Why Does a Third Party Designee Stop Me From E-Filing a Federal Tax Return?

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A third party designee is someone you've authorized to speak with the IRS about your tax return. It can be a family member, friend, professional tax preparer or anyone of your choice. If this third party designee also filed a federal income tax return on your behalf, whether by mail or by e-filing, you can't also file the same return because this would be an unnecessary duplicate filing.

Role of Third Party Designee

When you check the "Yes" box in the 'Third Party Designee' section of your tax return and provide the designee's details, you authorize the elected person to communicate with the IRS about your return. This means the designee can contact the IRS about the processing of your return, inquire about the status of any payments or refunds, provide missing information to the IRS, receive copies of any IRS notices or transcripts and respond to any IRS notices about offsets or any math errors. If your designee is also your tax preparer, he can e-file your tax return on your behalf. When this happens, there is no need for you to also e-file the same return.