This article will help you:
- understand how the different eSignature authentication methods work,
- learn why knowledge-based authentication may be required, and
- decide which method to use when you send an eSignature request.
Knowledge-based authentication (KBA) is the most secure authentication method. When you send an eSignature request with KBA, your client has to answer a series of questions about themselves based on publicly available data to verify their identity.
When is knowledge-based authentication required?
Access code authentication
Access code authentication allows you to enter a private code when sending the eSignature request. Next, you'll need to communicate the code to your client via phone, email, text message, or verbally — however you like. Your client will be prompted to enter the access code in order to view and sign the documents you sent.
This option will not be available if knowledge-based authentication is required for your request, or if your tax program doesn't support it.
In-person signing is now available for Lacerte. If you're going to meet with your client in person, you can use this to simplify the signature process by creating the eSignature and having your client sign it on the same computer.
On married filing joint (MFJ) returns, you can use in-person signing for both recipients, or have one recipient sign in-person and the other sign remotely using a traditional eSignature.
When you send an eSignature request with no authentication, whoever receives the request email will be able to view the documents without additional verification. Don't use this option if any of the documents you're sending contain personally identifiable information.
This option will not be available if knowledge-based authentication is required for your request.