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    E-file for accountants

    Article ID: 2001270


    Accountants e-filing federal tax returns for employers must register with the IRS as a reporting agent. QuickBooks has expanded the supported functionality to include e-filing as a Reporting Agent.


    You must have the supported QuickBooks Accountants edition and a subscription to Enhanced Payroll for Accountants to have access to the option to E-File federal payroll tax reports as a Reporting agent.


    This is provided for your information and subject to change by the IRS. Always confirm the correct process with the IRS.

    To get started:

    Complete and submit to the IRS a Form 8655 for each client for whom you will e-file.

    1. Access Form 8655 and fill in the required information.
      • Instructions for completing the form are included on page 2 of the form.
      • Line 15 is critical. This is where you indicate the tax returns you will be filing as a reporting agent for this client. If you do not enter the information for a form here, you may not e-file that form for your client.
    2. Enter the first tax year (YYYY) you will start e-filing for Form 940 and Form 944.
    3. Enter the ending month of the first quarter (MM/YYYY) you will start e-filing for Form 941.
    4. Have the taxpayer (your client) sign and date the return. (Guidance on who can sign the 8655 is included in the instructions on page 2.)
    5. Print the completed forms, along with a list of your clients that contains the business name and EIN, to the IRS.
    6. Submit the forms by fax or mail.
      • Fax: 801-620-4142
      • Mail to:
        Internal Revenue Service
        Accounts Management Service Center
        MS 6748 RAF Team
        1973 North Rulon White Blvd.
        Ogden, UT 84404

    Apply to participate in the IRS e-file program.

    The 8633 form is no longer used as of October 2012. The new process that follows is the current process that the IRS has.

    This is provided for your information and subject to change by the IRS. Always confirm the correct process with the IRS. See Become an Authorized e-file Provider for more information.

    Phase 1: Create an IRS e-Services Account
    Phase 2: Submit Your Application
    Phase 3: Pass a Suitability Check

    Phase 1: Create an IRS e-Services Account
    Before you begin the online e-file application, you must have an IRS e-Services account, which facilitates electronic interaction with the IRS. When you apply for an e-Services account, you will need to:
    1. Provide your legal name, Social Security Number (SSN), birth date, phone number, e-mail address AND your home mailing address (confirmation of your account will be mailed to you);
    2. Provide your Adjusted Gross Income from the current or prior tax year;
    3. Create a username, a password and a PIN, and provide an answer to a reminder question for your username;
    4. Make sure that every principal and responsible official in your firm signs up for e-Services; and
    5. Return to e-Services to confirm your registration within 28 days of receiving your confirmation code in the mail.
    You can find definitions of a principal and a responsible official in IRS Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation.
    The verification and approval process for creating an account with IRS e-Services can take several days, so plan accordingly.

    Phase 2: Submit Your Application to Become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider

    Your firm can begin the application to become an Authorized IRS e-file Provider once all principals are approved for e-Services. The application process is not simple; however, the complexity is necessary to protect the integrity and security of the electronic filing system. Some of the key steps of the application process are listed below:
    1. Log in to e-Services and access the online application to become an IRS e-file provider;
    2. Select your e-file provider option return preparers who want to e-file for a client should select Electronic Return Originator (ERO);
    3. Enter identification information for your firm, as well as services provided to taxpayers;
    4. Enter the name, home address, SSN, birth date and citizenship status for each principal and responsible official in your organization; and
    5. Enter current professional status and requested information if the principal or responsible official is an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, officer of a publicly owned corporation, or bonded bank official; or
    6. Call the IRS toll free at 866-255-0654 to request a fingerprint card for any principal or responsible official who is not an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, officer of a publicly owned corporation, or bonded bank; and
    7. Get fingerprinted by a trained professional at your local police station or at a company that provides this service; then
    8. Mail the signed and completed card to the IRS.
    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.

    Phase 3: 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).

    Now that I have established myself as a Reporting Agent, what steps do I take to e-file?

    To prepare and submit your 941, 944, or 940 payroll tax forms as a Reporting Agency:
    1. In QuickBooks, choose Employees >Payroll Center.
    2. Click the File Forms tab and choose the desired form.
    3. Click Create Form

    4. Note that there are 2 selections for each form. To e-file for your clients as a Reporting Agent, select the form that includes (for Reporting Agents) in the title.
    5. When you have completed entering and reviewing the required information, click the Submit Form button on the lower portion of the form.
    6. If you get an error message that your payroll tax form contains errors, fix all errors.
      When there are no errors, the Print/E-File window is displayed when you click Submit Form.
    7. Click on the E-File Federal Form. The login screen is displayed.

    8. Enter the required information, including your EFIN and PIN.
    9. Make sure the Remember my information for next time checkbox is selected. This will save the information and auto-populate the fields in the future.
    10. Click the Submit button.
      Your filing will be sent to the IRS for processing.

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