Tax Professionals Should Perform Periodic Check of EFIN Status

Post Date: 12/7/15
Last Updated: 12/7/15


Cross References
- FS-2015-27, November 30, 2015

The IRS is advising tax professionals gearing up for the 2016 filing season that they should include a review of their Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) status to ensure its accuracy and security.

The Internal Revenue Service issues EFINs to Authorized IRS e-file Providers which en- ables the tax professional to file tax returns electronically. The IRS reminds professionals that EFINs are available only by accessing IRS e-services and recipients must meet cer- tain requirements, including a background check, in order to qualify.

The IRS recommends that tax professionals should take certain steps prior to and during the filing season. These include:
- Review the e-file application on e-services at before the filing season. The e-file application information should be updated within 30 days of any changes, such as individuals involved, addresses or telephone numbers. Failure to do so may result in the inactivation of a tax professional's EFIN.
- Ensure proper individuals are identified on the application. The application should only include individuals as Principals who are authorized to act for the business entity in legal and/or tax matters. For example:
   - Sole proprietor is the Principal.
   - Partnership should list each partner who has 5% or more interest in the partnership.
   - Corporation should list the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.
- Identify one or more responsible officials. A responsible official is an individual with authority over the Provider's IRS e-file operation at a location, is the first point of contact with the IRS, and has authority to sign revised IRS e-file applications. The responsible official may oversee IRS e-file operations at one or more offices but must be able to fulfill identified responsibilities for each of the offices. If one individual cannot fulfill these responsibilities, add responsible officials to the e-file application.
- If a tax professional is an Electronic Return Originator (ERO) and plans on opening a new location, the tax professional only needs to have one EFIN unless offices are transmitting returns from multiple locations. This means each business location transmitting returns needs its own EFIN and all records would be maintained at that location.
- Help safeguard the tax professional's EFIN. During the filing season, check on the EFIN status to ensure that the EFIN is not being used by others improperly. The e-file application will help verify the volume received by the IRS which can be matched with the tax professional's records. The statistics are updated weekly. If there is a higher volume than what the tax professional transmitted, contact the e-Help Desk at 866-255-0654.
- Transmitters must ensure they are transmitting only for Authorized IRS e-file Providers. Request that other Providers supply information to verify they are Authorized IRS e-file Providers. They should provide the transmitter with a current copy of the application summary page from their e-services account.
- A tax professional is not allowed to employ or contract any firm, organization or individual denied participation in IRS e-file, or suspended or expelled from participating in IRS e-file.

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