Why would I paper file my tax return?
We strongly recommend filing your tax return electronically whenever possible. E-filing is more reliable, and you will get your tax benefits faster. However, there are situations where the only option is to mail a paper copy of your tax return to the IRS.
You must paper file if your tax return was rejected for reasons that cannot be resolved by efiling. For example, if your return was rejected because someone else claimed your child, you would have to paper file to claim that child. Similarly, if you were claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return, or if you can't find an IP PIN you need, you would have to paper file. By paper filing a tax return in these instances, you are letting the IRS know that they need to investigate the issue further and you should expect to receive a follow-up letter from the IRS with next steps. For example, if you paper filed in order to claim a child that someone else had claimed, you might hear from the IRS about a process to submit evidence to support your case.
Another common reason to paper file is if you are applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for the first time, or renewing an existing ITIN.