In 2013, over 3.7 million North Carolina taxpayers chose to E-File!

E-File

Increasingly, North Carolina taxpayers are choosing a faster, more convenient way to file their State and Federal Individual Income tax returns by electronically filing or E-Filing their returns. In 2013, the Department processed over 3.7 million Individual Income tax returns received through our safe and secure Modernized e-File (MeF) program.

What Is E-File?

E-File is a method of submitting tax returns prepared by using an approved software product to the IRS and/or State Department of Revenue electronically through the internet. You can file your Federal and State income tax returns by personal computer using tax preparation software. Another way to file electronically is by using a tax professional to E-File your returns.

For tax professionals who would like to offer electronic filing of the NC return to your clients and software developers who would like to produce software to electronically file a NC return, please review the Tax Year 2013 MeF ERO Manual for information relating to tax professionals and instructions on the approval process for software developers.    

Our website offers a list of Approved Software Developers for you to choose from as well as a list of online Free File and Low Cost E-File options.

What Are The Benefits of E-File?
  • Easy, user friendly, and includes step by step instructions.
  • Convenient – available around the clock 24/7. No paper returns to mail, no stamps, no waiting in lines!
  • File Federal and State returns at the same time or separately.
  • Free or low cost filing options – for those that qualify (qualifications are determined by the software vendor, not NCDOR).
  • Secure – we use the latest technology to ensure your return is transmitted safely and that your privacy is protected!
  • Proof of Receipt – we confirm that your return was received eliminating the concern about lost mail.
  • Direct Deposit of your NC refund into your bank account (available only through E-File).
  • If you owe tax, you can still E-File a "balance due" return and wait until the due date to pay the tax without incurring penalties or interest.
  • Eliminates guesswork – tools are available in E-file software that assists you in claiming deductions and credits.
  • Choices – many E-File products are available for you to choose from.
Who Can E-File?

Taxpayers who request a refund, have a zero balance due, or owe tax may file NC Forms D-400, Individual Income Tax Returns and D-400TC, Individual Tax Credits, electronically. Taxpayers may be full-year residents, part-year residents, or nonresidents of North Carolina. Each software product has different capabilities. Please check the product specifications to see if it will meet your filing needs.

Is There a Fee to E-File?
  • If you E-File your return using a personal computer and approved software, the software that you choose will explain the fees, if any. There are free and low cost filing options available for those that qualify. Select Free E-File or Low Cost E-File for more information. The Department does not charge a fee to E-file.
  • If a tax professional E-Files your return, the tax professional can explain any fees associated with tax preparation and e-filing. The Department does not charge a fee to E-File.
What Are My Refund Options?

Taxpayers may elect the following options for receipt or designation of their overpayment:

  • Direct deposit into a bank account
    (The Direct Deposit option is only available to taxpayers who electronically file their returns. Refer to the Direct Deposit link for more information.)
  • Receipt of a check
  • Credit the overpayment as an estimated income tax payment for the next tax year
  • Contribution to the NC Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund
What Are My Payment Options If I Owe Tax?

You cannot submit payment of tax with your electronically filed individual income tax return. However, you have two payment options:

  • Online: You can pay your tax online using the Department’s D-400V Individual Income Payment application. Payments can be made by bank draft and credit or debit card using MasterCard or Visa. Paying by bank draft is free. There is a convenience fee if you choose to pay by credit or debit card. The fee is calculated as $2.00 for every $100.00 increment of your tax payment and is nonrefundable.
  • Mail: You can mail your payment to the Department along with a personalized Form D-400V Individual Income Payment Voucher. Create and print the voucher and mail it, along with your payment to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, PO Box 25000, Raleigh NC 27640-0640.
Are There Tax Forms That are Excluded From the NC E-File Program?

Yes, there are a few tax forms that are excluded from the NC E-File Program. If you are using a personal computer and approved software to E-File, refer to your software's instructions or ask your tax professional to determine if you are eligible to E-File a particular tax form. A list of forms that are excluded from the NC E-File program are listed below.

  • Form D-400X for the Amended Return
  • Corrected or amended returns on forms other than D-400X
  • Returns for non-calendar year filers
  • Form NC-478 and/or series NC-478
  • Form D-410, Application for Extension for Filing Individual Income Tax Return
  • Any income tax form in the list of exclusions from Federal E-File

Note:

Beginning in tax year 2013, the Internal Revenue Service is allowing taxpayers who claim the credit for adoption expenses to e-file income tax returns that include Form 8839. However, the North Carolina Department of Revenue is not allowing this credit to be e-filed for tax year 2013. Therefore any taxpayers claiming the credit for adoption expenses must continue to file the D-400/D-400TC Individual Income Tax Return by paper.

How Do I E-File?

You can E-File your Federal and State tax returns by using a personal computer and approved software or by contacting a tax professional who will E-File your return.

  • Taxpayers who would like to file a tax return electronically with a personal computer:
    If you would like to file your Federal and State returns electronically, the Department maintains a list of approved tax preparation software and online software. This information can be found on the Approved Software Developer List. You may be eligible for online Free or Low cost electronic filing options.
  • Taxpayers who would like to file a tax return electronically using a tax professional:
    If you would like a tax professional to electronically file your Federal and State returns, select Locating a Tax Professional in Your Area.
  • Taxpayers who would like to file a prior year tax return electronically:
    To file a prior year tax return electronically, it must be prepared using approved software for the tax year that’s being filed. You can either contact a tax professional who utilizes approved tax preparation software or choose approved tax preparation software to prepare your individual income tax return on a personal computer. For additional information regarding prior year returns, refer to the Prior Year E-File Resources link.

Is E-Filing A Tax Return Paperless?

Normally e-Filing a tax return is paperless; however, there are two exceptions to completely paperless e-filing. Those exceptions are if you file:

  • Form NC-478 and/or NC-478 series
    If you claimed a business incentive and energy tax credit on Form D-400, Individual Income Tax Return, you are required to complete the NC-478 and/or NC-478 series forms. These forms should be mailed to the North Carolina Department of Revenue at PO Box 25000, Raleigh NC 27640-0500 within 48 hours of e-filing the return. This requirement pertains to an E-Filed return only.
  • Form NC K-1
    If your return shows tax payments from a partnership or S-Corporation, you should mail a copy of Form(s) NC K-1 to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, PO Box 25000, Raleigh NC 27640-0001 within 48 hours after E-Filing the return.