Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes

Modernized e-file (MeF) for Employment Taxes offers a secure and accurate way to file the following forms electronically:

  • Form 940, Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return
  • Form 940 (PR), Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return
  • Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
  • Form 941 (PR), Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
  • Form 941-SS, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return
  • Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees
  • Form 943 (PR), Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees
  • Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return
  • Form 945, Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax


The general requirements to participate in the Employment Tax e-file program can be found in:

Publication 4163, Modernized e-File (MeF) Information for Authorized IRS e-file Providers for Business Returns
Publication 4164, Modernized e-File (MeF) Guide for Software Developers and Transmitters
Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation
Revenue Procedure 2007-40, Authorized IRS e-file Provider Responsibilities
Revenue Procedure 2012-32, Requirements for Completing and Submitting Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization
Publication 1474, Technical Specification Guide for Reporting Agent Authorization and Federal Tax Depositors
Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide
 
To become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider, you must first complete an IRS e-file Application. You will need to select the provider role(s) that best meets the needs of your company. Review Publication 3112 and Revenue Procedure 2007-40 for the governing rules and regulations regarding the roles and responsibilities of an Authorized IRS e-file Provider.

Features of the MeF System
More Filing Options - For a list of forms and schedules accepted for Employment Taxes refer to the applicable Employment Tax MeF Accepted Forms and Schedules list on the Employment Tax Schemas and Business Rules webpage.
Note: Amended Employment Tax returns cannot be filed electronically at this time. Corrections to Employment Tax returns must be made using the applicable Employment Tax, Adjusted Tax Form. For more information, refer to Correcting Employment Taxes.
More Explicit Error Conditions - Error conditions pinpoint the location of the error in the transmission, and provide complete information for each error identified.
Faster Acknowledgements - Transmissions are processed upon receipt, and acknowledgements are returned in near real-time.
Integrated Payment Option - Owe Taxes? - You can e-file a balance due return and, at the same time, authorize an electronic funds withdrawal from your bank account or pay by credit card. Payments are subject to limitations of the Federal Tax Deposit Rules.
Electronic Signature Process - Taxpayers and Reporting Agents can continue to sign their returns with their own IRS issued Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Who Can Participate

Taxpayer

A taxpayer is any business entity that has employees and has a requirement to file Employment Tax Returns with the IRS.

There are two convenient ways businesses can e-file:

Taxpayer Fact Sheet

Electronic Return Originator

An Electronic Return Originator (ERO) is any entity that "originates" the electronic submission of tax returns to the IRS. EROs are identified by an Electronic Filer Identification Number (EFIN). An ERO does not originate its own Employment Tax returns (Form 94x series); an Authorized IRS e-file Provider must be used for this purpose.

ERO Fact Sheet

Reporting Agents

A Reporting Agent is an accounting service, franchiser, bank, or other person that complies with Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2012-32 and is authorized to prepare and electronically file Employment Tax Returns for a taxpayer. Reporting Agents can sign all the electronic returns they file with a single PIN signature.

Reporting Agent Fact Sheet
 

Third Party Transmitters

A Transmitter is a firm, organization or individual that receives electronic return data from taxpayers, ERO’s and Reporting Agents may reformat the data (if necessary), batch it with returns from other filers, and transmit the data to the IRS.

Transmitter Fact Sheet

Software Developers

A Software Developer develops software for the purposes of formatting electronic return information according to IRS e-file specifications and/or transmitting electronic return information directly to the IRS. Software Developers must pass Assurance testing before they are approved to e-file. A listing of software that has been approved to electronically file business returns can be found on Approved IRS e-file for Business Providers.

Software Developer Fact Sheet


Where Can I Find Additional Information?

Software Developers and Transmitters who are interested in developing software for Employment Taxes can find additional information on the Employment Tax Schemas and Business Rules webpage. This webpage will provide technical guidance and links to the Employment Tax Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schemas, Business Rules, and other useful information by tax year.


Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes – Frequently Asked Questions
Modernized e-File (MeF) Program Information