Electronic Return Originator (ERO) Technical Fact Sheet


Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes


The Electronic Return Originator (ERO) is the Authorized IRS e-file Provider who originates the electronic submission of a return to the IRS. The ERO is usually the first point of contact for most taxpayers filing a return using IRS e-file. Please refer to Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and ParticipationPDF and Revenue Procedure 2007-40, Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB): 2007-26 for additional information. Revenue Procedure 2007-40 informs authorized IRS e-file providers of their obligations to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers, and other participants in the IRS e-file Program, and combines the rules governing IRS e-file.

Getting Started

To participate in Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes, as a prospective ERO participant, complete and submit an IRS e-file Application, after registering for e-Services. Additional guidance can be found in Publication 3112PDF and Publication 4163, Modernized e-File (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-File Providers for Business ReturnsPDF.

If you have questions, or require assistance completing the IRS e-file application, contact the e-help Desk at 866-255-0654 (toll-free).

Signing Returns

An ERO does not have signature authority to use the Form 94x On-Line Signature PIN method (10-digit PIN) to sign a 94x MeF Employment Tax Return for the taxpayer. The Business taxpayer (IRS Authorized Signer) must sign their own return via the approved software and should not disclose the PIN to anyone. PINs are confidential.

An ERO can use either Form 8453-EMPPDF or Form 8879-EMPPDF to obtain authorization to file Form 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944, or 945.

An ERO may use the Form 8453-EMP PDF to file the taxpayer’s electronic return. Use a scanner to create a Portable Document Format (PDF) file of the completed form to attach to the return.

An ERO may use Form 8879-EMP, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944, and 945PDF, if both the taxpayer and the ERO agree to use a self-select PIN to electronically sign an electronic employment tax return. More detailed information can be found in the instructions for the Form 8879-EMP PDF and the Publication 4163PDF.

If the ERO applied for multiple roles, indicating on their IRS e-File Application that they want to be a Reporting Agent, once approved, the ERO will be granted signature authority via a five (5) digit Reporting Agent PIN to sign for the client and for the tax periods referenced on the client’s Form 8655PDF submitted to IRS for processing. Refer to Publication 1474, Technical Specifications For Reporting Agent Authorization Guide and Federal Tax DepositorsPDF and Revenue Procedure 2012-32 for complete guidelines regarding the Reporting Agent role criteria.

Obtaining Software

In order to participate in IRS e-file, an ERO must use IRS approved tax software that has gone through the IRS Assurance Testing (ATS) process. If you want to develop your own software, refer to the Software Developers Technical Fact Sheet. For more information, review Publication 4163, Modernized e-File (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-File Providers for Business ReturnsPDF and Publication 4164, Modernized e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and TransmittersPDF.


Although the IRS does not charge a fee to participate in the IRS e-file program, there may be a charge based upon which Software Provider you choose to satisfy your business needs. Visit 94x Modernized e-File (MeF) Providers, to select the Software Provider to electronically file your Form 94x returns.

Proof of Filing

Contact your Provider to obtain your proof of filing (acknowledgements).

Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes
Modernized e-File (MeF) Program Information