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Voluntary Certification Program for Professional Employer Organizations (CPEOs)


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information    You do not need to contact the IRS regarding the status of your CPEO application. You can check the status of your application by logging in to your online account.
What is the CPEO Program?

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, enacted Dec. 19, 2014, requires the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations (PEOs). PEOs handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are typically paid a fee based on payroll costs.

Learn more about the CPEO Program

Am I Eligible?   How Do I Apply?

To be eligible for certification as a CPEO, a PEO:

  • must be a business entity;
  • must have at least one physical business location within the United States;
  • should have a history of federal, state, and local tax compliance, financial responsibility, and organizational integrity; and
  • should be managed by individuals (a majority of whom are US citizens or residents) who have knowledge or experience regarding federal and state employment tax compliance and business practices relating to those compliance requirements.

The IRS uses an Online Registration System for PEO certification. Click the “How Do I Apply” link below for instructions for the fingerprint process and the application system.

The sequence for completing an application for certification is as follows:


Login to the Certified Professional Employer Organizations (CPEO).


Latest News

IRS Approves First Group of Certified Professional Employer Organizations; More Expected in Coming Months

IRS regulations require quarterly documents be submitted by the last day of the second month after the end of each calendar quarter, which is May 31 for the first quarter.  However, due to the systemic upgrades, quarterly documents submitted for the first quarter of 2017 that are submitted by June 2, 2017, will be considered timely. See FAQ 36  for the process of uploading quarterly documents while your application is being reviewed. Additionally, instructions have been added to Requirements for Maintaining Certification as a CPEO regarding the upload of quarterly documents once you have been certified.  


Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Jun-2017

Login to the Certified Professional Employer Organizations (CPEO).