How to Get an EFIN Number

To become an Authorized IRS e-file provider, you’ll need to obtain your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

What is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)?

 

An electronic filing identification number (EFIN) is a number assigned by the IRS to preparers who are approved for the federal and state e-file program.

 

Once issued, an EFIN does not expire. However, if you change your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or the name of your firm, you will have to either get a new one or update it through the online portal.

 

It’s important to note: everybody who prepares taxes needs a PTIN. However, only your firm needs an EFIN. One per firm or per physical location is usually required.

 

To put even more simply: you need a PTIN to prepare and an EFIN to e-file.

 

How do I get an EFIN?

1. Create an IRS e-Services account on the IRS website.

2. Complete and submit your application to become an authorized IRS e-file provider. It can take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an e-file application, so plan accordingly. All applicants must provide the following:

  • Identification information for your firm

  • Information about each Principal and Responsible Official in your organization

  • Your e-file provider option (if you are a return preparer and want to e-file on behalf of clients, select Electronic Return Originator, or ERO)

 

If the Principal or Responsible Official is a certified or licensed professional, such as an attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent, they must provide their current professional status information.

 

All other applicants must provide a fingerprint card, which can be arranged by calling the IRS toll-free at 866-255-0654. If you need to be fingerprinted, work with a trained professional. There are commercial services, but your local police station will likely provide this service for a modest fee. Then mail the signed and completed card to the IRS.

 

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 receive an acceptance letter from the IRS with your EFIN.