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e-Filing Tax Season is Now Open

About IR-20 11-5

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

In a flurry of information letters, the IRS just announced that e-Filing is now open. According to IR-2011-5, the benefit of e-filing is that any taxpayer may receive faster refunds and ensure that their tax return is accurately reported.

The Commissioner Speaks

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman stated, “IRS e-File is the best option for everyone, especially for people impacted by recent tax law changes. e-File ensures people can file accurately and get refunds quickly. With a new legislative e-File mandate for tax preparers, we anticipate that more tax return preparers will be using e-File this year and we urge people who prepare their own taxes to give it a try.”

Methods of Filing

The e-Filing may be accomplished through three different methods. Tax return preparers may e-File, commercial software may offer the option or there is IRS Free File. The Free File program is available on www.irs.gov. Taxpayers should click on “Free File” and will be permitted to access tax software to prepare their returns. Free File is available for taxpayers with 2010 adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less.

In the view of the IRS, Free File is “perfect for first-time filers, families looking to save money or older Americans adept at using the Internet.”

e-Signature Needed

Those who file electronically will also need an electronic signature. The electronic signature requires a five-digit personal identification number (PIN). There are three ways to obtain your PIN.

1. Self Select – You may use your tax software and select your own five-digit PIN. If you used a PIN in 2009, you may use that number. Alternatively, you may enter your adjusted gross income from your 2009 return to obtain your PIN. The PIN can be a five-digit number, but may not be all zeros.

2. Practitioner PIN – If you are using a paid tax preparer, you may sign IRS Form 8879 and authorize your paid preparer to generate your five-digit PIN. The paid preparer will retain Form 8879, but will not mail it to the IRS.

3. IRS Issue of PIN – If you do not know your 2009 adjusted gross income or your 2009 PIN, the IRS will request a temporary Form 8879(EFP). The Electronic Filing PIN may be obtained using your tax preparation software or through http://www.irs.gov. With the Electronic Filing PIN you may complete your electronic signature.


If your spouse is a military person serving in a combat zone, you are permitted to use the self-select PIN. You will need to obtain IRS Form 8453, attach a Power of Attorney and mail it to the IRS.


This program may also be ideal for FAs, medical students, interns, residents, fellows, nurses, new practitioners and all allied medical professionals who qualify.


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3 Responses

  1. Tax Reform on 2011 Agenda

    In the State of the Union Address, President Obama mentioned an interest in tax reform. He suggested that simplifying the income tax code would be “the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans.” He continued that it will “be a tough job, but members of both parties have expressed interest in doing this and I am prepared to join them.”

    The Senate Finance Committee had already made preparations for hearings on tax reform in 2011. Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) noted, “Tax reform is about more than just the tax codes – it’s about one of the most direct relationships Americans have with their government. We need to work together to reform and simplify our tax system in a way that creates more American jobs, makes our country more competitive and bolsters our economy.”

    Sen. Baucus has previously conducted hearings on the last comprehensive tax reform, the Tax Reform Act of 1986. He plans to continue the hearings this year to prepare for major tax reform.

    The House, Ways and Means Committee is charged under the Constitution with preparing major tax legislation. New Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) is also planning a series of hearings on major tax reform.

    Following the State of the Union Address, Camp commented, “While the President focused on the need for corporate tax reform to make our employers more competitive, 75% of America’s job creators are small businesses. Moving our economy forward and creating a climate for job growth requires a tax code that empowers all job creators.” Rep. Camp also noted that tax reform will need to deal with the “complexity and cost burdens” of the current system.

    Editor’s Note: While there are clear differences of opinion between the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, the year after a major election is the best time for major tax reform. All of the key political leaders now have expressed an interest in a tax bill in 2011. It is generally agreed that tax reform should reduce credits and deductions while maintaining or lowering tax rates. However, when actual decisions are made on reducing specific tax deductions, the politics of the process become complicated and difficult. It remains to be seen whether there is sufficient political will to actually complete major tax reform in 2011.

    Source: Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation


  2. Tax and Retirement Planning for Physicians

    Generally speaking, physicians make good money while in practice. Many of them are in the top tax brackets. Upon retirement, however, their earned income often drops to zero.


    But, if they could defer some of their compensation to the future, they can effectively move money from the top tax brackets to lower tax brackets.


    Ann Miller RN MHA


  3. 1099 Requirement in Health Care Law Repealed

    Many doctors, dentists, related medical professionals and small businesses can breathe a sigh of relief. The dreaded 1099 filing requirement added in last year’s health care law was repealed before it has a chance to take effect.

    Under the health care law, a business would have been required to issue a 1099 form to all vendors starting in 2012 if the business purchased $600 or more in goods or services in a year from that vendor. It was especially burdensome for doctors and clinics to collect information from corporate vendors such as DME suppliers or even health information technology companies.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


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