Join our partnership and save money, increase your productivity and build your business, while providing a service the majority of taxpayers now expect. IRS e-file has safely and securely transmitted more than 1 billion tax returns since 1990. Nearly 90 percent of all individual federal returns are now e-filed. Learn more about the program — now required for most tax return preparers — and how to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider. It will be good for your customers and good for your business.

Step 1: Create an IRS e-services Account
Step 2: Submit Your Application
Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check

 Step 1: Create an IRS e-services Account

Before you begin the online e-file application, you must have an IRS e-services account, which facilitates electronic interaction with the IRS. All e-Services users must register using a two-factor authentication process called Secure Access. Here's what you need to get started:

  • A readily available email address;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • Your filing status and address from your last-filed tax return;
  • Your personal account number from a:
    • credit card, or
    • home mortgage loan, or
    • home equity (second mortgage) loan, or
    • home equity line of credit (HELOC), or
    • car loan
      • (The IRS does not retain this data)
  • A readily available mobile device. For instant access, your name must be associated with a U.S-based mobile phone capable of receiving text messages. If the mobile number cannot be linked to your name, you may opt for a mailed activation code during registration.

You Before starting the identity proofing process, you should review Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools to learn what you will need to complete the process and how the process will work. You should also review FAQs: e-Services and Secure Access.

 

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 Step 2: Submit Your Application to Become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider

Once essential people are approved for e-services, your firm can begin the application to become an authorized e-file provider.

The application process is not simple, but as a tax professional, you understand these steps are necessary to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system. We all have a stake in maintaining the highest standards for e-file providers.

Because the application is so comprehensive, it is designed so that you can save your data from a session, close out and return to it when convenient.

Another caution about time: It can take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an e-file application. So please plan accordingly and allow enough time.

Several important things to note:

  • First, you will supply identification information for your firm
  • Next, you will enter information about each Principal and Responsible Official in your organization
  • You choose your e-file provider option. If you are a return preparer and want to e-file for clients, select electronic return originator, or ERO.
  • If the Principal or Responsible Official is someone who is certified or licensed, such as an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent, they must enter current professional status information
  • All other individuals need to provide fingerprints to the IRS. You can get a fingerprint card by calling 866-255-0654

Be fingerprinted by a trained professional - your local police station will likely provide this service for a modest fee or there are commercial services. Then mail the signed and completed card to the IRS at:

310 LOWELL ST STOP 983
EFU ACCEPTANCE TESTING
ANDOVER MA 01810-5430

Your application is complete.

It is our job at the IRS to finish the e-file authorization process for you.

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Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check

After you submit your application and related documents, the IRS will conduct a suitability check on the firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official. This may include: a credit check; a tax compliance check; a criminal background check; and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements. Once approved, you will get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

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Final Tips

For step-by-step guidance through the e-file application, download Publication 3112 from IRS.gov

Once enrolled, you will be able to serve your clients more effectively. Taxpayers know e-filing is fast and safe and gets them their refunds much more quickly.

Now, you’re just a click away from improving your business and improving service to clients.

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