How Tax Professionals Can Become an IRS Authorized e-file Provider in a Few Simple Steps
If you’re a tax professional looking to electronically file your clients’ federal tax returns, you’ll need to become an IRS authorized e-file provider. The process is straightforward and only requires a few steps. Electronic filing is the safest and most accurate way to submit returns, saving you time in the process.
Applying for Authorization
Tax professionals can complete and submit an e-file provider application online through IRS.gov. The application doesn’t have to be completed all at once; you can save your progress and return to it later.
To complete the application, tax professionals need to:
– Log into an existing account or create a new one with the e-Services e-file application.
– Fill in their business identification information.
– Add information about each principal and responsible official in their organization.
– Choose the e-file provider option.
– Select “Electronic Return Originator” if you’re a tax preparer wanting to offer e-file to your clients.
– If the principal or responsible official is certified or authorized, such as a lawyer, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent, they should add their current professional status information.
If the applicant isn’t yet certified or authorized, they need to schedule an appointment with an IRS-authorized provider to have their fingerprints taken. The link to book an appointment can be found on the e-file application summary page. This service is free of charge.
Passing a Suitability Check
After the IRS receives the application and required information, the agency will conduct a suitability check that may include:
– Credit verification
– Tax compliance verification
– Criminal background check
– Checking for previous non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements
The IRS may take up to 45 days from the date of submission to approve an application. Once the application is approved, the IRS will mail an acceptance letter with the preparer’s Electronic Filing Identification Number.
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