How do I become an IRS e-File provider? What is the EFIN application process?
Per the IRS, "As of January 1, 2012, any tax return preparer who anticipates preparing and filing 11 or more Forms 1040... during a calendar year must use IRS e-file..." Tax preparers can request a waiver of the e-filing requirement due to hardship with Form 8944. If a return that is generally subject to the e-filing mandate is paper-filed, Form 8948 should be included with the paper-filed return.
Applications to become an IRS e-file provider must be submitted online via a 3-step process:
- Create an IRS e-Services account.
- Submit your application to become an authorized IRS e-file provider.
- Pass a suitability check.
- Approval of the online application can take up to 45 days.
- After receiving your EFIN from the IRS, you will need to register that EFIN with Drake before you will be able to e-file. See Related Links below for the process.
- Additional useful links are:
- Help is available at IRS.gov or through the e-Help Desk at 1-866-255-0654.
- Generally, it is not necessary to reapply for an EFIN each year - see Publication 3112, page 12 for more information.
- Step 2 generally requires fingerprinting; see Publication 3112 for a list of exceptions. "Beginning September 25, 2022, the IRS will implement a new electronic fingerprinting process, requiring you to schedule an appointment with the IRS authorized vendor for fingerprinting." See the IRS website for details.
Note: Be careful when selecting your EFIN type. To e-file through Drake Tax you must have a regular EFIN, not an online filer EFIN. Online filer EFINs begin with 10, 21, 32, 44 or 53 and cannot be used when e-filing from Drake Tax. If you have selected this type of EFIN, you must update your EFIN application by following the steps in section 220.127.116.11.2.1 (09-11-2020) of the IRS manual. EF message 6097 generates in view mode if you have entered this type of EFIN in Setup > Firms.
“If the first two digits of the EFIN in the IRS Submission Manifest are 10, 21, 32, 44, or 53, then “originatorTypeCd” in the Return Header must have the value “OnlineFiler”. Contact the IRS's e-Services for assistance in obtaining a different EFIN type.”