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IRS e-file Rules and Requirements

All Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) must adhere to IRS e-file rules and requirements to continue participation in IRS e-file. Requirements are included in Revenue Procedure 2007-40, throughout this publication and in other publications and notices that govern IRS e-file (See Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation). All Providers must adhere to all rules and requirements, regardless of where published. Some rules and requirements are specific to the activities performed by the Provider and are included in appropriate chapters of this publication. The following list, while not all‑inclusive, applies to all Providers of individual income tax returns, except Software Developers that do not engage in any other IRS e‑file activity other than software development. A Provider must:

  1. Maintain an acceptable cumulative error or reject rate;
  2. Adhere to the requirements for ensuring that tax returns are properly signed;
  3. Properly use the standard/non-standard Form W-2 indicator;
  4. Properly use the Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) indicator;
  5. Include the Electronic Return Originator's (ERO’s) Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) as the return EFIN for returns the ERO submits to an Intermediate Service Provider or Transmitter;
  6. Include the Intermediate Service Provider's EFIN in the designated Intermediate Service Provider field in the electronic return record;
  7. Submit an electronic return to the IRS with information that is identical to the information provided to the taxpayer on the copy of the return.

Additional Requirements for Participants in Online Filing

In addition to the above, participants in Online Filing must adhere to the following:

  1. Ensure that no more than five electronic returns are filed from one software package or one e-mail address;
  2. Supply a taxpayer with an accurate Submission ID;
  3. Submit any changes to the following information to the IRS Headquarters Online Filing Analyst, SE:W:CAS:SP:ES:I, 5000 Ellin Road, Lanham, MD 20706, by the 31st day of December preceding the filing season:
    1. The brand name of the software the Provider will be using, has developed or will use for transmission. Required information about the software includes its Software Developer, Transmitter, retail cost and any additional costs for transmitting the electronic portion of the taxpayer’s return. Additionally, software changes involving its use to file Federal/State returns, Internet availability (including the Internet address), successful completion of Assurance Testing System (ATS) and the Professional Package name under which the software was tested must be reported;
    2. The Provider’s point of contact for matters relating to Online Filing and the telephone number for the point of contact;
    3. The applicant’s customer service number; and
    4. The procedures the applicant will use to ensure that one software package or one e-mail address transmits no more than five returns.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Oct-2016