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Your guide to IRS EFIN & PTIN numbers, application and requirements.

Before the new tax season approaches, it is important for professional tax preparers to obtain the necessary professional identification numbers to avoid any delays and ensure the tax process goes smoothly for clients. You may need to register for an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) and Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Learn why and how you can register.

For more information or to speak with an Intuit tax consultant, please call (844) 824-7164.

What is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)?

An EFIN is a number issued by the IRS to individuals or firms that have been approved as Authorized IRS e-File providers. After providers complete their e-File applications, the IRS sends an acceptance letter with the EFIN included.

What are the EFIN requirements?

Effective in the tax year 2011, federal legislation mandates anyone filing more than 10 returns must electronically file. Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-File Provider with the IRS and obtain an EFIN.

EFINs may cover more than one fixed location to collect data and prepare returns but cannot be used to initiate electronic transmissions from multiple locations. An "other than fixed" location would represent a mobile preparer, such as one who travels to a taxpayer's home to prepare the return. If a preparer has a "fixed" location, the EFIN would need to be assigned to that location. Otherwise only data collection and tax return preparation may occur there. The preparer could not transmit a return from a fixed location without an EFIN. Read more

Once you have submitted your application to become an Authorized e-File Provider, you will need to send a fingerprint set to the IRS so they can administer a suitability check. This may include a credit check, a criminal background check, a tax compliance check and a check for previous non-compliance with IRS e-File requirements.

If you have more questions on whether or not to obtain your EFIN, visit the FAQ's page on the IRS website.

How long does it take to get an EFIN?

To obtain an EFIN, first you have to apply to become an Authorized e-file provider by the IRS. This process may take up to 45 days.

How do I apply for an EFIN number online?

  1. To begin the application process, create an IRS service account
  2. Fill out your e-File application online. The application is comprehensive, but you can save the information, take a break and continue to fill out the application when convenient.
  3. When your application has been approved, the IRS will send an acceptance letter and your EFIN.

How do I get fingerprinted for the EFIN?

You can find the most up-to-date information about the EFIN fingerprint process on the IRS “Become an Authorized e-file Provider" webpage.

What is a Professional Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)?

The PTIN is an identification number that must be used when submitting U.S. federal tax returns or claims for refund to the IRS. To complete far more returns in even less time this year, learn about Intuit's three core professional tax products, Lacerte Tax, ProSeries Tax and ProConnect Tax.

How long does it take to get or renew a PTIN?

PTINs expire and need to be renewed every year. This year, all PTINs expire on Dec. 31, so renew or register for a PTIN right now to get a valid PTIN before Jan. 1.

How do I apply for a PTIN number online?

To get a new PTIN, you can either apply online or fill out paper forms. For those who prefer the paper process, keep in mind that it will take about 4-6 weeks to process. Save yourself the weeks of uncertainty and register on the IRS website instead. Applying online takes only about 15 minutes.