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Software Developers Technical Fact Sheet


Employment Tax e-file Program

Software Developers develop software for the purpose of formatting returns according to the IRS’s electronic return specifications. Software may be designed for use by Electronic Return Originators, Reporting Agents, or Taxpayers.

Participating in the Employment Tax e-file Program
To participate in the Employment Tax e-file Program, prospective participants must first complete and submit an IRS e-file application. You can complete the IRS e-file application online after registering for e-services.. Additional guidance can be found in Publication 3112. Follow the instructions provided to complete your application.

If you have questions, or require assistance completing the IRS e-file application, phone 1-866-255-0654 (toll-free).

Software Development

Forms 940, 941 and 944 transmitted via the Employment Tax e-file System must be in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. 

The XML Schema's for Forms 940, 941, and 944 and other pertinent information for developing software for the Employment Tax e-file Programs, are updated as needed.  Click on the following link for additional needed information.

XML Schema's for 940's, 941's and 944's

Software Specifications
Software specifications and related information can be found on the 94x XML Developers' Forum page. The current schema information should be used starting January 2008 for production return filing and for assurance testing.  The User Guide and Publications link will provide other useful procedures.   Refer to Publication 3823  for details on how to get started.

Testing New Software Packages
To test a software package you should first review the IRS Assurance Testing Process, which can be found under User Guide and Publications. You must have completed IRS e-file application and received a test electronic transmitter identification number (ETIN). Once you’re ready to test, call the IRS e -Help Desk number (866-255-0654) to speak with an e-file Tax Examiner advising them that you are ready to test your software package.


Employment Taxes Implemented in Modernized e-File (MeF)

Employment Taxes were implemented in the Modernized e-File (MeF) Platform January 2014.  For more information see 94x MeF Development Information. 94x Employment Tax e-file System and 94x MeF will be running concurrently.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 30-Oct-2015