Become an Authorized e-file Provider: Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)

Join the IRS partnership and save money, increase your productivity and build your business, while providing a service the majority of taxpayers now expect. IRS e-file has safely and securely transmitted more than 1 billion tax returns since 1990. Nearly 80 percent of all individual federal returns are now e-filed. Learn more about the program — now required for most tax return preparers — and how to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider. It will be good for your customers and good for your business.

  • Step 1: Create an IRS e-services Account
  • Step 2: Submit Your Application
  • Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check

Step 1: Create an IRS e-services Account

Before you begin the online e-file application, you must have an IRS e-services account, which facilitates electronic interaction with the IRS. When you apply for an e-services account, you will need to:

  • Provide your legal name, Social Security Number (SSN), birth date, phone number, e-mail address and your home mailing address (confirmation of your account will be mailed to you);

  • Provide your Adjusted Gross Income from the current or prior tax year;
  • Create a username, a password and a PIN and provide an answer to a reminder question for your username;
  • Make sure that every principal and responsible official in your firm signs up for e-services; and

Return to e-services to confirm your registration within 28 days of receiving your confirmation code in the mail.
You can find definitions of a principal and a responsible official in IRS Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation.

The verification and approval process for creating an account with IRS e-services can take several days, so plan accordingly.

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

Once essential people are approved for e-services, your firm can begin the application to become an authorized e-file provider.

The application process is not simple, but as a tax professional, you understand these steps are necessary to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system. We all have a stake in maintaining the highest standards for e-file providers.

Because the application is so comprehensive, it is designed so that you can save your data from a session, close out and return to it when convenient.

Another caution about time: It can take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an e-file application. So please plan accordingly and allow enough time.

Several important things to note:

  • First, you will supply identification information for your firm
  • Next, you will enter information about each Principal and Responsible Official in your organization
  • You choose your e-file provider option. If you are a returning preparer and want to e-file for clients, select electronic return originator, or ERO.
  • If the Principal or Responsible Official is someone who is certified or licensed, such as an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent, they must enter current professional status information
  • All other individuals need to provide fingerprints to the IRS. You can get a fingerprint card by calling 866-255-0654

Be fingerprinted by a trained professional - your local police station will likely provide this service for a modest fee or there are commercial services. Then mail the signed and completed card to the IRS at:

    Attn: EFU acceptance STOP 983
    310 Lowell St
    Andover, MA 05501-0001

Your application is complete.

It is the job at the IRS to finish the e-file authorization process for you.

Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check

After you submit your application and related documents, the IRS will conduct a suitability check on the firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official. This may include: a credit check; a tax compliance check; a criminal background check; and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements. Once approved, you will get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

Final Tips

For step-by-step guidance through the e-file application, download Publication 3112 from

Once enrolled, you will be able to serve your clients more effectively. Taxpayers know e-filing is fast and safe and gets them their refunds much more quickly.

Now, you’re just a click away from improving your business and improving service to clients.

Contact us today to learn how to complete IRS EFIN Registration for your tax business.

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