This year many of my clients will be dealing with me by telephone and email. The IRS no longer requires me to sign the return as preparer as long as my name is printed in the signature slot, so when I send you a filing copy you can print it out and send it in yourself or, if you have a messenger, you can send it back to me and I will mail it in; whatever seems more convenient to you.
I send out all of my returns in Adobe’s PDF format. In order to read and print the return you will need a PDF reader. At the Adobe site www.adobe.com a free reader is available for download. I will send you a filing copy so all of the pages that I send except the vouchers will be sent to the IRS. It is preferable to use a laser printer but an ink jet printer will do. A dot matrix printer will not do. Don’t choose the color option. Print it out in black and white.
After you print out the return, check it over for any obvious errors such as name and address spellings, social security numbers, etc. Once you are satisfied with the return make sure that you sign and date the return. If it is a joint return then both spouses have to sign. Usually there is only one place to sign and that is on the second page of the 1040. If there is another place to sign, I will point that out to you when I send the return. If there is a state return involved then that will have to be signed also.
If you owe money to the IRS or state then follow these simple rules. Make a check out for the federal return to “US Treasury”. On the top part of the check where your name and address appear write in your social security number. At the left bottom of the check in the memo part, write “for form (1040, 1040NR or 1040ES) and the year to which it pertains”. For this year 2006 it would be “for form 1040 2006” or for an estimated payment it would be “for form 1040ES 2007”. For the state information follow the same procedure and I will either send you the proper information or sometimes, depending on the state, that information is included in the return usually where your signature goes. A separate check will be made to the state following the same procedure as above.
Living outside the US, there are normally no attachments that you have to include. If you receive a W-2 income statement, that would have to be attached. Also, any extension form would have to be attached. If you received any 1099s for interest, dividends, pensions, rents and other payments and federal tax has been withheld then those forms will have to be attached. Staple these attachments to the front of the return on the first page of the 1040. DO NOT STAPLE THE CHECK! Slip the check in with the return or use a paper clip to attach the check or clip it to the enclosed payment voucher and include that in the envelope. If you send the check separately from the return then you will have to use the voucher. When everything is ready, put everything in a manila envelope and send it to the address included with the voucher. Make sure that you have a copy of everything including the check and when you mail, request a return receipt. I have sent many returns from Mexico and have never failed to get my receipt back. Even if you are mailing from the states I would request a return receipt. If you use a courier then call them after a few days and get the name of the person who received the package for your records as proof of delivery.
Of course, the state return would have to be sent separately. If the state requires you to include a copy of the federal return then you will have it automatically sent to you with the state return from me. If you don’t see a second federal return then you do not have to attach a copy. More and more with each passing year fewer and fewer states are requiring this extra paper work because all of this information is available to them electronically.
On both the federal and state return print "Taxpayer Abroad on April 15th" on the top of the first page of each return so that the authorities recognize your automatic extension until June 15th. Remember that if you live outside of the US the return must arrive at the IRS on the deadline date. Inside the US they use the postmark when mailed as the valid received date. Therefore if you send by certified mail you should send the return at least two weeks before the due date. If you send by DHL or other courier service then allow a couple of days for it to arrive.
If you are living in Mexico and you use a US address on the return then ignore the address on the payment voucher and send your return to the following address:
If you owe money send to:
Internal Revenue Service P.O. Box 1303 Charlotte, NC 28201-1303 USA
If you owe nothing or are getting a refund send to:
Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center Austin, TX 73301-0215 USA
Also, if you are sending your tax return by DHL or other courier (whether you owe money or not), then use this second address because you can’t send courier mail to a PO Box. I've had some clients complain that some courier services won't send the package without a street address. If that is the case then use the following address to send your return:
Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center 3651 South Interregional Highway 35 Austin, TX 78741 Phone: 1-800-829-1040
TDF 90-22.1 FORM ONLY U.S.Department of Treasury, Currency Transaction Reporting, 985 Michigan Avenue Detroit, Michigan 48226
If you are getting a refund and you want your refund sent directly to your bank then make sure that the routing number of the bank and the account number are included in the space provided. I will usually ask you for this information and include it in the copy that I send to you. Make sure that you double check these numbers when you receive the return. The routing number will be the first number in the left hand bottom corner of your check and has nine digits. The second number is usually your account number and I would use this longer more complete number rather than the shortened version that you are accustomed to using.