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Getting Started

Apply to participate in IRS e-file using the IRS e-file Application at Applying is an easy three-step process (explained later). This applies to all applicants that want to develop software or e-file Forms 56, 720, 940, 941, 943, 944, 945, 990 series, 1040 series, 1041,1065, 1120 series, 2290, 8849, 9465, certain state income tax returns, and extensions of time to file individual, business and exempt organization returns.  

Filing state tax returns electronically is an additional business decision. Federal/State e-file is cooperative tax filing between the IRS and most of the states that have taxes. It allows electronic filing of both federal and state tax returns at one time. Each participating state has its own requirements, but all of the states require that the IRS accept applicants to participate in IRS e-file before they will accept the applicant to participate in their state electronic filing programs.

The IRS may conduct pilot programs looking for ways to improve and simplify IRS e-file. The IRS may conduct pilot programs within a limited geographic area or with a limited taxpayer or practitioner community. The rules for pilot programs are contained in implementing documents referred to as “Memoranda of Understanding” (MOU) or “Memoranda of Agreement” (MOA). The implementing document has the same force as Revenue Procedure 2007-40.

Applicants must become familiar with the rules and requirements for participation in IRS e-file by reading the applicable IRS e-file documents. Publication 1345 Handbook for authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Returns provides rules and requirements for participation in IRS e-file. Violation of a provision of Publication. 1345 or this publication may subject an e-file Provider to sanctions. As noted in Publication 1345, those sanctions may include suspension, expulsion or other legal action. More details on potential sanctions are provided below. See Appendix for list of publications and other sources of information about IRS e-file. Applicants with questions, or who do not know where to begin may call IRS e-help, toll-free at (866) 255-0654 for assistance.


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 27-Apr-2017