The IRS has provided an anticipated timeline for providing an electronic filing option for amended employment tax returns in an unlikely location. The IRS has released the draft versions of Form 8879-EMP (E-file Authorization for Employment Tax Returns), Rev. December 2023 and Form 8453-EMP (E-file Declaration for Employment Tax Returns), Rev. December 2023. In these draft forms, the IRS notes that it expects to offer an electronic filing option by 2024 for amended employment tax returns.
Form 8453-EMP is used to: (1) authenticate any electronic employment tax return in the Form 940, 941, 943, 944, or 945 series of returns; (2) authorize the ERO, if any, to transmit via a third-party transmitter; (3) authorize the intermediate service provider (ISP) to transmit via a third-party transmitter if you’re filing online (not using an ERO); and; and (4) provide the taxpayer’s consent to authorize an electronic funds withdrawal for payment of federal taxes owed.
The form is used by a taxpayer and the electronic return originator (ERO) to use a personal identification number (PIN) to electronically sign an electronic original or amended employment tax return. The form may also be used to authorize an electronic funds withdrawal. If Form 8879-EMP is not used to sign the return, Form 8453-EMP must be used.
Electronic filing of amended employment tax returns expected in 2024.
The draft versions of the forms note that IRS expects to make filing amended employment tax returns on Forms 940, 941-X, 943-X, and 945-X available as part of the Modernized e-file (MeF) program.
Continued backlog of amended employment tax returns.
Taxpayers and tax practitioners alike have been clamoring for an electronic filing option for amended employment tax returns since paper filing is the only option. The paper only option has significantly hampered the IRS processing of these forms. While the IRS continues to work through its backlog of amended Forms 941-X, as of July 5, 2023, the IRS has 390,000 unprocessed Forms 941-X which cannot be processed until related Forms 941 have been processed. Some of these amended Forms 941-X were filed related to claiming COVID-19 tax credits such as the Employee Retention Credit. The Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) just recently requested the IRS prioritize the e-filing of amended employment tax returns in their annual report to Congress and recommended a 2024 target for implementation. The “What’s New” section of the draft forms is a confirmation of the IRS’s commitment to the 2024 timeline.
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