Planned Outage: Aug. 16-17, 2018
This service will be unavailable from approximately 7 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, until approximately
7 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, due to planned maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The online registration system was recently offline to deploy of number of changes to the CPEO application process. As a result, several of the CPEO pages on IRS.gov have been updated to address the changes.
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.
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.
- 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:
- Individual Identity Verification
- Responsible Individual Personal Attestation (RIPA)
- Create a Controlled Group
- CPEO Application
The online registration system has been updated to include new processes for controlled groups. The Create a Controlled Group link above provides instructions on creating a controlled group license for new CPEO applicants and existing CPEOs. Additionally, the system has a new transaction for submission of annual audited financial statements. More information can be found on the Requirements for Maintaining Certification as a CPEO page.