Tax and Revenue Agencies who participate in the IRS’s Fed/State e-File program save millions of dollars a year processing returns electronically versus handling and keying paper returns. The IRS has modernized its Fed/State filing program with the introduction of Modernized e-File (MeF). MeF utilizes new standards and technical advances for filing exchanges that allow for more flexible, simpler operations, enhanced security, inclusion of additional State tax return data (as well as the entire IRS return), better feedback to preparers, and improved timeliness. Since the legacy IRS e-File was phased out, agencies were to have completed the transition to Modernized e-File by the 2013 tax processing season to continue receiving Individual Income Tax returns electronically from the IRS. Therefore, it is imperative that States transition to the new MeF program now.
RSI has the Solution
Revenue Solutions, Inc. (RSI) leverages its significant experience with the MeF technology, processes, data formats and industry standards to provide a full range of Modernized e-File services. In addition to supporting Tax and Revenue Agencies since 1996 with tax return processing applications, RSI’s MeF experience also includes working with the FTA e-Standards committee. The FTA e-Standards committee was responsible for developing the technical foundation of the MeF Fed/State eFile program. RSI is the only vendor that provides the committee support by reviewing XML schemas for tax returns submitted by States.
RSI has utilized its extensive tax processing background and Modernized e-File knowledge to develop an MeF software package that enables agencies to rapidly transition to the platform, and also assures agencies of its compliance with the IRS MeF program. RSI’s solution supports all tax types currently available for processing via MeF (Individual Income, Corporate, Partnership and Fiduciary). RSI’s MeF solution is designed in a manner that readily enables additional tax types to be supported as they become available in the future for processing via MeF. RSI offers a complete set of services to MeF customers ranging from implementation of RSI’s MeF solution to product maintenance. Specifically, RSI provides:
- Requirements confirmation
- MeF XML schema design
- Technical infrastructure design and configuration
- Implementation of Agency-specific business rules, file transformation, and reporting requirements
- MeF to returns processing system interface development
- On-site user acceptance testing
- Production deployment
- Product maintenance
- Timely support when the IRS changes the MeF program specifications
RSI’s Modernized e-File product is comprised of two components: the MeF Gateway and the MeF Viewer.
The MeF Gateway supports the downloading of both Federal and State returns along with attachments from the IRS; and, supports the messaging to and from the IRS to acknowledge receipt and acknowledgements, including error handling with feedback to preparers.
Furthermore, the MeF Gateway manages the receipt of new submissions, acknowledgement to the IRS, storing submissions in the database, and transforming data into the State-specific file layout for processing. Error information, log messages and other transmission information is available for error resolution and research through the MeF Gateway.
The MeF Viewer supports the capability to view the downloaded Federal and State return data along with any attachments; and, provides a forms quality view of both the Federal and State return data.
Figure 2: RSI's MeF Viewer enables users to view
electronic returns in a natural tax form manner
The MeF Viewer supports the capability to view the downloaded Federal and State return data along with any attachments; and, provides a forms quality view of both the Federal and State return data. Furthermore, the MeF Viewer allows users to search and view specific returns. Search options include Employee Identification Number (EIN), Taxpayer Identification Number or Social Security Number (TIN/SSN), Submission ID, and Federal Submission ID. Upon searching, users can view State and Federal forms and attachments, PDF attachments and error list information. The viewer renders a PDF by combining the form data with a PDF designed to mirror an actual paper return.
Both the MeF Gateway and MeF Viewer are secured and comply with the IRS’s Pub 1075 security requirements. See below for the Features and Benefits of RSI’s MeF Solution.
- Full implementation of the IRS MeF Administration and State messages
- Provides access to all capabilities offered by the IRS MeF system.
- Local and IRS Assurance Test System (ATS) facilities
- Provides ability to conduct local testing of new forms and enhancements without the need to wait for the IRS to process documents, and provides the transmitter tool to allow the State to send submissions through the IRS Assurance Test System (ATS) without the need for third-party transmitters.
- Strong authentication
- Required for access to IRS MeF server as of June 2009.
- RSI Translator performs an XML form to text format for input into a backend processing system
- Provides Provides ability to implement additional MeF tax types/forms and develop the format for integrating new MeF return data with the backend system without modifying code.
- MeF Gateway plug-in architecture
- Allows extension of the RSI MeF solution to address future business needs without reliance on RSI to modify the core application.
- Windows service implementation
- Runs in a hands-off mode, 24 x 7.
- Allows distribution of processing across the server or multiple servers.
- Data redundancy
- Minimizes the potential for a service outage.
- IRS Publication 1075 compliant
- Eliminates a significant operational risk regarding data security.
- MeF Viewer
- Provides forms quality viewing of return data, attachments, and acknowledgement results.
- Open database model
- Enables ad hoc reporting utilizing existing, industry-standard RDBMS in-house reporting tools.
- Satisfies MeF communications requirements “Out of the Box”
- Compliance with the IRS MeF program.
- Supported product with full maintenance
- Provides the Agency an optional maintenance agreement for product enhancements and support.
- Packaged solution
- Reduces Agency cost and accelerates time to implementation.
- Testing services
- Enables an Agency to test the MeF process end-to-end and resolve issues in a timely manner.
Please contact Brian Ridderbush at ext. 400, or via email at BRidderbush@RSImail.com, to see how RSI’s MeF solution and services can help your agency comply with the latest IRS e-File standards and requirements.