Filing Paper Returns – Just Don’t Do It!
We recently had the opportunity to interview James J. Pupelis, CPA, tax specialist, and long-time user of eFileMyForms. During our conversation with James, we hit on several different and interesting topics, one of which was the need to move away from paper returns.
Over the past year, the IRS has made changes to the way businesses will need to file their information returns for the upcoming tax year, including 1099 Forms, W-2s, ACA (Affordable Care Act) Forms and others. Filing on paper has become outdated. The IRS’s decision to require electronic filing for any business filing an aggregate total of 10 forms or more signals a strong desire for businesses and tax preparers to move away from paper returns for the 2023 tax year and beyond. Ditching paper returns is something that tax professional James J. Pupelis has been encouraging his clients to do for many years.
If you had advice for a small business that was still filing on paper, what would you say?
Absolutely do not file on paper. The risk is much greater. Filing paper returns requires someone to scan them or manually enter data which opens your tax information up for mistakes and errors. If you file paper returns, you will have a lot more errors and, perhaps more importantly, a greater risk of an audit for your organization. Because now, it has come across an IRS employee’s desk and they will start to question certain numbers or client information. If you file electronically, and your return is accepted you will likely have fewer issues. I’m a big believer in this method.
What challenges would you see for a small business that might still be doing some information returns on paper and others electronically?
To me, it would be a great cost-saver to file information returns electronically. Plus, there is safety and security in e-filing. When it comes to cost, safety and security, those are three important issues. My corporate clients allow me to electronically file their forms because it’s safe, secure and cost-effective for all parties. There is no need for them to establish an e-Service account or TCC (Transmittal Control Code) themselves.
Also, it’s hard for any business to keep up with IRS changes and many times I have seen clients mess things up when trying to do it on their own. I’ve been doing this for over 50 years so there is very little I have not seen at least 10 times. It’s not perfect, but I know how to find the answers and so I’ve gained their trust. Many issues can be avoided by electronic filing with the pros.
With the recent changes for filing corrections, are you using eFileMyForms to manage them?
I have been an avid e-filer for over a decade, and I remember one time, a couple of years ago, I did an e-file of a W-2 with eFileMyForms. I made a mistake. I contacted eFileMyForms Support, and they reassured me that it was OK, and it was quickly taken care of, so I didn’t even have to do a correction. Being fixed on the spot then gave me a lot of confidence in eFileMyForms. With changes made to the eFileMyForms system this past year, I really like how well it’s laid out, it looks better than ever. With easy access to the system, I can get into the history, I can add a new filing, I can add a client or employee. eFileMyForms was always good, but I think it is even better now.
James J. Pupelis is an accounting and tax specialist that has been in the industry for over 50 years. Owning his own practice, James J. Pupelis & Associates, Ltd. for 38 years, he specializes in Personal 1040 Tax Return Preparation and e-filing, Financial Statement Preparation for Small Businesses, Corporate, Partnership and Trust Tax Return Preparation and e-Filing.