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Getting Started For The First Time & Don't Know How To Start?

You will need an EFIN. How to apply for EFIN?

What is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)?


An EFIN is a number issued by the IRS to individuals or firms that have been approved as Authorized IRS e-File providers. After providers complete their e-File applications, the IRS sends an acceptance letter with the EFIN included.

What are the EFIN requirements?


Effective in the tax year 2011, federal legislation mandates anyone filing more than 10 returns must electronically file. Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-File Provider with the IRS and obtain an EFIN.

EFINs may cover more than one fixed location to collect data and prepare returns but cannot be used to initiate electronic transmissions from multiple locations. An "other than fixed" location would represent a mobile preparer, such as one who travels to a taxpayer's home to prepare the return. If a preparer has a "fixed" location, the EFIN would need to be assigned to that location. Otherwise only data collection and tax return preparation may occur there. The preparer could not transmit a return from a fixed location without an EFIN. Read more >

Once you have submitted your application to become an Authorized e-File Provider, you will need to send a fingerprint set to the IRS so they can administer a suitability check. This may include a credit check, a criminal background check, a tax compliance check and a check for previous non-compliance with IRS e-File requirements.

If you have more questions on whether or not to obtain your EFIN, visit the FAQ's page on the IRS website.

Become an Authorized e-file Provider

Join our 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

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 return 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 our 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.

You will need a PTIN next.

What is a PTIN and what are the requirements?


 A PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) is anyone who is paid to assist in preparing federal tax returns must have a new PTIN for the current tax year. Keep in mind that PTINs cannot be shared by a firm. Every paid preparer must have their own PTIN before they can assist in preparing federal tax returns.

PTINs expire and need to be renewed every year. This year, all PTINs expire on Dec. 31, so renew or register for a PTIN right now to get a valid PTIN before Jan. 1.

To get a new PTIN, you can either apply online or fill out paper forms. For those who prefer the paper process, keep in mind that it will take about 4-6 weeks to process. Save yourself the weeks of uncertainty and register on the IRS website instead. Applying online takes only about 15 minutes.

Click here to start your process now

Select the right Tax Software for you

Purchase & Download to computer/s

After you have selected your software that fits you and your business. A download link to will be sent to your email you provided. Software release is generally after December 1 -15 of each end of year. Technical Support is available to assist you in setting it up for the 1st time.


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