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    Annual Self-Certification and E-file Application URL Registration

    Received the QuickAlert for Annual Self-Certification and E-file Application URL Registration, no link of course in the note. I've looked around on irs.gov in the tax professional area and cannot find anywhere to complete this requirement. Anyone have a link or know what the IRS calls it on their web page?
    "A man that holds a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way." - Mark Twain

    #2
    Originally posted by taxmandan View Post
    Received the QuickAlert for Annual Self-Certification and E-file Application URL Registration

    I have no idea what that is. Are you sure that is a legitimate email? If it is from the IRS, I have not received such an email yet.

    The only "annual" thing from the IRS that I can think of is renew your PTIN.


    EDIT: It almost sounds like an email for businesses that have online tax preparation, such as TurboTax online.

    https://www.irs.gov/e-file-providers...-with-websites
    Last edited by TaxGuyBill; 10-14-2020, 12:22 PM.

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      #3
      Yes, it's legit. If you receive or send client information through your website you have to re-certify annually. This year we ramped up doing that through our secure cloud link for clients to send us their papers and send to them copies and invoices. Worked great during the lock down. The IRS wants your url in their records as part of their ID theft initiative.
      "A man that holds a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way." - Mark Twain

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        #4
        But, where do they want it? And, can I do it next week?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lion View Post
          But, where do they want it? And, can I do it next week?
          Try contacting e-services
          Always cite your source for support to defend your opinion

          Comment


            #6
            https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5227.pdf
            Uncle Sam, CPA, EA. ARA, NTPI Fellow

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Uncle Sam View Post
              That publication (5227) has nothing to do with the topic here. (Maybe a typo?)

              The notification that taxmandan started this thread with came from one of the IRS press release mailing lists (that anyone can sign up for). It reads as follows:

              "Subject: Annual Self-Certification and E-file Application URL Registration

              This is a reminder that Online Providers must answer the annual self-certification questions beginning October 1, 2020 to ensure they comply with Publication 1345 IRS e-file security, privacy and business standards.

              If you are an Authorized IRS e-file Provider who owns or operates a Website(s) that collects, transmits, stores or processes taxpayer information, IRS also requires you to register the URL(s) for your Website on your e-file Application. The annual certification process includes the registration of these Websites. If you have not previously registered your URL(s), select the URL collection link on the e-file Application information page menu to register.
              "
              "You said it, they'll never know the difference. Come on, we'll paint our way out!" - Moe Howard

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lion View Post
                But, where do they want it? And, can I do it next week?
                Lion, if you do not process or transmit your own returns, you can disregard this message. This is intended for tax preparers who is registered with IRS to transmits there own returns. I transmitted mine years ago but it became too time consuming. You do so by registering with IRS to transmit your own returns, and/or preforming as a service Bureau. Then you use a special software that is designed for IRS authorized e-file providers and transmitters. Also, each year the software has to withstand a special test by IRS (that is what this notice is referring to) to ascertain that it is ready by beginning of the new tax year. You can contact IRS to enroll if you want to do it, but IMO it is way too much work. The upside to doing this is that you make more because you charges the taxpayer the Service Bureau Fee, and the Tax Prep Fee. I did it for 3-4 years and it became too time consuming.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Toobusy View Post
                  Lion, if you do not process or transmit your own returns, you can disregard this message.
                  That's not correct; this thread is about online providers, not transmitters. For most of us, we are EROs, and our professional software vendor is our transmitter.

                  An online service provider is someone like TurboTax, H&R Block At Home, or Drake's offering for retail customers, www dot 1040 dot com.

                  Here is the official definition from Pub 1345

                  Online Provider - An Online Provider allows taxpayers to self-prepare returns by entering return data directly on commercially available software, software downloaded from an Internet site and prepared off-line, or through an online Internet site. Online Provider is a secondary role; therefore, they must also choose another Provider Option such as Software Developer, Transmitter or Intermediate Service Provider. Although an ERO may also use an website to obtain information from taxpayers to originate the electronic submission of returns, the ERO is not an Online Provider.

                  The IRS email reminder that started this thread refers to the following, from Pub 3112. I imagine most small tax practices are not online providers.

                  Registration of Websites with the IRS
                  To safeguard taxpayer information by more quickly identifying fraud schemes including phishing, the IRS
                  requires Providers to register with the IRS all website that collects taxpayer information, either directly or
                  through third parties, and used by the Provider for federal returns that are filed electronically.

                  Providers must submit the below information to the IRS prior to the website being accessible on the Internet,
                  and submit any changes to previously provided information to the IRS within three (3) business days.
                  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 websites from which the Provider collects information from
                  taxpayers, either directly or through third parties, for electronic filing of federal returns.

                  Providers must login to e-services and navigate to the e-file Application. Click “Add/Delete URL” and proceed
                  as instructed. If “Add/Delete URL” is not in the e-file Application Menu, click “Firm Information” and
                  select “Yes” in response to the website question. After saving, the “Add/Delete URL” link should be available
                  on the “e-file Application” menu page.

                  "You said it, they'll never know the difference. Come on, we'll paint our way out!" - Moe Howard

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It applies to more than just online DIY tax software. Note: "all website that collects taxpayer information, either directly or
                    through third parties, and used by the Provider for federal returns that are filed electronically." Which means if you are using a cloud service for clients to send information through your website this applies.

                    This year with the lock down in our state, we ramped up the use of our secure cloud link for clients to send us their information digitally. We sent their copies of the returns to them the same way. So we are required to re-certify annually.

                    After several emails back and forth to e-services I finally got a correct answer and was able to locate the place in my account to do this re-certification.
                    "A man that holds a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way." - Mark Twain

                    Comment


                      #11
                      At this time of burn-out, I'm in over my head on this. Yes, I prepare returns and e-file through WK; I'm an ERO. But, I do have FileShare on my website. This year I allowed no clients to come into my home office. Clients do upload their documents; I do upload their returns to them. Only some. Many clients use snail mail, fedex, or drop through the mail slot in my front door. I'm a sole proprietor and already wearing a lot of hats. Do I fall under the IRS definitions that require this type of certification? Thank you, everyone, for the cites and explanations.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by taxmandan View Post
                        Which means if you are using a cloud service for clients to send information through your website this applies.
                        At first glance, yes, it would seem so. But that is why the IRS also wrote the following in the pub, which I previously quoted. I work remotely and exchange files online via a 3rd party portal with 95% of my clients, and yet I am sure this requirement does not apply to me. However, if you comply with it anyway, I suspect no harm done, other than increasing IRS processing costs.

                        "Although an ERO may also use an website to obtain information from taxpayers to originate the electronic submission of returns, the ERO is not an Online Provider."

                        "
                        An Online Provider allows taxpayers to self-prepare returns "

                        Last edited by Rapid Robert; 10-24-2020, 08:10 PM.
                        "You said it, they'll never know the difference. Come on, we'll paint our way out!" - Moe Howard

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you, Robert. That was my understanding, but mine alone, when this requirement began. But this year, I guess it's been put out there to remind us more, so it caught my eye and made me rethink what I do and how it fits, or doesn't fit, what I've been reading. Like you say, there's no harm in certifying anyway. When I get through payroll taxes, I'll look at it. My bigger problem is getting back on e-Services. The IRS can't verify my identity. "There is something in your file that prevents..." They won't even mail me a code. So eventually, I'll have to go to an IRS office with multiple proofs of my identity. But I'm old and diabetic and have no desire to go to a public place, even with an appointment.
                          Last edited by Lion; 10-26-2020, 10:19 PM.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Rapid Robert View Post


                            If you are an Authorized IRS e-file Provider who owns or operates a Website(s) that collects, transmits, stores or processes taxpayer information, IRS also requires you to register the URL(s) for your Website on your e-file Application. The annual certification process includes the registration of these Websites. If you have not previously registered your URL(s), select the URL collection link on the e-file Application information page menu to register.[/I]"


                            But it is not only for Online Providers. It is also for "Authorized e-file Providers", which includes us.

                            Here is the FAQ:

                            https://www.irs.gov/e-file-providers...-with-websites

                            Comment


                              #15
                              From the website TaxGuyBill has linked to twice in this thread:

                              I am an ERO that e-files returns. Does this apply to me?
                              Authorized IRS e-file Providers, NOT affected by this rule include those that:
                              Only provides a link to another company's website that allows taxpayers to input taxpayer information.


                              That perfectly describes me; I provide a link to another company's website where taxpayers can securely upload their tax documents for me. I do not own or operate a web site that collects, transmits, stores, or processes taxpayer information. But my professional tax software vendor does, so I would expect they have to comply with this rule.

                              Incidentally, this is the reason why I never take advantage of vendor features to "brand" my clients' access to their website with my firm name and logo. I always want my clients to be aware that they are dealing with another company when they use the option to upload tax documents to me. My mandated GLB privacy policy statement also includes the names and uses of these 3rd party sites.
                              Last edited by Rapid Robert; 10-27-2020, 11:05 AM.
                              "You said it, they'll never know the difference. Come on, we'll paint our way out!" - Moe Howard

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