What is the difference between filing as a taxpayer vs reporting agent?

There are two types of 941, 944, or 940 electronic filers: Taxpayer (or employer) and Reporting Agent.  Listed below are the details of each filer.  Please be sure to select the type that best fits your situation and file the necessary forms to register for a PIN.

Taxpayers (Employers)

  • File for themselves.
  • File for only one EIN.
  • Register and obtain a 10-digit PIN.
  • Send a PIN application to obtain the PIN.

Taxpayers must register for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that replaces their signature on the paper form.  They use the PIN application form to register for this 10-digit PIN.  The employer name under which they filed for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) must be used.

Note: A separate PIN is required for each person who will 'sign' the 941, 944, or 940.  If at any time in the future a new person will be 'signing' the 941, 944, 940 for a particular EIN; a new PIN will be required for the new signature.

Reporting Agents

  • File for others.
  • File for multiple EINs.
  • Must file form 8655.
  • Complete an online registration with the IRS.
  • Have a 5-digit IRS-issued PIN and 6-digit EFIN

A reporting agent is an accounting service, franchiser, bank or other person who is authorized to prepare electronically a 941, 944, or 940 form for a taxpayer or business.  Reporting agents sign all of the electronic returns they file with a single PIN signature.  Reporting agents may transmit their own returns, or may use the services of a third party transmitter.  To transmit forms, reporting agents must have an EFIN and a PIN (obtained by completing Form 8655 and the online IRS registration as mentioned above).

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