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eFile & Pay - Format for File Exchange to Provide Business eFile Numbers (BENs)

This file format may be used by registered Withholding or Sales Tax Service Providers (Bulk Filers) to obtain BEN (Business eFile Numbers) and current filing frequency for clients.

1. Create an ASCII .txt file in the following format (one line per client)

2. Submit Email request

  1. Indicate BEN File Exchange Request in the subject line.
  2. Include your name, telephone number and BEN in the content of the email.
  3. Attach the file.

Within one week, you should receive the file back with results of a match to Department registration files.

The Department will provide client BEN and filing frequency, based on the permit number and name provided. You will receive information if the permit is registered, as well as a message if the name for that permit number does not match your records. You will need to check with your client to ensure you have the correct information.

If a client is not registered, you will be notified and you will not be able to e-file for them. You will need to contact them and ask them to register for withholding on the online Combined Business Application. A BEN will be mailed to the taxpayer once the application has been processed. This may take up to two weeks. If your clients do not have employees in Iowa, they should not be registered for Iowa withholding and you should not submit e-file transactions.

Field NameDescription/ValueLength
PERMIT12 digit Iowa Department of Revenue Permit Number consisting of FEIN and 3 digit SUB No. (Sub No is 001 or greater)12 Numeric
FILLERSpace1
TAX-TYPEValue = 205 (Withholding)
Value = 300 (Sales and Use)
3 Numeric
FILLERSpace1
NAMETaxpayer Name on Service Provider File45 Alphanumeric
FILLERSpace1
SERV-COMPANY-CODEClient ID used by Service Provider10 Alphanumeric
FILLERSpace1
SERV-PROVIDER-CODEService Provider BEN #. This will be the same in every record8 Numeric
FILLERSpace1
STATE-NAMELeave Blank. Name on Department File will be sent back to you45 Alphanumeric
FILLERSpace1
BENLeave blank. Client BEN will be sent back to you8 Numeric
FILLERSpace1
SERV-FIL-FREQBlank on incoming file. Filing frequency will be provided on outgoing file
Value = A (Annual)
Value = M (Monthly)
Value = Q (Quarterly)
Value = S (Semimonthly)
1 Alphanumeric
FILLERSpace1
SERV-IDR MESSAGELeave blank. We will indicate if client is not found or mismatch on name.20 Alphanumeric
Total file length must equal 160