must sign up for an IRS e-Services account, which is the first step in beginning the application to become an e-file provider. An e-services account allows you to interact electronically with the IRS. When you apply for an e-Services account, you will need to provide:
The next step is a little more difficult, but the IRS says that it’s more comprehensive in order to protect the integrity of the e-file system. You will need to fill out and submit your application through your e-services account that you set up in step one. To submit your app, follow the steps below:
The e-file application process is comprehensive, designed to allow you to save your data during the session and to return to the application when convenient. Plan accordingly since the IRS may take up to 45 days to approve an Authorized IRS e-file Provider application.
The third and final step in the application process is to 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 get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).
Follow this link and Apply Now to Become an E-file Provider!
The E-File Mandate and Mailing Tax Returns to the IRS:
The IRS recognizes that the e-file mandate may create unforeseen or unavoidable difficulties for immediate compliance, particularly in situations where tax return preparers have customarily mailed individual income tax returns to the IRS as part of the preparer’s general business practice.
For tax year 2011, a tax return preparer who prepared individual income tax returns could mail any such return in paper format to the IRS, at the request of the taxpayer.
The following language contained in a signed statement was considered sufficient to show that a taxpayer chose to have the individual income tax return filed in paper format, and had requested that the tax return preparer mail the return on the taxpayer’s behalf:
“I do not want to have my income tax return electronically filed, and I choose to have my return filed on paper forms. I have asked my tax return preparer to mail my paper return to the IRS on my behalf.”
The above statement was meant to be retained by the tax preparer and not attached to the taxpayer’s individual income tax return.
For 2011 tax returns, Form 8948 Preparer Explanation for Not Filing Electronically should have been attached to a mailed-in tax return.
At this time, the IRS has not indicated precisely what allowances will be made for mailing tax year 2012 returns. Indications are the same rules that were followed for 2011 tax returns will apply to 2012 returns.
To satisfy the requirements for the IRS e-file mandate, members of tax preparation firms must count all the returns prepared by the firm. If the number of income tax returns prepared by the firm is 11 or more, then all members of the firm generally must e-file the returns they prepare and file. This is true even if a member expects to prepare and file fewer than 11 returns on an individual basis.