IRS extends deadline for E-filers to register their websites

Notice: The IRS has extended its deadline from August 9 to September 10 for e-file providers to register their websites. The information contained below is still applicable, but you now have until September 10 to prepare and send a spreadsheet to the IRS containing URL information.

The IRS has provided AccountingWEB with additional information, including a sample spreadsheet (pictured below) for e-file providers who are required to register their web sites.

All Authorized IRS e-file Providers that obtain taxpayer information via the Internet directly or through third parties in order to e-file federal returns are required to send a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to this e-mail address at the IRS: efileurlreg@irs.gov by September 10, 2007.

The following information must be included in the spreadsheet:

  1. An EFIN for the Provider;
  2. The name of a Principal or Responsible Official shown on the e-file application for the EFIN; and
  3. The Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) of all web sites that:
  • The Provider uses for e-file of federal returns;
  • Are portals or allow access to the Providers' online e-file software: or
  • Are used to obtain taxpayer information for the purpose of preparing and e filing federal returns

If you have more than one EFIN, you may use any of your active EFINs. The EFIN is used for verification and affiliation purposes only.

The IRS has provided this sample spreadsheet so you can see how the information should be submitted:

The IRS's sample file is named URL Registration Submission. The file should be sent to the IRS in an encrypted password protected file using WinZip 9.0 (or a later edition). After creating the file in WinZip, choose Actions, Encrypt from the WinZip menu. At that point you will be prompted to protect the file with a password.

A separate e-mail message should be sent to the same address by the Principal or Responsible Official referring to the file previously sent and supplying the password. A Principal or Responsible Official who appears on the e-file application is the only person authorized to submit this information.

If you don't have WinZip on your computer, WinZip is available at various locations on the Internet and can easily be downloaded to your computer to be used for this process. If you do not have access to Excel, you may send the information in a “table” format as long as the document containing the table can be password encrypted.

The URL registration only applies to websites that obtain taxpayer information via the Internet directly or through third parties in order to e-file federal returns. Websites that only advertise and provide information about your company and that do not store data or allow e-filing through the site are not required to be registered.

If you add a website in the future that meets these requirements, new URLs must be submitted to the IRS at efileurlreg@irs.gov prior to the website being accessible on the Internet. In addition, e-filers are further required to submit to the IRS, within three business days, any changes to previously provided information.

Clarifying information that the IRS provided when they extended the filing deadline to September 10 includes the following:

Authorized IRS e-file Providers (E R O's, Intermediate Service Providers or Online Service Providers) NOT affected by this rule include those that:

  1. Do not have an Internet website that obtains taxpayer information from a taxpayer or third party via the Internet for the purpose of e-filing returns,
  2. Have a website for informational and/or marketing purposes only,
  3. Only receive or send taxpayer information via e-mail,
  4. Do not use websites to collect taxpayer information and transmit the returns through third party transmitters,
  5. Prepare returns and use Provider's website to e-file their returns, or
  6. Only provide a hotlink to another company's website that allows taxpayers to input taxpayer information

The above does not cover all possible scenarios. Additional information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions located in the e-file section of IRS.gov.

Questions regarding the registration requirement or process should be sent to efileurlreg@irs.gov. More information can be found on the IRS web site.

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