Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-file provider with the IRS. Effective October 1, 2012, applications to become an IRS e-file provider must be submitted online. The IRS will no longer accept paper e-file applications. This process is facilitated by the IRS in three easy steps:
- Step 1: Create an IRS e-services Account – Before you can begin the application process, you must apply and be approved for an e-services account with the IRS. The IRS may take several days to verify and approve your information, so it is important to plan accordingly.
- Step 2: Submit Your Application – After you are approved for e-services, you will be able to log into your account to fill out the online application to become an IRS e-file provider. Plan accordingly as it may take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an Authorized e-file Provider application.
- Step 3: Pass a Suitability Check – After you submit your application and any 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).
The online application process takes 4-6 weeks to complete – don’t delay, become an e-file provider today.
NOTE: Existing e-file providers must now use e-Services to make account updates.
Help is available at IRS.gov – Become an Authorized e-file Provider or through the e-Help Desk at 1.866.255.0654 (512.416.7750 for international calls), Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (CST). Frequently Asked Questions are available to answer questions and guide preparers through the application process.