Self-Select PIN vs. Practitioner PIN

You may e-file your clients' tax returns using either the Self-Select PIN method or Practitioner PIN method (Form 8879 IRS e-file Signature Authorization).

Self-Select PIN method (aka Paperless Option)

Selecting the Self-Select PIN method means your client(s) will be entering their own PIN numbers directly into your computer (they will also need to provide information from the prior year's return).

Note. If the return was imported from the prior year, the Adjusted Gross Income amount may be automatically entered in the appropriate field. This is considered the "Paperless Option" as no form needs to be sent to the IRS or retained in your records.

Practitioner PIN (Form 8879) method

Selecting the Practitioner PIN (Form 8879) method means you will enter the PINs for your clients and then have them sign IRS Form 8879, which authorizes you to enter their PINs. If you select this option you must retain the signed Form 8879 with your copy of the taxpayer's tax records.

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the webpage or document at the time it is accessed.