IRS updates modernized e-File (MeF) guide

The IRS has updated the modernized e-file specifications. The publication outlines the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns e-filed through the Modernized e-File (MeF) System. To develop software for use with the MeF System, software developers and transmitters should use the publication guidelines along with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemas published on

Note that, the IRS and tax industry partners are testing a W-2 Verification Code field for a limited number of electronically filed tax returns for processing year 2016. The purpose is to validate the Form W-2 information used on the return and to prevent stolen identity refund fraud. The software used to create the electronic return should ask the taxpayer if there is a W-2 Verification Code on copies B and C of their W-2. It will appear either in a separate box or in the box for the employee’s name and address. If present, the W-2 Verification Code should be captured and inserted into the W2HashCd element in the W-2 schema. The W-2 Verification Code value will have a length of 16 alphanumeric characters. It will be displayed on the W-2 in four groups of 4 alphanumeric characters, separated by hyphens. The hyphens should not be entered in the W2HashCd element. Omitted and incorrect W-2 Verification Codes will not delay the processing of a tax return. (IRS Pub. 4164, Modernized e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers And Transmitters for Processing Year 2016, (Rev. 3-2016).)

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