3.42.10  Authorized IRS e-file Providers

Manual Transmittal

August 28, 2013


(1) This transmits revised IRM 3.42.10, Authorized IRS e-file Providers.

Material Changes

(1) IRM (2) has been added to Business Type Selected.

(2) IRM has been revised to clarify rules for personal Information page for principals.

(3) New IRM Need for completed application comments on TPDS.

(4) IRM (3) (a) and (b) have been added to this section.

(5) IRM Has been re-titled to Reapply Applications.

(6) New Worklist has been added to IRM (2).

(7) IRM Reviewing Eligibility Requirements has been removed.

(8) Fingerprint Cards has been renumbered to

(9) New IRM Review and Processing Applications.

(10) IRM has been removed and renumbered.

(11) New IRM Section Professional Status Review and Processing.

(12) IRM 5 has been added.

(13) IRM, Suitability Procedures after Initial Research has been removed and the new IRM, Suitability Procedures for Daily Research.

(14) IRM (6) (a) Add Link to Secretary of State Contact Information.

(15) IRM (2) and (a) have been reworded and clarified.

(16) IRM (2) (d) has been added.

(17) IRM, No Return Literal on ASAP has been removed and the new IRM is, No Return Literal on ASAP.

(18) IRM National Account Managers has been changed to Relationship Management and Marketing and link has been updated

(19) IRM has been reworded and re-titled.

(20) IRM has been added.

(21) IRM (6) changed North Atlantic Scheme Development Center to North Atlantic Area Scheme Development Center.

(22) IRM (a) & (b) the reference to closing code 00 has been removed and reworded.

(23) IRM has been updated to reference new IRM section, Authentication/Authorization for e-file Application.

(24) IRM has been removed.

(25) Exhibit 3.42.10-9 Suitability Review Letter’s Flow Chart has been revised.

(26) Exhibit 3.42.10-23 Letter 2913-D (SC/CG) Has been revised to clarify appeals rights.

(27) Exhibit 3.42.10-40 Letter 3479-D (CG) Has been revised to clarify appeals rights.

(28) Exhibit 3.42.10-51 Letter 3489-F Has been revised .to clarify when to reapply to e-file program

(29) Exhibit 3.42.10-54 Letter 3643 Has been revised .to remove all reference to Form 8633

(30) Exhibit 3.42.10-55 Has a name change The new name is NFP Reject Letter and a new letter C has been added.

(31) New Exhibit 3.42.10-67 Letter 5058-Form 8633 Return.

(32) New Exhibit 3.42.10-68 e-file Revocation Request.

(33) New Exhibit 3.42.10-69 e-file Sanction Request from SBSE Lead Development Center.

(34) New Exhibit 3.42.10-70 CJIS NAME CHECK REQUEST.

(35) New Exhibit 3.42.10-71 Prisoner Denial Letter for Individuals.

(36) New Exhibit 3.42.10-72 Prisoner Suspension Letter for Firms.

(37) New Exhibit 3.42.10-73 Flow for Incarcerated Individuals on New Applications.

(38) Editorial changes, including new subsections, dates, updated figures, and exhibits, were made throughout this section of the IRM. In addition, some text that was previously marked Official Use Only (OUO) is longer marked OUO.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 3.42.10 dated August 23, 2012 (effective October 01, 2012) is superseded. The following IRM Procedural Updates (IPUs), issued from October 03, 2012 through May 30, 2013, have been incorporated into this IRM:12U1669, 12U1789,12U1878, 13U0208, 13U0428, 13U0839, and 13U1003.


RPO, W&I, SB/SE, LB&I, and Field Personnel

Effective Date


Carol A. Campbell , Director, Return Preparer Office  (08-28-2013)
Overview of IRS e-file Application

  1. IRS e-file enables submission of tax return data, in the form of electronic records, to a designated IRS submission processing campus.

  2. The submission processing campus where an electronic return is filed may not be the same as where taxpayers mail paper returns.

  3. Filing a tax return through IRS e-file can be accomplished by using an Authorized IRS e-file Provider or by filing using a personal computer (Online Filing).

  4. To become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider, an applicant submits an e-file Application. An applicant who has a confirmed e-services registration can do so electronically.

  5. Applicants and Providers are reviewed to determine if they meet the requirements for initial or continued participation in IRS e-file. This process is referred to as suitability. See IRM, Suitability.

  6. Providers use electronic filing publications, such as Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation which is available at www.irs.gov, as their primary source of guidance.

  7. E-file applications are reviewed on an issue based system . Work lists are generated for employees showing the applicant name, date assigned, length of time on worklist, business process, and activity name. The activity name identifies the action that caused the item to appear on the worklist and the issue that needs to be addressed. Employees will handle the worklist item assigned to them until the particular issue is completed. Each e-file application is considered complete when all related worklist items are complete.  (08-28-2013)
Authorized IRS e-file Provider Options

  1. Third party participants in IRS e-file are referred to as Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers). They offer clients specific services required for the electronic filing of federal returns. Benefits include an IRS acknowledgement of receipt of the electronic return. This acknowledgement does not occur with paper returns. Since electronic returns go through validation and are rejected for certain conditions, the accuracy rate of e-file returns is greater than that of paper returns.

  2. Applicants select the Provider options that apply to the service or role they will perform. They may select one option or a combination of the following Provider Options:

    • Electronic Return Originator (ERO)

    • Intermediate Service Provider (ISP)

    • Transmitter (TR)

    • Software Developer (SD)

    • Reporting Agent (RA)

    • Online Provider

    • Financial Agent/IRS Agent

    • Large Taxpayer

    • Affordable Care Act Provider Option (ACA Provider)

    1. Electronic Return Originator (ERO): An ERO originates the electronic submission of a tax return through IRS e-file after the taxpayer authorizes the electronic filing of the return. An ERO does not originate its own employment tax returns (Form 94X family); a third party provider must be used for this purpose.

    2. Intermediate Service Providers: An Intermediate Service Provider (ISP) receives tax returns from EROs (or from a taxpayer or tax exempt organization that files electronically using a personal computer, modem or the Internet, and commercial tax preparation software), processes the return information, and either forwards the information to a Transmitter, or sends the information back to the ERO (or to the taxpayer or exempt organization).

    3. Transmitters: A transmitter transmits electronic return data directly to the IRS. EROs and Reporting Agents may apply to be transmitters and transmit return data themselves, or they may contract with accepted third-party transmitters that will transmit the data for them. A transmitter must have software and computers that can interface with the IRS.

    4. Software Developers: A Software Developer develops software for the purposes of (a) formatting electronic return information according to publications issued by the IRS that set forth electronic return file specifications and record layouts for tax returns; and /or (b) transmitting electronic tax return information directly to the IRS.

    5. Reporting Agents: A Reporting Agent is an accounting service, franchiser, bank, service bureau, or other entity that complies with Revenue Procedure 2012-32, 2012-34 I.R.B. 267. Rev. Proc. 2012-32 should be used in conjunction with Publication 1474. Applicants selecting the Reporting Agent option must submit Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, to the IRS prior to submitting an application.

    6. Online Filing Provider: An Online Filing Provider allows taxpayers to self-prepare returns by entering return data directly into commercially available software downloaded from an Internet site and prepared off-line, or through an online Internet site. An Online Provider acts as both an ERO (EFIN) and Transmitter (ETIN) of self-prepared returns.

    7. Financial Agents/IRS Agents: A Financial Agent/ IRS Agent acts on the behalf of the IRS in the submission of electronic return transmissions of employment taxes.

    8. Large Taxpayers: A Large Taxpayer is a business or other entity with assets of $10 million or more, or a partnership with more than 100 partners, that originates the electronic submission of its own return(s).


      A Large Taxpayer is not an IRS e-file Provider because it does not act as a third party in submitting returns. It e-files returns only for itself.

    9. Affordable Care Act Provider (ACA Provider): An ACA Provider is a business or entity engaged in manufacturing or importing branded prescription drugs sold to specified government programs ("covered entity" ) or a health insurance provider reporting net premiums written ("covered entity" ) that originates the electronic submission of its own information report(s), or a third party that will transmit report(s) on behalf of a covered entity. An ACA Provider that is a third party does not have signature authority for the covered entity that it services.

  3. The categories used to describe Providers are not mutually exclusive. For example, an ERO can simultaneously be a Transmitter, a Software Developer, or an Intermediate Service Provider depending on the function being performed.  (08-28-2013)
IRS e-file Publications

  1. IRS e-file publications and updates are available on the IRS web site. Certain publications may be mailed to Providers based upon information provided on the application. IRS e-file publications are:

    1. Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Tax Returns

    2. Publication 1436, Test Package for Electronic Filers of Individual Income Tax Returns

    3. Publication 1437, Procedures for the 1041 e-file Program U.S. Income Tax Returns for Estates and Trusts

    4. Publication 1438, File Specifications, Validation Criteria and Record Layouts for the Form 1041, e-file U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts

    5. Publication 1474, Technical Specifications Guide For Reporting Agent Authorization and Federal Tax Depositors

    6. Publication 3823, Employment Tax e-file System Implementation and User Guide

    7. Publication 4163, Modernized e-file (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Business Returns

    8. Publication 4164, Modernized e-file (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters

    9. Publication 5078, Modernized e-File (MeF) Test Package

  2. Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation, contains information and rules for applying and participating in IRS e-file.

  3. Updates to IRS e-file are posted to the IRS web site at www.irs.gov.  (08-28-2013)
Monitoring of Authorized IRS e-file Providers

  1. The Service will monitor and either warn or sanction Providers in accordance with Rev. Proc. 2007-40, 2007-1 C.B. 1488 and Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation.

  2. Monitoring may include reviewing IRS e-file submissions, investigating complaints, scrutinizing advertising material, checking adherence to electronic filing signature requirements, examining files, observing office procedures, and conducting suitability checks.

  3. Sanctioning may be a written reprimand, suspension or expulsion from IRS e-file depending on the seriousness of the infraction. The seriousness of the infraction is in the opinion of the IRS and categorized by Levels of Infraction.

  4. The IRS categorizes infractions as Level One, Level Two, and Level Three. See IRM, Levels of Infractions for further details.

  5. Sanctions may be appealed through the administrative review process. This process includes an initial review by the office proposing the sanction, and a subsequent review by the Office of Appeals for suspensions and expulsions. (For further information, see Publication 3112).

  6. Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) Examination completes field monitoring to determine compliance of Providers. See IRM 4.21.1, Electronic Filing Program, Monitoring the IRS E-file Program for SB/SE e-file Monitoring Coordinator (EMC) procedures.

  7. SB/SE EMCs fax sanctioning sheets, with a copy of the signed sanctioning letter, to the Andover e-help Desk for input of data to the Third Party Data Store (TPDS).

  8. EMCs may contact a designated point of contact (POC) in e-help Desk when additional assistance is needed. An example may be sanctioning sheet data that was not input correctly.

  9. EMCs may refer firms and individuals, currently participating in IRS e-file, to the e-help Desk or Return Preparer Suitability when information is available indicating that the firm or individual is non-compliant with tax filing and paying regulations.

  10. To refer a non-compliant firm or individual, the EMC must fax or e-mail the following to the e-help Desk POC: the Provider name, Electronic Filing Identification number (EFIN), employer identification number or social security number of delinquent taxpayer, the applicable tax periods, and an explanation/evidence to support the suitability issue to e-Helpmail@irs.gov. For example, the EMC may identify a missing return that is not in the Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation (TDI) status, but has evidence that the ERO is liable to file the return.  (08-28-2013)
Applying to be an Authorized IRS e-file Provider

  1. Applicants must register for e-services before initiating an electronic IRS e-file Application. Applicants should visit irs.gov for more information on becoming an Authorized IRS e-file Provider.  (10-01-2012)
Court Injunctions and IRS e-file Participation

  1. Federal courts issue Orders of Injunction (Order) to enjoin individuals and sometimes firms as a result of action by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service. The Order may enjoin the individual and/or firm from filing returns. If the court enjoins an individual and/or firm from filing, the IRS may deny application to participate or revoke participation. If the court enjoins an individual and/or firm only from preparing or other activity, the IRS must revoke participation of the individuals or firms in IRS e-file.  (08-28-2013)
Court Injunctions and Revocation of IRS e-file Participation

  1. When a Federal court enjoins a Provider, a Principal, or Responsible Official from filing returns, the IRS must revoke the individuals or firms from participation in IRS e-file.

  2. The SB/SE Examination Lead Development Center (LDC) will complete the e-file Revocation Request and provide it via fax to the Andover e-help Desk to identify the individuals and/or firms that must be revoked from participating in IRS e-file if the enjoined individuals or firms are on an e-file application. See Exhibit 3.42.10-68. The LDC will also provide a copy of the Federal court order.

  3. The LDC will coordinate as necessary with Return Preparer Office (RPO) and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) prior to providing an e-file Revocation Request to e-help if the individual is a PTIN preparer.

  4. The Andover e-help Desk Assistor will take the appropriate actions to revoke the Authorized IRS e-file Provider’s participation in IRS e-file and to ensure individuals and firms do not participate in IRS e-file in the future.

  5. The revocation of participation in IRS e-file is not subject to the Administrative Review Process as the revocation is based on Federal court order and can not be appealed.

  6. A firm or individual whose participation has been revoked in IRS e-file may try to systemically reapply to participate in IRS e-file. They will not be able to do so because their eligibility date will be set as 12/31/2099. The Assistor should request that they provide to the Andover e-help Desk a copy of a court order that indicates they are no longer enjoined from filing returns.

  7. If the firm or individual provides a court order that indicates the firm or the individual may no longer be enjoined from filing returns, Andover e-help Desk will use the e-file Revocation Request to request a recommendation from the LDC, prior to changing the eligibility date, to allow the individual and/or firm to reapply. LDC staff will advise Andover e-help Desk, within 14 days, if it should allow the firm or individual to reapply to participate in IRS e-file.

  8. If the LDC advises that the firm or individual may reapply to participate in IRS e-file, the assistor will update the eligibility date to the current date and advise the firm or individual of the action.

  9. If the LDC advises that the firm or individual may not reapply to participate in IRS e-file, the LDC will provide an explanation to be given to the firm or individual. The assistor will enter the explanation in the e-file application comments on the TPDS and advise the firm or individual.  (08-28-2013)
Court Injunctions and Sanctioning of Authorized IRS e-file Providers

  1. Federal courts may enjoin individuals and sometimes firms from preparing returns and other activities. If the court enjoins a Provider, a Principal or a Responsible Official from preparing returns or other activity, but does not enjoin the Provider, Principal or Responsible Official from filing returns, the IRS may sanction the Provider but may not revoke the Provider's participation in IRS e-file.

  2. The SB/SE Examination Lead Development Center (LDC) will complete and provide an e-file Sanction Request with a copy of the court order via fax to Andover e-help Desk to identify the individuals and/or Provider to be sanctioned. See Exhibit 3.42.10-69. The LDC will identify the e-file infraction and recommend the Level of Infraction, the appropriate sanction, and the explanation to be included in the letter.

  3. The LDC will coordinate as necessary with Return Preparer Office (RPO) and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) prior to providing an e-file Sanction Request to e-help if the individual is a PTIN preparer.

  4. The Andover e-help Desk Assistor will take appropriate actions in TPDS to sanction the Providers as requested in the e-file Sanction Request from the LDC. This includes issuance of appropriate suitability sanctioning letters.

  5. All requests for administrative review, including request for review by the Office of Appeals, must be sent to the LDC for its recommendation prior to a decision or forwarding to Appeals. Andover e-help Desk will use the e-file Sanction Request to request a recommendation from the LDC regarding the administrative review and appeal. LDC staff will advise Electronic Products and Services Support (EPSS) e-help Desk Operation within 14 days if the sanction should be upheld or reversed.

  6. If the LDC recommends continuing with suspension or expulsion and review by the Office of Appeals is requested, the LDC must provide documentary evidence to Andover e-help Desk for forwarding to the Office of Appeals.

  7. The Andover e-help Desk will take the appropriate actions to sanction the Provider using normal procedures which include entering an appropriate eligibility date.  (08-28-2013)
Disclosure and IRS e-file Application

  1. Observe disclosure safeguards as prescribed in IRM 11.3, Disclosure of Official Information.

  2. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6103 and the Privacy Act contain the disclosure restrictions for tax and non-tax information.

  3. See IRM and Disclosure Guidelines for additional information on General or Durable Power of Attorney.

  4. An unauthorized disclosure that involves an Authorized IRS e-file Provider viewing the information of another Provider on the Third Party Data Store should be reported to your Manager, then to the Computer Security Incident Response Center using the Computer Security Incident Reporting Form or calling 866–216–4809. This disclosure can occur if a Registered User Portal (RUP) user accesses the system and views application information that they are not authorized to access. Please reference IRM, Unauthorized Access and Disclosures of Returns or Return Information for unauthorized disclosure procedures.

  5. When an e-help Assistor receives a telephone call from a caller concerning the status of their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, direct them to the IRS Disclosure Office for their state. Provide the caller with the Public Liaison telephone number and the disclosure office address.

  6. IRS Disclosure Offices respond to written FOIA requests for agency records not available in the IRS reading room. They receive and process these requests within time frames set by law. You can refer them to the IRS FOIA Guide available on IRS.gov for more detailed information.  (08-28-2013)
The Third Party Data Store (TPDS)

  1. TPDS, maintained at the Enterprise Computing Center in Martinsburg, WV, is a database that is used to store and update all IRS e-file Application information and generate electronic filing and transmitting identification numbers (EFIN(s)/ETIN(s)), letters, and reports. The database is also used to store information for other e-services products as well. There are two ways to access the information:

    1. The Employee User Portal (EUP) is a Web hosting infrastructure. It supports an Intranet portal that allows IRS employees to access business applications and data. The EUP registration process allows users to register for access to e-services. The Form 5081, Automated Information System (AIS) User Registration/ Change Request is used to identify the EUP user roles for managerial approval. Refer to the Form 5081 for a complete listing of roles and role definitions. View "e-file" Application (AVEA) is the most commonly selected role associated with application usage. The role only allows view access of the e-file application within the EUP.

    2. The Registered User Portal (RUP) infrastructure gives users the ability to electronically file certain returns and create or revise certain applications, via the internet after registering as an e-services user.

  2. All e-file applications receive a unique tracking number that can be used as a search criterion for e-file applications on the database. The tracking number indicates the year, month, day, and time that the e-file application was entered into TPDS.

  3. A six digit numeric Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) is generated for all new Authorized IRS e-file Providers.

  4. Applicants who choose the Provider option of Transmitter, Software Developer, Online Filer, Large Taxpayer or Affordable Care Act Provider (ACA Provider) will be issued a five digit numeric Electronic Transmitter Identification Number (ETIN).  (10-01-2012)
Login to e-Services

  1. Employees access e-services products via the Employee User Portal (EUP).

  2. The Standard Employee Identifier (SEID) and password are used to login.

  3. Once the SEID and password are entered and the submit button is selected, the employee will be able to navigate through e-services.  (10-01-2012)
Two Major Menu Areas

  1. Two major menu areas are displayed after login:

    1. Applications section which allows the user to access applications such as e-services.

    2. Tools sections which allows the user to perform actions such as password maintenance and logging off of the system.  (10-01-2012)
Accessing the e-file Application

  1. The IRS e-file Application is accessed by clicking the following links in the "Applications" section:

    1. select the "esrv-appl-efile" link;

    2. select the "e-services" link on the following page;

    3. select the "e-file" link on the next page.

  2. When the "process" link is accessed, the following items may display:

    1. New Print Notice

    2. Finger Print Card Entry

    3. Group worklist

    4. ReCheck Suitability

    5. Individual worklist

  3. Under the "reports" link, the following items will display:

    1. Create New Application

    2. Software Developer

    3. Search e-file Application

    4. Personal Suitability  (08-28-2013)
Components of a New e-file Application

  1. The "Create a New Application" link should be selected when creating a new e-file application online through the RUP or EUP. See IRM, Who Must File a New IRS e-file Application, for more information.

  2. All fields preceded by an asterisk are required.  (10-01-2012)
Firm/Organization Business Type

  1. The following information is requested:

    1. Business Type (Select from the drop down menu. Types include Association, Corporation, Credit Union, Federal Government Agency, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnership, Local Government Agency, Partnership, Personal Service Corporation, Sole-Proprietorship, State Government Agency, and Volunteer Organization).

    2. Employer Identification Number (EIN) Check Box, if applicable select "Yes" .


      If the business is an LLC with a sole owner and does not have an EIN, enter the business as a Sole Proprietorship. The system will not allow the user to enter "No" in the EIN box.  (08-28-2013)
Business Type Selected

  1. The following information is requested


    The asterisk (*) indicates these fields are verified against Master File.

    1. Sole Proprietorship without EIN:
      Social Security Number*
      Last Name*
      Middle Initial
      First Name
      Doing Business As (DBA)

    2. Entities with EIN:
      Firm/Organization Legal Name*
      Doing Business As (DBA) (if other than Legal Name)


    If a user enters an SSN or EIN and an application already exists under the TIN, the application will appear in the listing of applications. This enables the user to update an existing application by clicking the edit link or continue on if a new application is needed.

  2. If the Provider selected the incorrect business type, they should select "Create New Application" and continue with inputting the correct information, and then submit. Do not edit or revise an existing incorrect application.  (10-01-2012)
Firm/Organization Address

  1. Physical address* (enter country*, city*, state* and Postal* (ZIP code if within US)).


    The asterisk (*)indicates these fields are required.

  2. Business phone* and fax numbers. The country code will be automatically populated with "001" *, for the United States. This will have to be adjusted for other countries.

  3. Mailing address if different from the physical address. Selecting "yes" on the check box opens additional fields for mailing address information.

  4. A default of yes, if the business is open for 12 months of the year. If user selects "no" for this check box, a box will appear for an optional alternate year round address and phone number.

  5. Once saved or next is selected a tracking number will be assigned to the application  (10-01-2012)

  1. Fields available on the e-file application are first name, last name*, middle initial, name suffix, title, social security number*, date of birth* and e-mail address.


    The fields above that are annotated with an asterisk (*) are verified against Master File.

  2. The citizenship status choices are: U.S. citizen, not a U.S. citizen, or legal resident alien.

  3. If the Principal is also the Responsible Official, they can indicate this by answering yes to the question directly below the e-mail address.

  4. If the "yes" box is selected indicating the Principal is also the Primary Contact a field will expand requiring a Telephone Number.

  5. The information will display in a table on the page.

  6. Any information for the Principals may be changed by using the "edit" button. Once saved or next the RUP user will have an association to the application and will be allowed to continue at a later time.  (08-28-2013)
Personal Information Page for Principals

  1. To review the personal information of the Principal or Responsible Official, select the personal information link to the right of the Principal’s or Responsible Official’s name.

  2. If the individual is a professional he selects one or more of the professional status check boxes and provides the respective information below which will subsequently be verified IRM

  3. Attorney or CPA enters the license/credential number, the state where licensed/credentialed and the expiration date (if it doesn’t expire, enters 12/31/2099).

    • A CPA must be qualified to practice as a CPA in any state, commonwealth, possession, territory, or the District of Columbia and must not currently be under suspension or disbarment from practice.

    • An attorney must be in good standing of the bar of the highest court in any state, commonwealth, possession, territory, or the District of Columbia, and also show they are not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS or the bar.

  4. Enrolled Agent does not have to enter the enrolled agent number. TPDS should automatically populate this number when the Enrolled Agent check box is selected on this page as they are systemically validated against the Enrolled Practitioner System (EPS).

    • An Enrolled Agent may provide a valid Enrolled Agent number, or may submit a copy of a currently active enrollment card issued by the IRS if requested.

  5. Officer of a Publicly Owned Corporation may need to submit evidence on corporate letterhead which carries their name as an officer, the stock symbol, the exchange where listed, and the name under which the stock is traded for the individuals listed as Principal and/or Responsible.

  6. Bank Official must submit a copy of bonding certificate and proof of fingerprinting within the last two years

  7. If the individual selects attorney or CPA, he must enter information in all identified fields; otherwise, the system will not let him continue the application as a professional.

  8. Each new Principal and Responsible Official must respond to the three suitability questions:

    1. Have you been convicted of a felony in the last 10 years? If "Yes" , provide explanation.

    2. Are you currently incarcerated or have you been incarcerated in a federal or state prison during the last two years? If "Yes" , provide an explanation including the date of release if applicable.

    3. Are you current with your individual and business taxes, including any corporate and employment tax obligations? If "No" , provide explanation.


      Responsible Officials for Not for Profit entities are not required to complete the suitability questions.

    4. The answers to previous questions have been converted to correspond with the new questions. See the table below for conversion.

    New Question Previous Question Answer Conversion
    Have you been convicted of a felony in the last 10 years? If "Yes" , provide explanation. Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If the answer is "Yes" , state the offense which resulted in the conviction. Have you been convicted of any criminal offense under the U.S. Internal Revenue laws? If answer to either previous question was “Yes”, new answer is "Yes" .
    Are you currently incarcerated or have you been incarcerated in a federal or state prison during the last two years? If "Yes" , provide an explanation including the date of release if applicable. N/A N/A. Answer will default to "No" and include a comment “9/2012 for conversion”.
    Are you current with your individual and business taxes, including any corporate and employment tax obligations? If "No" , provide explanation. Have you failed to file personal or business tax returns or pay your tax liabilities? Answer will be the inverse of the previous question – "Yes" = "No" and "No" = "Yes" .
    N/A Have you been assessed any preparer penalties? Answer not retained as it is longer personal tax compliance criteria.

  9. The system requires comments for "Yes" or "No" responses to the suitability questions as described above.

  10. The question, "Have you previously participated in IRS e-file?" must be answered.

  11. The terms of agreement must be signed, and effective October 1, 2012, each new Principal and Responsible Official must sign under Penalties of Perjury.

  12. Each new Principal and Responsible Official must complete the above information.  (10-01-2012)
Suitability Information for Principals

  1. If proof of professional status is provided, select the Suitability Information tab at the top of the Principals table.

  2. Select the Suitability link for an individual Principal. The Personal Suitability Information page will display.

  3. Select the Professional Credentials tab at the top of the page.

  4. Select professional type from the drop down menu.

  5. Select the appropriate response from the drop down menu as to whether supporting documentation was received. If supporting documentation was not received, check the appropriate state CPA/Attorney website, which can be accessed via the EPSS Portal “Quick Links”. If unable to retrieve proper proof from website, contact the applicant by telephone and request the documentation. If unable to contact the applicant by telephone, issue Letter 3643 (Exhibit 3.42.10-54), requesting the documentation.


    If the application is input without proof, the application will remain with a status of "submitted pending documents" for 45 days at which time if no documentation is received, the application status will systemically move to "deleted" making it inaccessible to the RUP user.

  6. Select the state that the applicant is licensed or Bonded.

  7. Select a professional validation status from the drop down menu.

  8. Select the current date as the professional validation status date.

  9. Select a status, as of the effective date, from the drop down menu.

  10. Enter license number and expiration date in the Professional Credentials Comments: section.

  11. Make the same entries above for each Principal on the e-file application, if applicable.  (10-01-2012)
Responsible Official

  1. Responsible Officials are required to enter the same Suitability information as the Principals. See IRM  (10-01-2012)
Personal Information for Responsible Official

  1. Responsible Officials are required to enter the same personal information as the Principals. See IRM  (10-01-2012)
Suitability Information for Responsible Official

  1. The same type of suitability information as the Principal is entered for the Responsible Official. See IRM  (10-01-2012)
Application Contact(s)

  1. Primary contact (first name, middle initial, last name and name suffix, salutation, titled, country code, phone number, fax number, fax country code and e-mail address).

  2. Alternate Contacts can be added by clicking on the triangle to the left of the field title Alternate Contacts . This allows for the contact information fields to display the same as they appear for the Primary Contact.

  3. Once the contact information has been added it can be edited or deleted as necessary. When the edit link is selected, the corresponding contacts information will appear in the fields above. After making the necessary changes, click on the update button and the changes will appear. Select the Save button to save all changes. To remove an Alternate Contact, select the Delete button that corresponds with the individual being removed.

  4. When the edit link is selected, the corresponding contacts information will appear in the fields above. After making the necessary changes, remember to click on the update button.


    The Primary Contact is shown on the top portion of this page and any alternate contacts are shown in a table on the bottom portion of the page. This is the first page that allows the user to save the application. If the application is missing information, it may be saved and completed when the missing information is available. This action will create a worklist item for the incomplete application.  (10-01-2012)
Programs Applying For

  1. Provider Option. There is a link to the right of the drop down menu to view definitions of all Provider Options. Selections are: Electronic Return Originator, Financial Agent, IRS Agent, Intermediate Service Provider, Large Taxpayer, Online Provider, Reporting Agent, Software Developer, and Transmitter.


    Submission is required when adding a provider option to an accepted application.

  2. For Profit or Not for Profit business activity.

  3. The user must select the Add button to add the information to the application. For every additional Provider option chosen, the business activity field will be auto-populated with the originally selected "For Profit" or "Not for Profit " , unless it is not allowable. The information added will be displayed in a table in the middle of the page.

  4. Selection of Financial Agent, IRS Agent, or Large Taxpayer, the system will generate another field for Type of Business Activity. The drop down menu will feature Employee Benefit Program, Large Taxpayer, Military Base, State Government Agency, Tax Assistance Centers, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

  5. When “Not for Profit” is selected, the Type of Business Activity drop down menu will feature organizations that qualify for Not For Profit status (e.g., Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) offices, etc.).

  6. Selection of a business activity VITA will require a valid SIDN. All other “Not for Profit” will create a worklist item for manual validation. See IRM, Validating Not for Profit Business Activities.  (10-01-2012)

  1. Forms for each Provider option are selected from the List of Forms. After the user selects all forms for a Provider and/or transmission method, select the "Add" button, and provide this information for each Provider option.

  2. The selected forms with the applicable Provider option will be displayed in a table in the middle of the page.

  3. Saving the application after adding all Forms is required.  (10-01-2012)
Provider Status

  1. Provider Statuses are: "Applied" , "Accepted" , "Dropped" , "Non-Compliant " , "Non-Compliant (PTIN Suspended/Revoked)" , "Non-Compliant (Field Mntrng)" , "Rejected" (Ann/Daily Suit only), "Revoked" and "Testing" .

    1. When an application is submitted the Provider Status of any Provider Option remains in "Applied" as long as the suitability is not completed.

    2. Once an application is completed and has passed suitability, the Provider Status is updated to "Accepted" .

    3. If an EFIN is dropped or the office is closed, the Provider Status(es) will also move to "Dropped" .

    4. Provider Status "Non-Compliant (PTIN Suspended/Revoked)" is currently used when an individual's PTIN was suspended or revoked due to failing PTIN personal tax compliance check.


      Prior to 2007, if an ERO was suspended for failure to provide signed Form(s) 8453 for each e-filed return per EFIN, the Provider Status was placed in Non-Compliant (8453 only). That Provider Status is now Non-Compliant (PTIN Suspended/Revoked).

    5. When an e-file Monitoring Coordinator recommends that an EFIN be inactivated due to an operational or procedural non-compliance issue, the Provider Status is moved to "Non-Compliant (Field Mntrng)" .

    6. If a new or existing Application fails suitability for issues with either the SSN or the EIN, the Provider Options are updated to "Rejected (Ann/Daily Suit Only)" .

    7. If the LDC advises of a Court Injunction and recommends revocation or there is a match with the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) Listing, the Provider Status is updated to "Revoked" . The applicant or Provider can not appeal a Revocation and can not reapply.

    8. Provider Status "Testing" is currently not in use and shown for historical purposes.  (10-01-2012)
EFIN Status

  1. The three EFIN Statuses are "Dropped" , "Inactive" or "Valid/Active" .

    1. Dropped EFIN(s) cannot be updated or used again by the Provider. It may be reassigned systemically to another Provider after 12 months have passed.

    2. Inactive EFIN(s) will stay in "inactive" status until it has been manually updated to another status.


      If suitability status is “passed” and the EFIN remains “inactive” for more than 60 days, the EFIN will be systemically dropped.

    3. Valid/Active EFIN Status means the EFIN can be used to e-file the particular forms selected provided the Provider Option Status is "Accepted" .  (10-02-2012)
Suitability Information for Firm/Organization

  1. There are two questions concerning the firm's suitability that need to be answered with a "Yes" or "No" .

    1. Has the firm been convicted of a felony in the last 10 years? If "Yes" , provide explanation.

    2. Is the firm current with its business taxes, including any corporate and employment tax obligations? If "No" , provide explanation.

  2. The system requires comments for “Yes” or “No” responses to the suitability questions as described above. See table in IRM for information regarding conversion of the answers for the previous questions to the answers for the new ones.  (10-01-2012)
Delegated User

  1. Delegated Users shall only be added through the RUP by a Principal, Responsible Official, or Principal Consent.

  2. The user must enter the first name, middle initial, last name, and name suffix, title, SSN, and e-mail address for each Delegated User.

  3. Only a Principal can choose whether a delegate is given principal consent. By selecting this check box the Delegated User is given authorities equal to that of a Principal/Owner of the firm.

  4. After entering the information, select the "Add" button.

  5. The Delegated User information will display in a table on the page.

  6. The "Delegate" Authorities link will add permissions for the Delegated User from the listing.

  7. The "edit" button can be used to change any information for each Delegated User.  (10-01-2012)
Application Status

  1. Application Statuses are "Saved" ," Submitted Pending Documents" , "Deleted" , "Submitted New" , "Submitted Reapply" , "Submitted Revised" , "Completed" , and "Submitted in Review" .

    1. If the application status remains in Saved for more than 90 days, it will be systemically changed to the next status "Deleted" .

    2. An Application Status that is marked "Deleted" cannot be viewed by the RUP user and must be manually moved to Saved in order to be viewed by the RUP user.

    3. While in "Submitted Pending Documents" status, the system tracks the number of days and will move to "Deleted" after 45 days.

    4. When an application has been submitted and the Finger Print Card (FPC) and/or Proof of Professional Status have been received and input, the Application Status is moved from Submitted Pending Documents to Submitted New, Submitted Revised or Submitted Reapply. The application will undergo the suitability process while in this status. If the RUP User attempts to access the application, they will receive a message that says "Your application is currently under review and cannot be updated" .

    5. When the RUP or EUP Application has been input and submitted but no FPC(s) or Proof of Professional Status is received or input, the Application Status will remain in Submitted Pending Documents for up to 45 days after which the status will move to Deleted.

    6. Submitted Reapply occurs when the Provider Option was previously rejected, Application Status Completed, eligibility date has been met, and the applicant has reapplied and resubmitted the application.


      "Submitted in Review" is a status currently not being used

      .  (08-28-2013)
Services Authorized

  1. Available e-Services include Transcript Delivery System (TDS), Electronic Account Resolution (EAR), and Disclosure Authorization (DA).

    • An ERO who has successfully submitted five accepted e-file returns in the current or prior year is automatically authorized for TDS, EAR, and DA e-services products.

    • Circular 230 Participants are eligible to use the e-services products without having to meet the five accepted e-file return requirement.

    • Reporting Agents only have access to TDS and EAR. There is no minimum number of returns needed to gain access.

    • E-services products can be manually assigned by an EUP user if necessary.

    • All users must be Registered and Confirmed for e-services to have access to the e-services product links. The links are defaulted to Principals, Responsible Officials, and Principal Consents and must be assigned manually to a Delegate User.

    • Low Income Tax Clinics (LITC) have been granted the rights to e-services products without a requirement to e-file five returns. The LITC Program Office is responsible for monitoring input of these e-file Applications and can also make any necessary updates through the EUP.  (10-01-2012)
Application Summary

  1. The "Application Summary" is a one page overview of the e-file application based on the data input and the current status of the application data fields.  (10-01-2012)
Application Comments

  1. The "Application Comments" page shows remarks made by either RUP or EUP users.

    • EUP comments are not visible to the RUP user.

    • Comments cannot be edited or deleted.  (05-30-2013)
Need for completed application comments on TPDS

  1. Comments must always be complete and accurate in order for the assistor and other IRS personnel to have an understanding of account activities. All account documentation should be specific to actions performed and case resolution. For example: UD mail. Comment may state, "Letter of Inquiry (LOI) returned UD. Completed research is needed on IDRS for new address. Send LOI to possible new address 123 State Street, Cleveland, OH 24444."

  2. It is important to be aware that should any provider challenge the IRS in court over a suitability or other ruling, the comments may be admissible in court and therefore should be accurate and complete.  (10-01-2012)
Submission of Application

  1. After all information from RUP is entered on an e-file Application, it must be submitted by selecting the "Submit" button.

  2. Users must input their 5-digit e-services PIN and select the "Submit" button.

  3. The application is acknowledged upon submission and a transaction ID is assigned. If required fields are missing or incomplete, an error message identifying the missing information will be displayed.  (10-01-2012)
New Applications

  1. Certain rules govern when a new e-file application must be submitted for participation in IRS e-file as an Authorized IRS e-file Provider.  (08-28-2013)
Who Must File a New IRS e-file Application

  1. A Provider that changed its organizational structure, requiring the use of a new or different Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), must submit a new Application. If a Provider wants to open an additional e-file location from which returns will be electronically submitted suitability may be required. If the entity information remains the same, both RUP and EUP users open an existing EFIN application and select "Add New Location" from the Application Main Menu. Otherwise, RUP users select "Application, e-file Application, Create New Application" , and EUP users select "e-file, Application, Create New Application" .

  2. An applicant that had previously been denied participation in IRS e-file or was previously suspended and has either met the eligibility date or resolved the suitability issue(s) may reapply to the program through an existing "Application" in TPDS providing the business entity has not changed. They will access the application on file and make any necessary updates (i.e. address, phone/fax, contacts) then select the Programs Applying For Link from the application menu page. Next, they will click on the Reapply link to the right of the Provider Option and the Provider Option status will move to "Applied" . They need to save their changes and Submit the application for suitability review.


    If EFIN status is "inactive" and the Provider status is "Non-compliance" , the Principal and/or Responsible Official will be required to call the e-help Desk. The assistor will have to update the Provider status to "Dropped" allowing the RUP user to reapply.

  3. An applicant with a dropped EFIN due to inactivity, RUP and EUP users work within an existing application and update any applicable information. The provider status area is treated as "reapply" , however a new EFIN will be assigned. Please refer to IRM Re-Apply Applications for more information on reapplying..

  4. A Provider wants an EFIN for use by a firm in "its business-related group" as the firm can not obtain an EFIN because its Principals and/or Responsible Officials are not U. S. citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence as described in 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(20). The term "business-related group" applies to brother-sister firms, subsidiaries, franchises, affiliates, etc. The Provider must obtain an EFIN for each firm location as described above.  (10-01-2012)
Acquiring an IRS e-file Business by Purchase, Transfer, or Gift

  1. An applicant acquiring an existing IRS e-file business with current credentials by purchase, transfer, or gift, must submit a new e-file application and receive a new EFIN, ETIN, Login Identification and password. Applicants may not use the identification numbers or passwords of the previous Provider. Providers should contact the IRS, prior to the acquisition, for assistance in making a smooth transition when it will occur during a filing season. The old EFIN associated with the business, should be put in "dropped" status and the e-file application should be deleted. The following requirements must be met by the new applicant:

    1. The purchaser must submit new e-file application fingerprint cards (FPCs) if necessary, and meet current suitability requirements;

    2. The purchaser must submit the new application within the period beginning 45 days before the acquisition date and ending 30 days after the acquisition date; and

    3. The purchaser must send supporting documentation (proof of sale) in separately after completing an online e-file application which must provide the following:

    1. Seller's name, address, business name, business address, and signature;

    2. Purchaser's name, address, business name, business address, and signature; and

    3. Tracking number of the e-file application, if filed electronically.  (08-28-2013)
Revising an IRS e-file Application

  1. Updates must be made within 30 days after any change. Providers must submit a revised e-file application, electronically signed by a Principal, Responsible Official or a Delegated User who has been given the authority to make changes to an application if:

    1. The Provider functioned solely as a Software Developer and intends to function as an Electronic Return Originator (ERO), Intermediate Service Provider, Transmitter, Reporting Agent, Provider, Financial Agent/IRS Agent, or Large Taxpayer in the future;

    2. There is a change to the Principal section of the e-file application such as adding a Principal, deleting a Principal, or changing information concerning a current Principal. Fingerprint cards (FPCs) may be required for Principals that have been added;


      Only a Principal or a Delegated User who has been given Principal Consent may add or delete another Principal or Responsible Official. The assistor should direct customer to www.irs.gov to update their e-file application. If the customer filed a paper application instruct them to register for e-services then they can update their application.

    3. There is a change to the Responsible Official section of the e-file application such as adding a Responsible Official, deleting a Responsible Official, or changing information concerning a current Responsible Official. FPCs or proof of professional status, are required for Responsible Officials who have been added to the application and have not submitted documentation previously.

    4. The Provider was placed in "dropped" status due to TPDS-EFIN clean-up (see IRM for more information on TPDS-EFIN clean-up).

    5. A sole proprietor is updating the application to include an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

  2. Providers must also revise the e-file application if there is any change to the following information:

    1. The firm name or doing business as (DBA) name

    2. The Provider's roles, unless the Provider will function solely as a Software Developer;

    3. A change to the Firm Business Type and EIN requires a New application

  3. An IRS e-file Application can also be changed through written correspondence. The correspondence should include the firm's Electronic Filing Identification Number, (EFIN), EIN or Social Security Number (SSN), the firm's legal name as shown on the firm's tax returns, along with the information that they are adding or changing. A Principal or Responsible Official must sign the letter.

    1. Entity changes may be made over the phone.

    2. However, if adding or deleting persons from the application, a signature is necessary.  (10-01-2012)
Procedures for Online Filing (OLF) Applicants

  1. Any applicant that is interested in participating in Online Filing must select Online Provider from the Provider Options drop-down menu on the "Programs Applying For" page of the application.

  2. When an online Provider subsequently requests a regular EFIN, special procedures are required to generate a regular and online EFIN within the same application.

    1. When both ERO and online Provider options are selected, the application must be modified to acknowledge the regular EFIN first.

    2. On the Provider Status page select Online, Edit and move from applied to "Dropped" .

    3. Generate a regular EFIN from the EFIN status link on the e-file application menu.

    4. Return to the "Programs Applying for link" on the e-file application menu and select the reapply link for the Online Provider.

    5. Generate an online EFIN by accessing the "EFIN status" link from the main menu of the e-file application.

    6. Confirm that the online EFIN generated begins with 10, 21, 32, 44, or 53.

    7. The application can now move through the auto-process.  (08-28-2013)
State Acknowledgement Process

  1. States participating in IRS e-file are required to file an e-file application for state acknowledgement (State Ack). Participating Federal / States can send their state acknowledgements to Electronic Management System (EMS) so that trading partners can receive them when receiving their federal acknowledgements.

    1. The DBA name will be entered beginning with "STA" and ending with the state's abbreviation. For example, the State ACK for New Mexico would be STANM.

    2. The state will pick the Transmitter Provider Option.

    3. The business activity will be Employee Member benefit.

    4. The forms type will be State ACK.

    5. No entry will be made as to whether the firm has failed to file returns or pay tax liabilities.

    6. The Responsible Official will indicate that credentials are not applicable.  (10-01-2012)
e-file Application Process

  1. When an e-file application is submitted, it defaults to "Submitted Pending Documents" status. When documentation is received (FPC or Proof of Professional Status), the Application updates to "Submitted New status" . As changes are made, it will be systemically reassigned to the correct status.

  2. Statuses are:

    • "Saved" : e-file application has been initiated/changed, and saved.

    • "Deleted" : e-file application has been in the system for 90 days without having been submitted, or has been in submitted status for 45 days without supporting documentation (FPC/Proof of Professional Status) received;

    • "Submitted Pending Documents" : e-file application requires credentials, fingerprint cards or other information.

    • "Submitted New" : initial submission of an e-file application that does not have documents pending;

    • "Submitted in Review and Completed" : IRS is reviewing the e-file application and research is being conducted.

  3. Additional statuses for revised/reapply e-file applications:

    • "Submitted Reapply" : a firm is reapplying after being out of the program for a period of time;

    • "Submitted Revised" : a firm is adding or deleting a Principal or Responsible Official, or adding a provider option.

    • "Completed" : information is available and all research has been completed and entered into the system; if all suit has passed, all Provider Options are in "accepted" status; if suit has failed, Provider Options are in "Rejected (Ann/Daily Suit Only)" .

  4. If there are no suitability issues associated with a submitted e-file application, TPDS systemically changes the Provider Status to "Accepted" , and both the firm and personal suitability are automatically passed.  (10-01-2012)
Manual Assignment of EFIN

  1. The system will automatically assign an EFIN for the e-file application, but sometimes it is necessary to manually assign it. To do this:

    1. From the Search Page of the Employee User Portal (EUP), enter the tracking number, or other search fields, of the e-file Application and select the Search button.

    2. Select the DBA Name link from the existing application which appears below the search screen.

    3. Select the EFIN status link from the e-file application menu page.

    4. Select valid/active status from the EFIN status drop down menu.

    5. Select the "assign" button, and the EFIN will display in a table on the page. A message will also indicate that the number was assigned.


      If EFIN is not displayed after assigning, check EFIN history before assigning another EFIN.  (10-01-2012)
Assignment of EFIN When Zip Code for Physical Address is Invalid

  1. The Third Party Data Store (TPDS) receives updated ZIP code/Universal Location Code (ULC) tables approximately twice a year using the authoritative source table available on the IRS mainframe.

  2. TPDS associates a ULC to each applicant record based on the ZIP/postal code of the physical address on the e-file application.

  3. Upon submission of an e-file application the system will attempt to assign an EFIN. If TPDS is unable to assign due to unavailability within the given ULC, a worklist item will be created in the E-file Application Review workgroup, with the APP_ULC_UNAVAIL_IRS business activity name.

    1. The assistor should notify the system administrator of the error, showing the city, state and zip code for creation or activation of a new ULC.

  4. If an e-file application is submitted , and the system attempts to assign an EFIN but cannot due to the ZIP Codes TPDS will assign a worklist item to the-file Application Review with the APP_PHY_ZIP_NVLD_IRS business activity name. The assistor will take the following steps:

    1. Enter a valid ZIP code, from the ZIP code/ULC table, nearest to the invalid ZIP code on the e-file application.

    2. Save the added ZIP code.

    3. Assign the EFIN.

    4. Save the added EFIN.

    5. Change the invalid ZIP code to the valid ZIP code on TPDS and save the change.

    6. Notify the systems administrator of the error, showing the city, state, and ZIP code. Request to have the valid ZIP code added to the ZIP code/ULC table.  (10-01-2012)
Systemic Process: Applications Initiated.

  1. The user enters the requested information for the e-file application.

  2. The e-file application status defaults to "Saved" in the system.

  3. When the e-file application is submitted, the system always initially displays the Status "Submitted Pending Documents" .

  4. If no documents are needed, the following day the system changes the application status to "Submitted New" and generates an EFIN.

  5. If suitability is required, the system processes the application as Auto ASAP with Hits or Auto ASAP with No Hits.

  6. If no suitability is required (for example, not-for-profit organizations) or if the suitability has been manually passed by an assistor, the system changes the application status to "completed."  (10-01-2012)
Applications Pending Documentation

  1. If the application is new and has been in the system for less than 45 days and no documents have been received, the e-file application status will not change and the system will review it each night for received documentation.

  2. If documents were received and additional suitability research is required, the system creates a worklist item to notify the assistor to work on completing the e-file application.

  3. If no additional suitability is required, the system will systemically change the application to "completed" .

  4. If the application is new and has been in the system for 45 days, and no documents have been received, the system sets the application to "Deleted" status.


    The Application status can be manually updated from deleted to saved

    .  (10-01-2012)
Auto ASAP With No Hits

  1. The daily extract (RIS23D) is run to produce the Automatic Suitability Analysis Program (ASAP) report.

  2. The system sets the firm and personal suitability status to "In Process" .

  3. The ASAP results are uploaded to TPDS.

  4. If there is No Hit on a person and a fingerprint card (FPC) check is not required, the personal suitability status is automatically set to "Passed" . If an FPC is required, the FPC date must be entered into the system and systemically evaluated.

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