In order to prepare tax returns for compensation, you must acquire a Preparer’s Tax Identification Number (“PTIN”) before starting a tax business. In order to originate electronic returns, validly obtain the taxpayer's authorization to e-file their return, or electronically file tax returns, you must acquire an Electronic Filing Identification Number (“EFIN”).
Preparer’s Tax Identification Number
A PTIN is an identification number all paid tax return preparers must use on U.S. federal tax returns submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. You can obtain a PTIN online at irs.gov at a cost of $50.00 per year. Your PTIN must be renewed each year after October 15th. All America’s Tax Office Affiliates must obtain and maintain a valid PTIN.
Please understand if you already have a PTIN, and we learn that your PTIN is under investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigations Division or other authorities, or your PTIN is in any way connected with fraudulent activity, we will not do business with you.
Electronic Filing Identification Number
An EFIN is a six digit number assigned by the IRS to a business or organization (it can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other entity) admitting that entity into the IRS e-file program and making it an IRS Authorized e-file Provider empowered to originate the electronic submission of returns to the IRS (“ERO” or "Electronic Return Originator").
Although there is no cost, the EFIN application process will require you to submit your fingerprints and undergo a suitability check (criminal history, tax debt history etc.). Without an EFIN, you cannot e-file tax returns or engage in any e-file activities (See IRS Publication 3112). You can, however, open and operate a tax preparation center: a place where tax returns are only prepared and collected and forwarded to another location for electronic return origination, compliance review by an EFIN holder or other Responsible Party, signature by the taxpayer, and/or electronic submission (transmission) to the IRS (See ATO Beginner and ATO Intermediate Packages.)
Contact us today to learn how to complete IRS registration for your tax preparation business or more information on opening a tax office.