Off-the-Shelf or Downloaded Software

You can prepare and electronically file your tax return using off-the-shelf or downloaded software if:

  1. You have a computer, smartphone, tablet, iPhone or iPad; and

  2. You have Internet access

Purchased Off-the-Shelf or Downloaded Tax Software:

  • Is available at computer stores, mail order houses, and wherever software is sold;

  • Is available at Internet sites to download and pay online;

  • Includes software to help you prepare your federal and/or state tax returns (most products will include the federal tax return; however, some may not include the state tax return);

  • May include the electronic filing of the federal and/or state tax returns (if not, you could pay an additional fee to e-file);

  • Must be installed on your device to prepare, e-file and/or store your tax returns; and

  • Has a direct connection with the private vendor software company to e-file your tax returns.

Additional Information About Online Filing:

  • Same great benefits as other e-file options - safe, secure, accurate, fast, and easy

  • Chose to direct deposit your refund, rather than waiting for a paper check

  • File your federal and state tax returns at the same time

  • Get confirmation that the federal and state received your tax returns

  • Keep your income statements (Forms W-2 and 1099) for your records*

  • Neither the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nor the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) charges a fee for electronic filing income tax returns

  • A private vendor software company can charge a fee for their products and services that will vary in price and features

  • Be careful when picking off-the-shelf or downloaded software. We can process tax returns received from software products, but we do not guarantee the accuracy, features, or performance of the software.

  • Be sure the purchased software include the products and services you need

  • For a greater understanding of Internet security, pricing, features, technical support, and other information about online filing, visit the private vendor software sites. They should be able to answer all of your questions.

*When you e-file and claim certain credits (for example, the homestead credit), you must send documents to verify the credit claimed. The Form W-RA lists what credits need additional documentation and it gives the needed documents.

If you need to send additional documents to verify a credit you claimed, you must send the documents within 48 hours of e-filing. You can:

  1. Attach the required documents to your tax return to be e-filed (if your software allows attachments);

  2. Electronically send through the W-RA Submission process in My Tax Account; or

  3. Mail to the address given on the Form W-RA.

January 2, 2019