Intermediate Service Providers
An Intermediate Service Provider receives tax information from an Electronic Return Originator (ERO) (or from a taxpayer who files electronically using a personal computer and commercial tax preparation software), processes the tax return information and either forwards the information to a Transmitter or sends the information back to the ERO or taxpayer (for Online Filing).
A Provider participating as an Intermediate Service Provider must meet the following responsibilities to participate in IRS e-file. The Intermediate Service Provider must:
- Deliver all electronic returns to a Transmitter or the ERO who gave the electronic returns to the Intermediate Service Provider within three calendar days of receipt;
- Retrieve the acknowledgment file from the Transmitter within one calendar day of receipt by the Transmitter and send the acknowledgment file to the ERO (whether related or not) within one work day of retrieving it;
- Retain each acknowledgment file received from a Transmitter until the end of the calendar year in which the electronic return was filed;
- Input the TINs and addresses on a Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R or Schedule C as applicable in the electronic return record when they differ from the taxpayer's TIN or address in the electronic individual income tax return as described in Verifying Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) and Be Careful with Addresses if inputting the electronic data; and
- Send any return needing changes as described in " Electronic Return Origination" back to the ERO for correction.
Additional Requirements for Intermediate Service Providers Participating in Online Filing
When the taxpayer files a return using Online Filing, the Intermediate Service Provider processes information for a taxpayer so that a Transmitter can send the electronic return(s) to the IRS. In so doing, the Intermediate Service Provider must:
- Ensure that it uses an Online Filing EFIN which begins with 10, 21, 32, 44 and 53;
- Ensure that its Online Filing EFIN is included in the appropriate field in the electronic return data;
- Send the transmission to the Transmitter within 24 hours of the receipt of the return from the taxpayer;
- Ensure that no more than five tax returns are filed electronically by one software package or from one e-mail address;
- Ensure that software used by the taxpayer does not have an IRS-assigned production password built into the software; and
- Immediately forward to the taxpayer information received from the Transmitter as required for Online Filing. For example, a Transmitter receives information from the IRS regarding the status of the electronic portion of a taxpayer’s return. See "Additional Responsibilities for Participants in Online Filing" in the " Requirements" section.