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- eSignatureGet any document signed securely from any online device, all done with quick clicks inside your tax software.
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eSignature is an electronic signature solution that gives your clients a secure way to view and sign documents anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Intuit partners with DocuSign, the most well recognized electronic signature software provider, to give you a seamless signature request process, right from your tax program. You can select the tax forms and documents your client needs to sign, attach it to an envelope, and send the request by email.
An envelope is a container for documents that you send to your client to sign. Similar to how you would put many documents in one physical envelope, an eSignature envelope can have one document or many documents. Regardless of how many documents, fields, and signers a given envelope contains, it still counts only once towards your eSignature plan’s envelope allowance once it is sent out to be signed.
eSignature is fully integrated into your tax software so you don’t need to lose momentum with other tools or paper printouts. Here are the ways eSignature can make your practice more efficient:
- Pre-populate tax forms with client data.
- Auto-populate signature locations on tax forms.
- Manage eSignature requests, delivery, and signature statuses while tracking your work on client returns.
- Let you set automatic client reminders right inside your tax software.
- Create email templates.
- Automate audit trail reports for every eSignature request activity, including timestamps detailing when a request is sent, viewed, printed, signed, or failed identity authentication, along with a certification of completion of the executed document itself.
- Archive an unalterable “authoritative copy” of important documents or purge documents by specifying an expiration date.
eSignature can be used to sign any document, both tax and non-tax. Some examples include:
- Any individual or business forms** (including IRS Forms 8878 and 8879)
- Engagement letters and firm agreements
- Request for transcript (Form 4506-T)
- LLC formation documents
- Confidentiality agreements (NDAs)
- Power of attorney agreements
- Asset purchase agreements
- Reference documentation
- Estimates and invoices
- And more!
How does eSignature work?
New client statuses will automatically update based on their progress so you can quickly move on or identify issues without leaving your tax dashboard. Statuses include:
- Partially signed
- Multiple signatures
- Authentication failed
For business tax returns or documents, only one recipient may be added. For individual returns (1040), up to two recipients may be included on married filing jointly: the primary taxpayer and the spouse.
You can personalize requests by type of delivery, either in-person or remote, and select the identification authentication appropriate for the request. In-person eSignature workflow options are currently available for ProSeries and Lacerte.
Our IRS-compliant security partner, DocuSign, meets some of the most stringent U.S., EU, and global security standards. DocuSign uses the strongest data encryption technologies available, including SLL 256-bit encryption, and is ISO 27001 certified—the highest level of global information security assurance today. And, as a SOC1- and SOC2- certified organization, it complies with reporting requirements stipulated and audited yearly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
eSignature uses three different ways to verify identity:
- Knowledge-based authentication (KBA): Validate recipients with a set of questions using information like past addresses, vehicle ownership, and more. This IRS-compliant authentication is required for Forms 8878 and 8879.
- Access code authentication: Assign and send a unique 6-9 digit code to a client to verify their identity.
- Email authentication: With this built-in form of authentication, only those invited by you have access to the email account retrieving the request for signatures.
The status of the eSignature will show as “Authentication failed”. Void the request so it does not count toward your purchased eSignature usage and simply resubmit the eSignature request. The system will populate new questions for your client to try again.
If an eSignature status is marked as “Complete”, it can no longer be canceled. Simply resend the document with the necessary edits. For incomplete requests, you may void the request on your eSignature dashboard or main menu within your tax product. Voided requests are not counted toward your eSignature purchases.
Getting started with eSignature
- Elevates your practice: eSignature gives you and your clients flexibility to complete tax filings in a hassle-free way.
- Saves time: It pre-populates, and auto-populates signature locations right into the form, saving you precious time from inputting information for each client.
- Auto-remind clients: You can set up automatic reminders so you don't have to nudge clients manually.
- Keeps you organized: Makes it easier to maintain an online filing system that will make it a breeze to locate any prior year documents. This means less time scanning or keeping paper documents.
- Saves costs: In addition to time saved, your practice will save on postage, paper, and ink.
*Terms, conditions, pricing, subscriptions, packages, features, service and support options are subject to change at any time without notice.
- eSignature claim:
In tax year 2021, 69% of completed eSignature transactions through Intuit professional tax products were finalized in less than 24 hours.
- Any individual or business forms:
The ability to add eSignature fields to all forms and documents, including business forms, has been enabled and is designed to be used at the preparer’s discretion. Per the current IRS Guidelines, electronic signatures are accepted for the Individual and Business Modules. Please review IRS Publication 4163 for more detail.
The IRS accepts electronic signatures on forms 8878 and 8879. eSignatures can be used for a wide range of online documents apart from IRS forms such as engagement letters, contracts, invoices, NDAs, and bank documents. Please keep updated and compliant on what forms you can and cannot use in connection with the preparation of federal tax returns with the IRS. Most states also accept electronic signatures on forms 8878 and 8879 or their equivalent.
Knowledge based authentication, also known as KBA, is an identity verification measure that requires end users to establish their identities through the use of specific security questions. The e-signature option is only available to taxpayers e-filing their tax returns through an Electronic Return Originator (ERO), who uses software that provides identity verification and e-signature functionality. To meet e-signature requirements, the ERO must be able to record the taxpayer’s name, social security number, address and date of birth electronically for identity verification purposes. As part of identity verification, the software may create what is known as a “soft inquiry” in the credit reporting industry. A soft inquiry is not a credit check, although it is conducted by a credit reporting company that uses information from the taxpayer’s credit report to generate knowledge-based authentication questions. Typically, the knowledge-based authentication questions address the taxpayer’s personal and financial history. These are usually multiple-choice questions such as the name of their mortgage lender, type of car financed, a former address or phone number. The taxpayer is expected to answer the questions correctly. Taxpayers who cannot complete the identity verification check cannot use e-signature. Ordinarily, knowledge based authentication is not mandatory for envelopes which do not contain Form 8878/8879 or their state equivalents.
- Offer of Unlimited eSignature for tax year 2023 for $1,427 (20% off):
Product must be purchased by 5 PM CT on Friday, April 1, 2024. Offer valid only for new to eSignature (offer not available for current eSignature customers). The purchase of 2023 eSignatures is applicable for usage in tax year 2023 Lacerte/ProSeries/ProConnect Tax product only, valid through December 31, 2024. Validity does not apply to usage in other product years. Terms, conditions, pricing, features, service, and support options are subject to change without notice.
- Offer of a 20% discount on 150+ eSignatures for tax year 2023:
Product must be purchased by 5 PM CT on Thursday, Aug 31, 2023. Offer valid only for new to eSignature (offer not available for current eSignature customers). The purchase of 2023 eSignatures is applicable for usage in tax year 2023 Lacerte/ProSeries/ProConnect Tax product only, valid through December 31, 2026. Validity does not apply to usage in other product years. Terms, conditions, pricing, features, service and support options are subject to change without notice.
- eSignature Unlimited:
Offer of Unlimited eSignature for tax year 2023 for $1,499 (16% off). Product must be purchased by 5 PM CT on Monday, December 4, 2023. Offers valid only for new eSignature Unlimited customers. The purchase of 2023 eSignatures is applicable for usage in tax year 2023 Lacerte/ProSeries/ProConnect Tax product only, valid through December 31, 2024. Validity does not apply to usage in other product years. Terms, conditions, pricing, features, service and support options are subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit https://proconnect.intuit.com/esignature/.
- eSignature bundles:
Offer of a 15% discount on 150+ eSignatures for tax year 2023 for $2.37 each, or 15% off. Product must be purchased by 5 PM CT on Monday, December 4, 2023. Offer valid only for new to eSignature (offer not available for current eSignature customers). The purchase of 2023 eSignatures is applicable for usage in tax year 2023 Lacerte/ProSeries/ProConnect Tax product only, unused eSignature envelopes may be used through December 31, 2026. Validity does not apply to usage in other product years. Terms, conditions, pricing, features, service and support options are subject to change without notice. For more information, please visit https://proconnect.intuit.com/esignature/.