Get an EFIN from the IRS

One more thing to note on the rules for being a professional tax preparer:

If you are planning to work as a self-employed tax preparer and/or start your own tax business, you may want to apply for an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).

If you will be working for a tax company as an employee or participating in our Pronto Tax Business Opportunity Apprenticeship Program, you likely won't need an EFIN, because you will use the company's EFIN.

But if you're planning on being fully, independently self-employed, you will need an EFIN or else you will not be able to e-file tax returns...and you need to be able to e-file, because e-filing is mandatory now for any preparer who plans on doing at least 10 tax returns per year…and yes you plan on doing at least 10 tax returns this season.

Your EFIN is essentially your "admission ticket" to use the IRS e-file system.

Just to show you how much we love you, here is a link to a free step-by-step tutorial on How to Get an EFIN that we have created to assist Pronto Tax School Members:

Note that the IRS can take up to 4-6 weeks to process a new EFIN application. Usually it is faster than that but sometimes it is not.  If you're planning to be a self-employed tax preparer, act now to get your EFIN soon and be ready for the upcoming tax season.

It's free to receive an EFIN and you can even apply for one "ahead of time," before you complete this course, for instance if you are rushing to be ready for tax season you should perhaps do your EFIN application before you get too deep into this course.

If you have additional questions about your eligibility for an EFIN or how to get one, visit the tax pros section of the IRS website or contact the IRS by phone at 877-613-PTIN.  The IRS does conduct a "suitability check" before issuing PTINs and/or EFINs and therefore, again, nothing we are saying should be construed as some sort of guarantee that everyone can get an EFIN.  But for most people it's no problem whatsoever.