Getting Your EFIN (Electronic Filing Identification Number)

The e-services portal has undergone many large changes over the last couple of years, but the application process is very similar…once you get in.  Go to IRS.gov and click on “Tax Pros” in the top right.  Then click on “Access E-Services” and scroll down to “E-File Provider Services.” Finally, click on “Access e-file Application.”  One of the biggest problems with the IRS EFIN application process is that you need to register for your e-services account before you can access the application.  In the past registration was a fairly simple account creation process by which you created a username and password.  Afterwords, the IRS would physically mail you a confirmation code to complete the registration process before you could submit your EFIN application.  Unfortunately, that system was vulnerable to nefarious actors who gained access to taxpayer’s sensitive information.  Unknown online actors could then get an EFIN under the identity of another and proceed with their tax-related identity theft scheme which hurt millions in the process.  Fortunately, the new IRS EFIN application system in place has been able to reduce the level of identity theft tax schemes.

Now, in order to get your EFIN number, you’ll need to register as before, however, the registration process is very different than before. All EFIN applicants will need to go through the new IRS contracted identity verification process facilitated by the credit bureaus. This means that you MUST have a credit card or loan account in order to be verified.  Debit cards will not count in lieu of a credit card.  Important note: if your name is different with the social security administration or your credit has been frozen, you will not be able to verify your identity through this new system.

Keep in mind that the EFIN is a requirement for your software in order to e-file. Your EFIN is one of the most important numbers that you need to get and monitor.  If you are unable to get an EFIN due to lack of credit history, you may be able to call the IRS and see if they can help you. For example, the e-services help desk maybe able to tell you if your name is different than what is on file, etc.  If you cannot get an EFIN before tax season, as a partner you may be able to file with us and we will help you get your EFIN as soon as the season winds down.

Posted: October 1, 2018

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