Tax pros: Become authorized as an IRS e-file provider in just a few simple steps

IRS Tax Tip 2023-122, Nov. 13, 2023

To file their clients' federal tax returns electronically, a tax professional needs to become an authorized e-file provider. The process takes only a few steps. E-filing is the most secure and accurate way to file returns, and it saves time.

How to apply

Tax pros can complete and submit an authorized e-file provider application online with They can complete the application at their own pace, save their progress and return to it later.

To complete the application, tax pros should:

  1. Sign into an existing account or create a new account with the e-Services e-file application.
  2. Fill out identification information for their firm.
  3. Enter information about each principal and responsible official in their organization.
  4. Choose the e-file provider option.
  5. Select "Electronic Return Originator" if they are return preparers who want to offer e-file to their clients.
  6. If the principal or responsible official is certified or licensed – such as an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent – they must enter their current professional status information.

Get fingerprinted

If the applicant isn't already certified or licensed, they must schedule an appointment with the IRS-authorized vendor for fingerprinting. The scheduling link is on the e-file application summary page. There is no charge for this service.

Pass a suitability check

After the IRS receives the application and required information, the agency will conduct a suitability check which may include a:

  • Credit check
  • Tax compliance check
  • Criminal background check
  • Check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements

It can take up to 45 days from the date of submission for the IRS to approve an application. Once an application is approved, the IRS sends an acceptance letter in the mail with the preparer's Electronic Filing Identification number.

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