Q:

How do you apply for a Electronic Filing Identification Number?

A:

Quick Answer

To apply for an electronic filing identification number, create an Internal Revenue Service e-services account, fill out the application to become an authorized e-file provider and pass a suitability check, advises the IRS. The process for verification and approval of an account can take several days.

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Full Answer

The IRS requires any tax return preparer who files 11 or more tax returns during the tax year to become e-file providers and receive EFIN numbers, notes the IRS. To apply for an EFIN, follow the steps below.

  1. Create an e-services account with the IRS
  2. The application for an EFIN is only available to preparers with IRS e-services accounts. Apply for an account on the IRS website by providing identifying information, creating a user name, password and personal identification number, and waiting for a confirmation code to arrive via mail. Return to the e-services app on IRS website to enter the code and confirm registration.

  3. Submit the e-file application
  4. Log in to your e-services account, and then access the e-file application. Choose an e-file provider option; most preparers choose the electronic return originator. Enter identification and supply information as prompted.

  5. Pass the IRS suitability check
  6. The final step in approval is to pass the IRS suitability check, notes the IRS. This usually involves a tax compliance check, credit check, criminal background check and determining if the applicant has always complied with e-file requirements. Once approved, an acceptance letter is mailed to the applicant along with the applicant's EFIN.

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