Become an Authorized e-file Provider


IRS e-file has safely and securely transmitted more than one billion tax returns since 1990. Over 90 percent of all individual federal returns are now e-filed. Join our partnership in three easy steps to save money, increase your productivity and build your business, while providing a service most taxpayers now expect.

For additional step-by-step guidance on the e-file application, check out IRS Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and ParticipationPDF.

Step 1: Create an IRS e-Services Account

First you must have an IRS e-Services account, which facilitates electronic interaction with the IRS. All e-Services users must register using an authentication process. Here's what you'll need to create an e-Services account:

  • An email address
  • A readily available mobile device. For instant access, your name must be associated with a U.S.-based mobile phone capable of receiving text messages. You may opt for a mailed activation code during registration if your mobile number cannot be linked to your name
  • Your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Your filing status and address from your last-filed personal tax return;
  • A financial account number linked to your name, including any one of the following:
    • The last 8 digits of your credit card (no American Express, debit or corporate cards)
    • Your student loan account information (enter the student loan account number provided on as it appears on your statement). Note: the IRS can't verify student loans issued by Nelnet
    • Your home mortgage loan, or home equity loan
    • Your home equity line of credit (HELOC)
    • Your car loan

Review these FAQs: e-Services and Secure Access and Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools to learn more about completing the authentication process.

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Step 2: Submit Your Application to Become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider

Once step 1 is complete and essential individual(s) are approved for an e-Services account, your firm can begin the application to become an authorized e-file provider. The application process is comprehensive and is designed to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system in order to maintain the highest standards for e-file providers.

During the application process, you have the option to complete the application at your own pace. The system allows you to save your progress , close out the application and return to it at your convenience. Keep in mind, it can take up to 45 days from the date of submission for the IRS to approve your e-file application.

To complete the application, you'll need to:

  • supply identification information for your firm
  • enter information about each Principal and Responsible Official in your organization
  • choose your e-file provider option. If you're a return preparer and want to e-file for clients, select Electronic Return Originator (ERO).

If the Principal or Responsible Official is certified or licensed, such as an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent, they must enter their current professional status information. All other individuals need to provide fingerprints to the IRS and must be fingerprinted by a trained professional. Your local police station will likely provide this service for a modest fee or there are commercial services. If the trained professional does not have a fingerprint card (Form FD-258) call the IRS e-help Desk at 866-255-0654 to request one.

Once the e-file application is submitted, mail the signed and completed fingerprint card to:

310 Lowell St STOP 983
EFU Acceptance Testing
Andover MA 01810-5430

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Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check

After you submit your application and submit the required information outlined above, the IRS will conduct a suitability check. This suitability check may involve: a credit check; a tax compliance check; a criminal background check; and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements.

If your application is approved, the IRS will send you an acceptance letter with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

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Now, you're just on click away from improving your business and improving service to clients. Once enrolled, you'll serve your clients more effectively. Taxpayers know e-filing is fast, safe and gets them their refunds much more quickly.

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