Modernized e-File (MeF) for Employment Taxes offers an improved way to file Forms 940, 940-PR, 941, 941-PR, 941-SS, 943, 943-PR, 944 and 945 electronically.
The general requirements to participate in MeF for Employment Taxes can be found in:
•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
Taxpayers who want to file their return electronically do not complete an IRS e-file Application. They must choose a software provider that best suits their needs. If the 94x On-Line Filer chooses to become an IRS Authorized Signer, they must use software that includes the Form 94x On-Line PIN Signature Registration. It may take up to 45 days to receive your PIN, so plan ahead.
To become an IRS Authorized 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 the additional governing rules and regulations for information you need to know regarding the roles and responsibilities of Authorized IRS e-file Providers. For details, see the Publication 3112 and Revenue Procedure 2007-40.
Features of the System
•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
For the purposes of MeF for Employment Taxes, a taxpayer is any business entity that has employees, and has a requirement to file Employment Tax Returns with the IRS.
The taxpayer has two (2) methods to e-file their return:
•They may choose to become a 94x On-Line e-Filer participant using IRS approved software. There are three signature methods available (Online Signature PIN, Practitioner PIN and Form 8453-EMP).
•Or, they may use the services of an Authorized e-file Provider.
Taxpayers do not file directly to the IRS. Visit E-file Forms 940, 941, 943, 944 or 945 for Small Businesses to explore your options.
Taxpayer Fact Sheet
Electronic Return Originator
An Electronic Return Originator 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 family); an Authorized IRS e-file Provider must be used for this purpose.
ERO Fact Sheet
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 of the electronic returns they file with a single PIN signature.
Third Party Transmitters
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
Companies that develop software for their own use, or commercial sale for the purpose of electronically filing employment tax returns, the software must pass an Assurance Testing process prior to being approved for e-filing.
Where Can I Find Additional Information?
Software Developers and Transmitters who are interested in developing software for employment tax returns can find additional information on the 94x MeF Schemas and Business Rules page. This page will provide technical guidance and links to the 94x XML Schemas, Business Rules and other useful information by tax year.