The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging more midsized companies to file their corporate returns electronically as the Sept. 17 deadline approaches for calendar-year filers who asked for extensions.

This is the first year that midsized corporations with assets between $10 million and $50 million are required to electronically file a Form 1120 or 1120S. So far this year, approximately 12,000 midsized corporations have made the transition. Many more corporations are also e-filing voluntarily, even those not required to do so at this point.

The e-filing requirement covers all corporations with assets over $10 million that file 250 or more returns per year, including Forms W-2 and 1099. The requirement began last year for large corporations with assets over $50 million. About 15,000 of them filed electronically last year. This year, 8,000 large corporations have filed electronically so far, and the IRS expects activity to pick up in early September.

Even small corporations with assets under $10 million are beginning to ramp up their electronic filing, even though they are not yet required to do so. Nearly 625,000 of them have filed electronically, compared to about 400,000 at this time last year.

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