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New IRS e-file Rule for Providers to Obtain a Foreign EFIN Q & As

Q. What does "Business-related group" mean?  
A. “Business-related group” is broad to include any business relationship. The
      Provider establishes its own policies regarding the firms in its “business-related
      group” it wants to obtain EFINs for. 

Q. Does the Provider have to obtain EFINs for all such firms in its “business-related
     group”? 
A. No, each Provider may establish its own policies to determine the firms for which it
     will obtain an EFIN and how it monitors the use of the EFIN. Since the Provider is
     responsible for the other firm’s adherence to the IRS e-file rules, the Provider
     should only obtain EFINs for other firms it knows to be trustworthy.

Q. Will the IRS evaluate each application on a case by case basis?
A. The Provider submits an IRS e-file application for each EFIN it obtains. The IRS
     issues EFINs to the Provider for each location from which the firm in its
     “business-related group” will originate the electronic submission of returns. The
     Provider includes its address as the mailing address, but the physical address (on
     the e-file application) will be the other firm’s address.

Q. How is the Provider responsible for the other firm?  
A. The Provider will only be responsible for the business-related firm’s adherence to
     e-file rules. The Provider is not responsible for the preparation of returns of the firm
     in its “business-related group.”

Q. May a United States firm challenge the authorized use of an EFIN by a foreign firm
     and stop the foreign firm from continued use of its EFIN?
A. The Provider is responsible for its EFINs and may delete the EFIN assigned to any
     firm location when it determines appropriate.

Q. How will the IRS enforce the e-file rules when the e-filer is outside the US and is
     only “associated” with an Authorized IRS e-file Provider?
A. The IRS will look to the Principals and Responsible Officials for the location if
     necessary to assist the IRS in gathering information to address potential violations
     of IRS e-file rules.

Q. What will the IRS do if the other firm is not adhering to e-file rules? 
A. The IRS has the option to inactivate the EFIN for a “business-related” firm that is
     not adhering to IRS e-file rules without sanctioning the Provider or impacting its
     other EFINs. Most likely though the IRS will ask the Provider to relinquish the
     EFIN.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 23-Mar-2016