How to Maintain, Monitor and Protect Your EFIN


The Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) is your key to better serving your clients while meeting federal requirements for electronic filing of tax returns. Once you complete the e-file application process and receive your EFIN, you must keep your information up to date and protect it from theft.

Tax professionals seeking to become Authorized IRS e-file Providers Provider must review Publication 3112 PDF for details about the application process and requirements. You are responsible for maintaining, monitoring and protecting your EFIN and e-Services account.

Maintaining your EFIN

Once you’ve completed the EFIN application process and received your EFIN, it’s important that you keep your account up to date at all times. This includes:

  1. Reviewing your e-file application periodically. Your e-file application must be updated within 30 days of any changes such as individuals involved, addresses or telephone numbers. Failure to do so may result in the inactivation of your EFIN.
  2. Ensuring proper individuals are identified on the application, and updating as necessary. The principal listed on the application is the individual authorized to act for the business in any legal or tax matters.
  3. Adding any new principals or responsible officials.
  4. Updating any business address changes, including adding new locations.
  5. Your EFIN is not transferable; if you sell your businesses, the new principals must obtain their own EFIN.
  6. There must be an EFIN application for each office location; if you expand your business, an application is required for each location where e-file transmissions will occur.

Monitoring your EFIN

Help safeguard your EFIN. During the filing season, check on your EFIN Status page to ensure that it is not being used by others. Your EFIN Status page gives you the number of returns the IRS received, which you can match to your records. The statistics are updated weekly. Please contact the IRS e-help Desk at 866-255-0654 if you see a significantly higher volume than you transmitted.

Once you have logged into your e-Services account, follow these steps to verify the number of returns electronically filed with the IRS:

  1. Select your ‘Organization’.
  2. Select the ‘View/Edit’ icon
  3. Select ‘EFIN Status’ from the menu at the top of the Application Summary Screen
  4. Locate the EFIN Stats at the bottom of the EFIN Status page

Protecting your EFIN

Increasingly, identity thieves are targeting tax professionals in an effort to gain access to client data or other sensitive information. A common scam involves efforts by criminals to steal tax professionals’ e-Service account passwords and EFINs, sometimes posing as the IRS or e-Services. See Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Learn to recognize and avoid phishing scams Do not open links or attachments from suspicious emails. Most data thefts begin with a phishing email.
  2. Secure your devices with security software and let it automatically update.
  3. Use strong passwords of 10 or more mixed characters. Password protect all wireless devices.
  4. Encrypt all sensitive files/emails and use strong password protections.
  5. Back up sensitive data to a safe and secure external source not connected fulltime to your network.
  6. Wipe clean or destroy old computer hard drives that contain sensitive data.
  7. Create a data security plan; see Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data PDF.

Please note:  The IRS continuously reviews EFINs and takes the necessary actions to inactivate any EFINs that are found to be compromised by an unauthorized firm or individual. The firm using the invalid EFIN will encounter Business Rule 905 when they e-file returns. The firm must call the e-help Desk at 1-866-255-0654 to request a new EFIN. 

Maintain Contact with the IRS

All authorized IRS e-file providers should maintain contact with the IRS to learn of e-file updates. e-Services users can  subscribe to Quick Alerts. Tax practitioners also can sign up for e-News for Tax Professionals or e-News for Payroll Professionals.

Tax professionals also can follow the IRS on social media at IRStaxpros (Facebook) or @IRStaxpros (Twitter) where scam alerts are often posted.

Please note: Don’t become a victim. Cybercriminals often pose as the IRS or the “e-Services Help Desk” and/or create fake e-Services web pages to steal users’ passwords.  If an email asks you to update your account, do not click any links. Go directly to and log in to your Services account.


How to Maintain, Monitor and Protect Your EFIN