Become an Authorized e-file Provider
Join our partnership and save money, increase your productivity and build your business, while providing a service the majority of taxpayers now expect. IRS e-file has safely and securely transmitted more than 1 billion tax returns since 1990. Nearly 80 percent of all individual federal returns are now e-filed. Learn more about the program — now required for most tax return preparers — and how to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider. It will be good for your customers and good for your business.
Step 1: Create an IRS e-services Account
Before you begin the online e-file application, you must have an IRS e-services account, which facilitates electronic interaction with the IRS. When you apply for an e-services account, you will need to:
- Provide your legal name, Social Security Number (SSN), birth date, phone number, e-mail address and your home mailing address (confirmation of your account will be mailed to you);
- Provide your Adjusted Gross Income from the current or prior tax year;
- Create a username, a password and a PIN and provide an answer to a reminder question for your username;
- Make sure that every principal and responsible official in your firm signs up for e-services; and
- Return to e-services to confirm your registration within 28 days of receiving your confirmation code in the mail.
You can find definitions of a principal and a responsible official in IRS Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation.
The verification and approval process for creating an account with IRS e-services can take several days, so plan accordingly.
Step 2: Submit Your Application to Become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider
Once essential people are approved for e-services, your firm can begin the application to become an authorized e-file provider.
The application process is not simple, but as a tax professional, you understand these steps are necessary to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system. We all have a stake in maintaining the highest standards for e-file providers.
Because the application is so comprehensive, it is designed so that you can save your data from a session, close out and return to it when convenient.
Another caution about time: It can take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an e-file application. So please plan accordingly and allow enough time.
Several important things to note:
- First, you will supply identification information for your firm
- Next, you will enter information about each Principal and Responsible Official in your organization
- You choose your e-file provider option. If you are a return preparer and want to e-file for clients, select electronic return originator, or ERO.
- If the Principal or Responsible Official is someone who is certified or licensed, such as an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent, they must enter current professional status information
- All other individuals need to provide fingerprints to the IRS. You can get a fingerprint card by calling 866-255-0654
Be fingerprinted by a trained professional - your local police station will likely provide this service for a modest fee or there are commercial services. Then mail the signed and completed card to the IRS at:
Attn: EFU acceptance STOP 983
310 Lowell St
Andover, MA 05501-0001
Your application is complete.
It is our job at the IRS to finish the e-file authorization process for you.
Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check
After you submit your application and related documents, the IRS will conduct a suitability check on the firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official. This may include: a credit check; a tax compliance check; a criminal background check; and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements. Once approved, you will get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).
For step-by-step guidance through the e-file application, download Publication 3112 from IRS.gov
Once enrolled, you will be able to serve your clients more effectively. Taxpayers know e-filing is fast and safe and gets them their refunds much more quickly.
Now, you’re just a click away from improving your business and improving service to clients.
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