EFINs, ETINs and Password

By | January 18, 2016

Providers must protect their EFINs, ETINs and passwords from unauthorized use. Providers must never share the numbers and passwords with others including not transferring EFINs or ETINs to another entity when transferring the business by sale, gift or other disposition. If the IRS learns of a compromised EFIN or ETIN, we will change the number and notify the Provider by mail.


Requesting New ETIN

The IRS mails a security letter to Transmitters, Software Developers and Online Providers containing a replacement password when necessary. The last two digits of the corresponding Electronic Transmitter Identification Number (ETIN) are in the letterhead.


Getting ETIN to File Taxes

All Providers must include their identification numbers with the electronic return data of all returns it transmits to the IRS. If more than one Authorized IRS e-file Provider is involved in the origination and transmission of the return data, applicable electronic filing identification numbers (EFIN and ETIN) for each Provider must be included in the electronic return record. Online Providers must include an EFIN with a Prefix Code of 10, 21, 32, 44 or 53 with each Online Return.


Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers)

Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) may use only other Authorized IRS e-file Providers to perform IRS e-file activities, including but not limited to origination and transmission of electronic submission. For example, Transmitters must ensure they are transmitting only for Providers. Providers should request other Providers provide information to ascertain that they are Authorized IRS e-file Providers. Care is necessary to safeguard IRS e-file.


Using Third Parties for IRS e-file Related Activities

Authorized IRS e-file Providers may associate with third parties that are not Authorized IRS e-fileProviders for related activities only if the third party agrees to adhere to all applicable requirements for participation in IRS e-file. The IRS may require the Provider to discontinue their association with third parties that are not adhering to IRS e-file requirements. The IRS may also sanction a Provider that knowingly and either directly or indirectly associates with a third party that is not adhering to applicable IRS e-file requirements.


Applicants and Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers)

Applicants and Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) must either submit a new application or reapply for any of the reasons below. Principals and Responsible Officials may have to provide fingerprints or professional status information.

  • They never participated in IRS e-file
  • They were previously denied participation in IRS e-file
  • They were previously suspended from IRS e-file
  • They have not submitted any e-file returns for more than two years
  • The structure of the business has changed, requiring use of a new or different Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)


Changes to Your IRS e-file Application

Authorized IRS e-file Providers (Providers) should ensure that the IRS has current information by reviewing and updating their IRS e-file Applications. Providers may review their IRS e-fileApplication information electronically via e-services. A Principal, Responsible Official or a Delegated User authorized to revise an IRS e-file Application may submit all revisions.


Updating E-File Application

Providers must submit updates within thirty days of a change of any information. It is important to provide updates such as, changes to business structure, Principals, Responsible Officials, addresses and telephone numbers and to remove individuals no longer associated with the firm, including deceased individuals. The IRS needs current information to be able to contact Providers and obtain or provide important information.


When to update e-file application

If a Principal or Responsible Official loses their professional status, the firm must update its e-file application and provide the required fingerprints of the individual.

The IRS removes deceased individuals including Principals, Responsible Officials, and Delegated Users from the e-file application if the Provider does not remove the individual within 30 days of the date of death. The IRS also removes Providers from participation in IRS e-file when it receives undeliverable mail or is unable to contact a Provider. Until the Provider updates the information, the IRS rejects all returns submitted by the Provider.


Changing E-File Address

NOTE:  Changes submitted on an IRS e-file Application do not change the address of record for a business’ tax records, just as a change to tax records does not automatically update information on a Provider’s IRS e-file Application.