Beginning January 1, 2011, paid income tax return preparers for individuals, trusts and estates who reasonably expect to file 100 or more returns in 2011 generally are required to file the returns electronically. The 100 or more threshold also applies to preparers of a firm who meet that threshold in the aggregate. Beginning January 1, 2012, the threshold is reduced to 11 or more income tax returns that the preparer or the preparer’s firm in the aggregate expect to file in 2012 for individuals, trusts and estates. Return preparers will have to obtain an Electronic Filing Identification Number.
Certain exclusions from the electronic filing requirement are provided, such as when a preparer’s individual client chooses to have the return completed in paper format, and the client will file the paper return. (IR-2010-116 (December 1, 2010)).