There are two methods of e-filing 940 and 941/944 forms using the CSA 94x electronic filing utility. The first involves obtaining a separate PIN for each client and filing with that PIN as the signature. The second involves becoming a reporting agent, which allows your firm to file multiple returns using a single PIN.
CSA supports both methods of filing on an ad hoc basis. You can decide to file all your clients by one of the two methods exclusively, or select the appropriate method on a client by client basis. Of course, paper filing will remain available for everyone.
Thomson Reuters requires firms that are submitting electronic files to have a valid credit card on file (unless they have purchased an unlimited license). To add or update your credit card information, visit CS.ThomsonReuters.com/MyAccount/ManagePayments. If you are a Software as a Service (SaaS) firm, contact CS Customer Service at (800) 968-0600 for further assistance.
E-filing using individual client PINs
- To file 940 or 941/944 returns electronically with client specific PINs, you need to become an Electronic Return Originator (ERO). This means becoming authorized by the IRS as an e-file provider and getting an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). To learn how to apply for an IRS e-Services account and begin the online e-file application, point your internet browser to http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/e-File-Providers-&-Partners/Become-an-Authorized-e-file-Provider.
- The next step is enrolling clients in the application to receive PINs. This process is done electronically using the ELF E-file Enrollment dialog. Once you transmit the enrollment, your client should receive a PIN from the IRS within 2 weeks. The client must then provide the PIN for filing.
The client PIN is equivalent to the signature of an individual at the client firm. For example, if the enrollment is made for a particular employee of the client company, the PIN received from that enrollment is the equivalent of that employee actually signing the return.
E-filing as a Reporting Agent
To use this method, you must be authorized by the IRS as an e-file provider and have an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). To learn how to apply for an IRS e-Services account and begin the online e-file application, point your internet browser to http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/e-File-Providers-&-Partners/Become-an-Authorized-e-file-Provider.
You must also file a Form 8655 (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8655.pdf) for each client for whom you will be acting as a Reporting Agent. Reporting agent registration may take up to two months to process, so if you are interested in becoming a reporting agent, we encourage you to allow for the potential time delay when initiating the process.
When you act as a Reporting Agent, a representative of your firm receives a PIN that can be used to file multiple returns. Once the reporting agent PIN is entered into the application, it is saved so that any client can then be configured to use it for 940, 941, and 944 e-filing.
Again, the reporting agent PIN is a signature and, in this case, carries the same liability as signing the return on behalf of the client. Please refer to the IRS guidelines regarding the usage and storage of personal identification numbers.