Tax professionals who want to join the e-file program have until May 31, 2003 to apply, but better get their applications in by Dec. 2 if they want to provide the services on the first day of the e-filing season on January 10.

That’s the word this week from the Internal Revenue Service, who said the deadlines apply for new applicants as well as those who need to update prior applications.

For the upcoming tax season more than 99 percent of the forms and schedules related to the 1040 can be filed electronically.

Since the program began as a pilot in 1986, e-filing has caught on in popularity, with almost 47 million returns filed electronically earlier this year.

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