Urgent: New IRS rule for e-file providers

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The IRS has established new e-file rules to enable it to more quickly identify fraud schemes including phishing. These new IRS e-file rules apply to all Authorized IRS e-file Providers, including Online Providers, Intermediate Service Providers, and Electronic Return Originators (EROs) that obtain taxpayer information via the Internet directly or through third parties in order to e-file federal returns.

Providers must submit to the IRS by August 9, 2007 an Excel spreadsheet that has been encrypted using WINZIP 9 with password protection. The spreadsheet must include the following information:

  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

The Principal or Responsible Official must submit the excel spread sheet and the password via two separate e-mail messages to [email protected]. The EFIN provided as part of the URL registration document will act as the unique identifying number for your business. No other company information should be included.

WinZip is available at various locations on the internet and can easily be downloaded to your computer to be used for this process.

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are the preferred method of sending data. 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.

In the future, Providers are required to submit this information to the IRS prior to the website being accessible on the Internet, and are further required to submit to the IRS, within three (3) business days, any changes to previously provided information.

In order to combat fraudulent tax preparation and phishing sites, IRS is developing a universal catalog of URLs related to Authorized IRS e-file Providers. This requested information will be used to allow investigators to more quickly identify and validate a URL should there be a question.

Failure to provide the required information timely and accurately may result in the IRS, its agents, or the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) shutting down and seizing the contents of non-validated websites that appear to be engaging in fraudulent schemes.

In addition, an Authorized IRS e-file Provider that fails to comply with these IRS e-file rules may be suspended or expelled from participation in IRS e-file in accordance with Revenue Procedure 2007-40, in IRB 2007-26, June 25, 2007 and Publication 3112, IRS e-file Application and Participation.

Any questions regarding this information may be e-mailed to [email protected].

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