FAQs About Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFIN)


What is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)?

Providers need an EFIN to electronically file tax returns. 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, which includes the EFIN, to the Provider. 

Who is the owner of an EFIN?

The firm owns the EFIN. The firm uses either its Employer Identification Number (EIN) or the sole proprietor’s Social Security number, if it doesn’t have an EIN, to apply for an EFIN.

Who should I include on the e-file application?

Your application must include a Responsible Official who is an individual with authority over the Provider’s IRS e-file operation at the location the EFIN is assigned to. The Responsible Official is the first point of contact with the IRS, has authority to sign revised IRS e-file applications and is responsible for all returns e-filed/originated from that location.

Your application must also include Principals who are authorized to act for the entity in legal and/or tax matters. For example:

  • Sole Proprietor is the Principal.
  • Partnership should list each partner who has 5% or more interest in the partnership.
  • Corporation should list the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.

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. See Provider Roles and ResponsibilitiesPDF in Publication 3112 for more details. 

When can I e-file a return for another Provider or preparer?

If another Authorized IRS e-file Provider (Provider), they must have a valid EFIN. To validate a Provider, they can print a summary of its e-file application via e-services at IRS.gov and provide it to other Providers as needed. You may also check the ERO locator on IRS.gov.

If a preparer, they must be an employee of your firm.

Can my firm e-file a return for a taxpayer which my firm did not prepare?

Yes, as long as my firm gets the return directly from the taxpayer.

What is a compromised EFIN?

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

How do I know when my EFIN has been compromised?

Check the EFIN status of your application to make sure the volume of returns e-filed matches your records. You can also review your acknowledgement report totals. If your records do not agree, your EFIN may have been compromised. 

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

If an EFIN is compromised, we will attempt to contact the firm, inactivate the EFIN, issue a new EFIN and notify the firm in writing.

What actions does the IRS take if there is unauthorized use of an EFIN?

We will review the situation to determine if further action is needed such as a fraud referral.

What are some examples of invalid use of an EFIN?

  • Using an EFIN owned by a previous employer.
  • Using an EFIN that may no longer be associated with your firm.
  • Using an EFIN of a firm whose structure changed due to the death of a Principal listed on the application.

Is an EFIN transferable?

No. Your EFIN is not transferable. Even if you transfer your business by sale, gift or other disposition, you may not transfer your EFIN. You must protect your EFIN from unauthorized use

Is there a fee for an EFIN?

Currently there is no fee to obtain an EFIN. You must apply and pass a suitability and tax compliance check.

Who do I contact if I have a concern or question associated with my EFIN?

Contact the e-help desk at 866-255-0654 (6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT) to find out additional information or visit Information for IRS e-file Providers on IRS.gov if you have questions or concerns in regards to your EFIN. A few examples may be:

  • Report a possible compromised EFIN
  • You haven’t used your EFIN in the last 2 years
  • You are having trouble or have questions about changes to your e-file application