Planned Outage: March 21-22, 2019
This service will be unavailable from approximately 7 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, March 21, 2019, until approximately 7 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, March 22, 2019, due to planned maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Additional information about reporting service contract start dates on Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement, has been added to the Form 8973 FAQs on the Help page.
What is the CPEO Program?
The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, enacted Dec. 19, 2014, requires the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations (PEOs). PEOs handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are typically paid a fee based on payroll costs.
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for certification as a CPEO, a PEO:
- Must be a business entity.
- Must have at least one physical business location within the United States.
- Should have a history of federal, state, and local tax compliance, financial responsibility, and organizational integrity.
- Should be managed by individuals (a majority of whom are US citizens or residents) who have knowledge or experience regarding federal and state employment tax compliance and business practices relating to those compliance requirements.
How Do I Apply?
The IRS uses an Online Registration System for PEO certification. Click the “How Do I Apply” link below for instructions for the fingerprint process and the application system.
The sequence for completing an application for certification is as follows:
- Individual Identity Verification
- Responsible Individual Personal Attestation (RIPA)
- Create a Controlled Group
- CPEO Application
The online registration system has been updated to include new processes for controlled groups. The Create a Controlled Group link above provides instructions on creating a controlled group license for new CPEO applicants and existing CPEOs. Additionally, the system has a new transaction for submission of annual audited financial statements. More information can be found on the Requirements for Maintaining Certification as a CPEO page.