Tax professionals who file more than 10 tax returns a year are required to use IRS e-file. To file electronically, your firm must have an electronic filing identification number or EFIN. And you must obtain your EFIN directly from the IRS and not from any third party. Publication 3112, which is called E-File Application and Participation walks you through the process. But here are some highlights. Becoming an authorized e-file provider is a three-step process; registering for e-services, completing an e-file application, and passing the suitability check. Step one is registering for e-Services. To complete this first step visit IRS.gov/eservices to learn how to create an e-services account. Remember, each principal and responsible official in your firm must create their own e-services account. It may take several days to confirm your account so you will need to plan accordingly. Step two is completing an e-file application. The application process is very detailed, but these steps are necessary to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system. Keep in mind, as you plan out this process, it can take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an e-file provider application. I won't go through every step of completing the application, but here are several important items to note. Make sure you supply identification information such as the employer identification number your firm. Then, choose your email provider option. If you are a return preparer and want to e-file for clients, select electronic return originator or ERO. Also, enter information about each principal and responsible official in your organization. And enter their current professional status, such as attorney, bonded bank official, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, or officer of a publicly traded corporation. You will also need to provide fingerprints to the IRS for each principal and responsible official if they lack professional credentials. You must be fingerprinted by a trained professional. Your local police station will likely provide the service for a modest fee or there are commercial services. Then just mail the signed and completed card to the IRS. Finally, step three is passing a suitability check. Your firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official must pass a suitability check. This may include a tax compliance check, a criminal background check, and other reviews to make sure you previously followed IRS e-file file requirements. Once your application is approved, you'll get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your EFIN. The process may be finished, but your responsibility doesn't stop here. You must maintain, monitor and protect your EFIN. Watch out for and avoid scams. Identity thieves routinely try to steal e-services passwords and EFINs. To get the latest updates and messages, sign up for e-News for Tax Professionals and Quick Alerts. Again for step-by-step guidance on the e-file application process, review Publication 3112 on irs.gov.