Submitting preliminary applications with the IRS and (if applicable) bank products (1040 only) for electronic returns

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To obtain an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) and approval from the IRS to be an Electronic Return Originator (ERO) to originate and submit electronic returns to the IRS, your firm must submit an Application to Participate in the IRS e-file Program, along with fingerprint cards or evidence of the professional status of all principals and responsible officials in your firm.

You must apply online at the e-services - Online Tools for Tax Professionals web page via the website. To register, click the Registration Services link, and select Electronic Return Originator. You may also need to select Intermediate Service Provider if you plan to send electronic returns from other EROs to the IRS on their behalf. (For further guidance, review the rules for Intermediate Service Providers in IRS Publication 1345.) When applying online, do not select Large Taxpayer, Online Provider, Software Developer, or Transmitter. If you have multiple business locations, you must add each location from which electronic returns will be transmitted. In the "Form(s)" section, select the types of returns you will be filing electronically at any time in the future. We recommend that you select all forms except 1120 POL, 720, and 8849.

If you have multiple business locations, you must obtain a separate EFIN for each location that transmits electronic returns. Also, if you plan to electronically file any business returns (940, 941, 990, 1041, 1065, 1120, or 2290) for the first time, you must revise your application accordingly.

Your firm can submit an application to the IRS for ERO approval for the current tax year beginning on August 1; however, the IRS recommends submitting applications no later than December 1 to receive acceptance before the first day of the filing season.

1040 only: Applying for bank products for Electronic Refund Disbursement Service

Thomson Reuters has partnered with Refund Advantage and EPS Financial to allow you to use their services. With these programs, you can provide your 1040 clients with Electronic Refund Disbursement Service (ERDS). For further information and to apply for these services use the following information. 

After you apply for either one of these services, you must configure UltraTax/1040 to use bank products.


  • Refund Advantage and EPS Financial services are available only for electronic returns transmitted using CS Connect.
  • If you use a federal and state bank product, the same disbursement method is used for both the federal and state refunds (check, direct deposit, or prepaid debit card).
  • If you enroll in the Fee Advantage program when you apply to use Refund Advantage bank products, note that the program is direct deposit only. Your clients do not get check stock or check disbursements through this program. If you enroll in this program, your enrollment is noted in the Setup > 1040 Individual > Bank Products button > Approved Products column.

Related topic: UltraTax CS electronic filing overview

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