Applicants to become Authorized IRS e-file Providers choose Provider Options, which include Electronic Return Originator, Intermediate Service Provider, Online Provider, Reporting Agent, Software Developer and Transmitter. Be sure to include all choices on the IRS e-file application. Applicants may choose more than one Provider Option, for example; ERO and Transmitter on one application.
Brief descriptions for each Provider type are below (See Provider Roles and Responsibilities for additional information):
Electronic Return Originator (ERO) – originates the electronic submission of tax returns to the IRS.
Intermediate Service Provider – assists with processing return information between ERO (or the taxpayer in the case of Online Filing) and a Transmitter.
Online Provider – An Online Provider allows taxpayers to self-prepare returns by entering return data directly on commercially available software, software downloaded from an Internet site and prepared off-line or through an online internet site. An Online Provider also chooses another Provider Option, either Software Developer, Transmitter or Intermediate Service Provider if Online Provider is a secondary activity. Although an ERO may also use an internet Web site to obtain information from taxpayers to subsequently originate the electronic submission of returns, the ERO is not an Online Provider.
Reporting Agent – originates the electronic submission of certain returns for its clients, and/or transmits the returns to the IRS. A Reporting Agent must be an accounting service, franchiser, bank or other entity that complies with Rev. Proc. 2007-38, 2007-25 I.R.B. 1442, and is authorized to perform one or more of the acts listed in Rev. Proc. 2007-38 on behalf of a taxpayer. Reporting Agents must submit Reporting Agent Authorization">Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, to the IRS prior to or at the same time they submit an IRS e-file Application.
Software Developer – writes either origination or transmission software according to the IRS e-file specifications.
Transmitter – sends the 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 an accepted third-party transmitters that can transmit the data for them. A Transmitter must have software and computers that allow it to interface with the IRS.
Note: A Large Taxpayer is a Provider Option on the IRS e-file Application but it is not an Authorized IRS e-file Provider. 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). To submit an IRS e-file Application, Large Taxpayers should follow instructions in Part V of Modernized e-file (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers and Large Taxpayers (Corporations, Partnerships and Tax Exempt Organizations)">Publication 4163, Modernized e-file (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers and Large Taxpayers (Corporations, Partnerships and Tax Exempt Organizations).
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