How many times have you read that mariners cannot E-File? How many websites have posted this. Year after year. And then all of a sudden preparers start proclaiming “mariners can now e-file”. But nothing had changed in the law. So why the scuttlebutt?
It’s no surprise that most preparers have come down from the bogus position that merchant mariners cannot electronically file their tax returns. The justifications used over the years have been flimsy and the supporting documentation has been lacking. I actually remember a citation of the IRM (Internal Revenue Manual) to a specific line that stated mariners would have to mail in supporting documentation. I guess they figured no one would ever read the heading that stated these were the procedures for AUDIT AND AMENDMENT and had nothing to do with regular filing.
E-Filing Signature Documents
It’s difficult, I know. You have to get a signed form back to your preparer for them to electronically file you. But it isn’t optional. There could be serious issues with returns being filed without the proper signature documents.
Do not give a preparer signing power
It is a conflict and poor practice. Unless you are physically entering your pin you need to be providing a signature form. These are the rules.