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When to Submit a New Application

Applicants and Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) must either submit a new application or reapply for any of the reasons below. Principals and Responsible Officials may have to provide fingerprints or professional status information.

  • They never participated in IRS e-file
  • They were previously denied participation in IRS e-file
  • They were previously suspended from IRS e-file
  • They have not submitted any e-file returns for more than two years
  • The structure of the business has changed, requiring use of a new or different Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)

Adding New Business Locations

Providers may need to submit new IRS e-file Applications when expanding their e-file businesses to new business locations. EROs must submit new applications for additional fixed locations from which the origination of the electronic submission of returns will occur. A fixed location is an office owned or leased by the ERO.

EROs may originate the electronic submission from other than fixed locations without submitting an application for each such location. The ERO uses the EFIN assigned to a fixed location for electronic submission of returns originated from other than fixed locations.

If all activities occurring at a location are other than origination of electronic submission of returns, an application is not required for the location. If tax returns are prepared or collected at a location, but forwarded to another location for origination of the electronic submission, an application is not required for the location where the tax returns are prepared or collected.

Obtaining a Foreign EFIN

Providers may obtain an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) for use by a firm in "its business-related group" if the firm cannot 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. "Business-related group" is broad to include any business relationship. The Provider may establish its own policies to determine the firms for which it will obtain an EFIN and how it monitors the use of the EFIN.

The Provider must submit an IRS e-file application for each foreign EFIN it wants to obtain. The Provider must include its address as the mailing address, but include the physical address of the firm for which it is obtaining the foreign EFIN. The IRS will issue EFINs to the Provider for each location from which the firm in its "business-related group" will originate the electronic submission of returns. The Provider is responsible for the EFINs and may delete the EFIN assigned to any firm location when it determines appropriate.

The Provider is responsible for the business-related firm’s adherence to IRS e-file rules, but is not responsible for the preparation of returns of the firm in its "business-related group." The Provider should only obtain EFINs for other firms it knows to be trustworthy. IRS will look to the Principals and the Responsible Officials if necessary to assist the IRS in gathering information to address potential violations of IRS e-file rules by the "business-related" firm. The IRS may inactivate the EFIN for a "business-related" firm that is not adhering to IRS e-file rules without sanctioning the Provider or affecting its other EFINs.

For additional information see Questions and Answers on IRS.gov.

Acquiring an IRS e-file Business by Purchase, Transfer or Gift

Providers that acquire an existing IRS e-file business by purchase, transfer, or gift must submit a new IRS e-file Application and receive new Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs), and passwords when applicable. The Provider must submit an e-file application and proof of sale, transfer, or gift during the period beginning forty-five days before and ending thirty days after the acquisition date.

Providers that acquire an existing IRS e-file business by purchase, transfer or gift may not use the EFIN, other identification numbers or passwords of the previous Provider. Providers may not acquire the EFIN, other identification numbers, or passwords of another Provider by sale, merger, loan, gift, or otherwise.

When transfers occur during filing season, Providers should contact the IRS prior to the acquisition for assistance in making a smooth transition. Providers interested in acquiring firms suspended, expelled, or revoked from participation in IRS e-file or denied acceptance to participate in IRS e-file should also contact the IRS. Contact IRS e-help at (866) 255-0654 to discuss transition issues.

 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 22-Sep-2014