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Voluntary Certification Program for Professional Employer Organizations (CPEOs)

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?

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.

How Do I Apply?

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:


How do I apply


Latest News

In accordance with section 7705(f), the IRS has published a list of all organizations that are certified as CPEOs. The list is available by following the CPEO Public Listings link found on the right side of this page. Pursuant to section 7705(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, the term “certified professional employer organization” (CPEO) means a person that applies to be certified as a CPEO and that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has certified as meeting the applicable requirements, including timely filing a properly completed and executed Form 14751, Certified Professional Employer Organization Surety Bond. A person is a CPEO as of the effective date of its certification and remains a CPEO until the IRS revokes its certification or, if earlier, until the CPEO voluntarily terminates its certification.