Form 8944 (Rev. 9-2018)
Section and subtitle A references are to the Internal Revenue Code
unless otherwise noted.
For the latest information about developments related to Form 8944 and
its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published,
go to www.irs.gov/Form8944.
Forms 1040A and/or 1040EZ are not being revised for tax year 2018.
Previous filers for these forms will file Form 1040 for 2018; all references
for these forms have been revised accordingly. If you need to file a prior
year tax return, use the form and instructions revision for that tax year.
Purpose of Form
Specified tax return preparers use Form 8944 to request an undue
hardship waiver from the section 6011(e)(3) requirement to electronically
file returns of income tax imposed by subtitle A on individuals, estates,
and trusts. Unless the IRS approves an applicant's Form 8944 hardship
waiver request or some other exception applies (see the instructions for
Form 8948, Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically), any
covered return prepared by a specified tax return preparer must be filed
electronically if the return is filed by the specified tax return preparer.
For more information on who is considered a specified tax return
preparer, and the returns to which this requirement applies, see
Specified Tax Return Preparer and Covered Returns below.
There are certain administrative exemptions to the e-file requirement.
These exemptions are not the same as, and are separate from, a
hardship waiver. If the covered returns you are preparing for a taxpayer
meet the criteria for an administrative exemption, or you are a specified
tax return preparer who meets the critieria for an administrative
exemption, do not use Form 8944. Instead, use Form 8948. See Notice
2011-26, 2011-17 I.R.B. 720, and the instructions for Form 8948 for
Specified Tax Return Preparer
A specified tax return preparer is a tax return preparer, as defined in
section 7701(a)(36) and Regulations section 301.7701-15, who is a
preparer of covered returns and who reasonably expects (if the preparer
is a member of a firm, the firm's members in the aggregate reasonably
expect) to file 11 or more covered returns during a calendar year.
Aggregate Filing of Returns. For the e-file requirement, “aggregate”
means the total number of covered returns that are reasonably expected
to be filed by the firm as a whole. For example, if a firm has 2 preparers
and each preparer in the firm reasonably expects to prepare and file 6
covered returns, the aggregate for the firm equals 12 covered returns,
and each preparer is a specified tax return preparer.
Covered returns include any return of tax imposed by subtitle A on
individuals, estates, or trusts. A waiver is not needed for any other return
that is not accepted electronically by the IRS or the IRS has instructed
taxpayers not to file electronically.
When a Return is Considered Filed by Preparer
For the e-file requirement, a return is considered filed by a preparer if
the preparer or any member, employee, or agent of the preparer or the
preparer's firm submits the tax return to the IRS on the taxpayer's
behalf, either electronically or in paper format. For example, the act of
submitting includes having the preparer or a member of the preparer's
firm drop the return in a mailbox for the taxpayer. Acts such as providing
filing or delivery instructions, an addressed envelope, postage
estimates, stamps, or similar acts designed to assist the taxpayer in the
taxpayer's efforts to correctly mail or otherwise deliver a paper return to
the IRS do not constitute filing by the preparer as long as the taxpayer
actually mails or otherwise delivers the return to the IRS.
Who May File
If you are a specified tax return preparer who is required to file
individual, estate, or trust tax returns electronically, and filing these
returns electronically would be a hardship, use this form to request a
waiver. After evaluating your request, the IRS will notify you in writing
whether your request was approved or denied.
When To File
Hardship waiver requests must be submitted from October 1st through
February 15th. For example, if you were requesting a waiver for calendar
year 2019, the request must be submitted between October 1, 2018,
and February 15, 2019 (for 2018 tax returns). If any due date falls on a
Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you may submit Form 8944 on the
next business day. If we receive Form 8944 after the due date, we will
treat Form 8944 as being submitted on time if the envelope containing
Form 8944 is properly addressed, contains sufficient postage, and is
postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service on or before the due date, or
sent by an IRS-designated private delivery service on or before the due
Any request submitted after the requested date will only be reviewed
under limited circumstances. Generally, the delay in submission must be
due to unusual or unforeseen, and unavoidable circumstances. If you
are submitting Form 8944 after the required date, attach a statement to
the form explaining the reason(s) why it is being submitted late.
Where To File
Mail the completed Form 8944 and any required attachments to:
Internal Revenue Service
310 Lowell Street
Andover, MA 01810
Allow 4–6 weeks to receive notification of approval or denial of your
Approval of Waiver
If your waiver is approved, you should document your waiver reference
number and approval letter date on line 2 of Form 8948. This should be
done for each covered return you file on paper. See Form 8948 for more
Denial of Waiver
If your waiver is denied, you must file a properly completed Form 8948
with any paper return you prepare and file.
If you have a question about completing this form, or if you need to
check on the status of a hardship waiver request that you have filed, call
the IRS at 1-866-255-0654.
Line 1. Enter the calendar year for which you are requesting a hardship
waiver. Indicate the type of submission by checking the “Original” or
“Reconsideration” box. An original submission is your first request for a
hardship waiver for the calendar year entered on this line. A
reconsideration is when you are submitting additional information to the
IRS that you feel may overturn the denial of an originally submitted
Line 2. Enter your name and complete address.
Line 3. You are required to enter all 8 digits of your PTIN on line 3. Do
not file Form 8944 until after you have received your PTIN. If you have
not yet started the PTIN application process, go to the webpage
www.irs.gov/PTIN to apply for a PTIN.
Line 4. Enter the telephone number where we can contact you if we
have questions about your hardship waiver request.
Line 5. If you are a tax return preparer in a firm and the members of the
firm in the aggregate reasonably expect to file 11 or more covered
returns during the calendar year for which you are requesting a hardship
waiver, check the “Yes” box and enter your firm's name and EIN. If you
are a tax return preparer who is not a member of a firm, check the “No”
If you are a tax return preparer who reasonably expects to file
fewer than 11 covered returns during the calendar year for
which you are requesting a hardship waiver, you may still be
required to e-file the covered returns you prepare and file if
you are a preparer who is a member of a firm. All tax return preparers in
a firm must e-file the covered returns they prepare and file if the firm's
preparers, in the aggregate, reasonably expect to file 11 or more
covered returns in a calendar year.