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FAQs About Electronic Filing ID Numbers (EFIN)

What is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)?

We assign an EFIN to identify firms that have completed the IRS e-file Application to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider. After the provider completes the application and passes a suitability check, we send an acceptance letter, including the EFIN, to the provider. Providers need the EFIN to electronically file tax returns. 

Who is the owner of an EFIN?

The firm owns the EFIN. The principals of the firm use either their Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number to apply for an EFIN. On their application, the firm's Doing Business As name and business address should be used, not a personal address.

What is the role of an Authorized IRS e-file Provider? 

An Authorized IRS e-file Provider may perform a variety of e-file activities, including but not limited to return origination and transmission. Often, an Authorized IRS e-file Providers may work with other providers who originate or transmit returns for them. Authorized IRS e-file Providers must validate that the other providers have an EFIN. 

How can an Authorized IRS e-file Provider find out that an associated third party provider has a valid EFIN?

You can verify that a provider is valid in two ways:

  • Ask the provider to show you a summary of his/her IRS e-file application from e-Services.
  • Ask the provider to show you an authorized provider acceptance letter from the IRS, dated within the last year. 

What is a compromised EFIN?

An EFIN is compromised when it is used by an unauthorized user. 

How do I know if my EFIN has been compromised?

Check the EFIN status of your application through e-Services Online Tools to make sure the summary of the volume of returns e-filed in the last two years matches your records. If it does not match, your EFIN may have been compromised. Call the e-help desk at 866-255-0654 (6:30 AM to 8:00 PM Central) to report a possible compromised EFIN. 

What actions does the IRS take if an EFIN is compromised?

If an EFIN is compromised, we will disable it, issue a new one, and notify the firm in writing when we issue the new EFIN. If the use of the unauthorized EFIN was intentional, we will also review the situation to see if further action is needed. We may also notify transmitters who are transmitting with the provider with a compromised EFIN.

Is an EFIN transferable?

No. Your EFIN is not transferable and neither is your password. Even if you transfer your business by sale, gift or other disposition, you may not transfer your EFIN. You must protect your EFINS, Electronic Transmitter Identification Numbers (ETINs) and passwords from unauthorized use. 

What are some examples of invalid use of an EFIN?

  • If you had an EFIN at your previous firm but moved to another firm, you cannot use the EFIN you had at your previous firm. 
  • If you have not used your EFIN to e-file in the last two years, you must apply for a new EFIN. If in doubt, call the e-help desk at 866-255-0654 (6:30 AM to 8 PM Central) to find out if your EFIN is still valid.
  • If a deceased person is listed on the application and their death changes the structure of the business entity, the EFIN may be invalid for use. If you're unsure, call the e-help desk at 866-255-0654 (6:30 AM to 6 PM Central) to find out.


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 15-Oct-2015