79 # 155 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 47246 - Awards for Information Relating to Detecting Underpayments of Tax or Violations of the Internal Revenue Laws
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      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      Effective Date: These regulations are effective on August 12, 2014. Applicability Date: Sections 301.7623-1, 301.7623-2, 301.7623-3, and 301.6103(h)(4)-1 apply to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under sections 7623(a) and 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014. Section 301.7623-4 applies to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under section 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014.
      26 CFR Part 301

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Title 26 published on 2014-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 26 CFR 301 after this date.

  • 2014-08-12; vol. 79 # 155 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 47246 - Awards for Information Relating to Detecting Underpayments of Tax or Violations of the Internal Revenue Laws
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      Effective Date: These regulations are effective on August 12, 2014. Applicability Date: Sections 301.7623-1, 301.7623-2, 301.7623-3, and 301.6103(h)(4)-1 apply to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under sections 7623(a) and 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014. Section 301.7623-4 applies to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under section 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014.
      26 CFR Part 301