Form 8948

Preparer's Explanation for Not Filing Electronically

Introduction to the 8948 Form

What is a 8948 Form?

The Form 8948, or officially Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically, is a document used by tax preparers to explain why certain tax returns were submitted in paper form instead of electronically. The IRS encourages electronic filing (e-filing) due to its efficiency, accuracy, and security advantages. However, under certain circumstances, e-filing might not be possible or practical. The 8948 form serves to communicate these exceptions to the IRS.

Purpose and Significance

  • Purpose: The primary purpose of the Form 8948 is to provide a structured way for tax preparers to report why certain tax returns, which are typically required to be e-filed, were submitted on paper.
  • Significance: This form ensures compliance with IRS regulations regarding e-filing and helps maintain the integrity and efficiency of the tax filing system.

Components of the Form

  • Tax Preparer Information: Includes the preparer's name, identification number(s), and contact information.
  • Taxpayer Information: Details about the taxpayer whose return was filed in paper format.
  • Reasons for Paper Filing: Specific checkboxes and spaces to elaborate on the reasons why the return wasn't electronically filed.

Who Needs a 8948 Form?


  • Tax preparers who are mandated to e-file but submit paper returns for their clients will need to fill this form.
  • There are exceptions based on technical issues, taxpayer choice, or other valid reasons.


  • To remain compliant with IRS regulations, professionals must submit this form when applicable.
  • Ignoring this obligation can result in penalties or other enforcement actions.


  • The 8948 form should accompany the paper return or be submitted according to specific cases as defined by the IRS.

How to Read and Understand 8948 Form

Detailed Breakdown

Each section of Form 8948 has precise fields designed for specific details regarding the preparer, the taxpayer, and the reasoning behind paper filing. Understanding what each part is asking for is crucial for accurate completion.

Explanation of Common Terms and Figures

  • Electronic Filing (e-filing): Submitting returns via the internet to the IRS.
  • Paper Filing: The process of sending physical documents to the IRS as opposed to electronic submission.

How to Get Your 8948 Form


  • Tax preparers can download the latest version of Form 8948 directly from the IRS website.
  • Staying up-to-date with any changes or updates each tax season is crucial for compliance.

Direct Link to the IRS Page for downloading 8948 forms: IRS Form 8948

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Common Errors

  • Filling in incorrect taxpayer information.
  • Not providing adequate explanation for paper filing.


  • Double-check all entries for accuracy.
  • Ensure valid reasons are clearly communicated in the form.

8948 Form and Tax Filing

Impact on Tax Filing

  • The use of Form 8948 elucidates the reason behind non-electronic submissions, which might otherwise be queried by the IRS.
  • Proper compliance through this form streamlines the processing and consideration of paper-filed returns.

Role in Tax Returns and Possible Refunds

  • Although submitting an 8948 form does not direct impact tax returns or refunds, ensuring compliance can avoid unnecessary delays or inquiries.

FAQ Section

  1. What are valid reasons for submitting a paper return?

    • Technology barriers, taxpayer's explicit request, or forms not supported electronically are common reasons.
  2. Can I e-file the 8948 Form?

    • No, this form accompanies paper-filed tax returns and is not itself subject to e-filing.
  3. Is the 8948 Form required for every paper submission?

    • It is required for preparers who are otherwise mandated to e-file unless exempt under specific conditions.
  4. What if I make a mistake on Form 8948?

    • Amendments can be made by submitting a corrected form to the IRS.
  5. Where can I find more information on electronic filing requirements?


In conclusion, understanding and properly using the Form 8948 is essential for tax preparers who submit paper tax returns on behalf of their clients under certain conditions. By familiarizing oneself with the requirements, procedures, and common pitfalls associated with this form, tax professionals can ensure compliance, streamline their workflow, and uphold their responsibility towards clients. While this guide provides a comprehensive overview, the nuances of individual cases may require professional advice.

Tax preparers are encouraged to consult with a tax professional or contact the IRS directly for guidance in complex situations or rare exceptions to standard filing practices.

For detailed information, instructions, and the latest version of Form 8948, refer to the official IRS resources:

Staying informed and up-to-date with IRS guidelines and resources ensures that tax preparers can navigate the complexities of tax filing efficiently and compliantly.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.