IRS Requirements for Tax Return Preparers
Updated for tax return year 2016 (returns due April 18, 2017)
Requirements for all tax return preparers
- If you don't have one, obtain an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). You must e-file if you file 11 or more individual federal returns per calendar year, and you must have an IRS-issued EFIN in order to e-file. (An EFIN designates you as an authorized e-file provider.) To apply for an EFIN, use the IRS' e-Services - Online Tools for Tax Professionals. It can take up to 45 days to receive your EFIN, so apply early!
- Verify your EFIN information with TaxAct Professional. In order to help prevent identity theft, protect your and your clients' data, and comply with IRS requirements, we must verify EFIN credentials for all of our professional customers. Having your EFIN verified prior to the start of tax season will help avoid disruption to your e-filing services.
In order to help prevent identity theft, protect your and your clients' data, and comply with IRS requirements, we must verify EFIN credentials for all of our professional customers. Please submit a copy of your IRS e-file application summary that includes your tracking number to TaxAct Professional for verification. This one-time verification process must be completed for each EFIN used in your office(s).
Generally, professionals who have been verified in a previous year will not need to be re-verified; however, it is possible TaxAct may request that you re-verified in order to e-file. You can check your EFIN verification status in your TaxAct Account starting on Dec. 27, 2016. If your EFIN is rejected for any reason, we will notify you via email.
To submit your IRS e-file application summary or to check that status of your EFIN verification:
- Sign in to your IRS e-Services account and print your e-Services Summary page with your EFIN Tracking Number.
- Sign in to your TaxAct Account and click the "Practice Administration" tile.
- Click on "EFIN Verification" to expand and follow the instructions.
- Apply for or renew your preparer tax identification number (PTIN) annually. If you prepare or assist in preparing federal returns for compensation, or you are an Enrolled Agent, you must apply for or renew your PTIN each year by December 31. The application and renewal period will begin early November and the fee is $50. The fastest way to renew is using the IRS' online registration system, as receipt of your PTIN is immediate upon successful registration or renewal. If you mail Form W-12, response time is 4-6 weeks.
Continuing education is no longer a mandatory requirement.