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.


About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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