Tax & Accounting Blog

FAQs: The New eSignature Process

CS Tax & Asset Management Solutions February 3, 2015

Q: What does KBA stand for?

A: KBA stands for Knowledge-Based Authentication. When you prepare an eSignature package containing a Form 8879 to send to your client, the IRS requires a KBA to be performed. A third-party vendor asks a series of questions that must be answered by your clients in 5 minutes to verify their identity. 

Q: I’m preparing a married filing jointly tax return. Will I be charged $5 for the taxpayer and $5 for the spouse upon a successful eSignature completion?

A: The charge is based on a per-authorization transmission bundle, rather than per-individual taxpayer, and only applies upon a successful eSignature. So whether the 1040 return is single or joint, the fee is $5. 

Q: My taxpayer and spouse share an email address. Will that be a problem?

A: Yes. Both the taxpayer and spouse must have a unique email address, as they’ll each receive their own email for identity verification purposes. 

Q: If I send a state Form 8879, will I be charged an additional $5?

A: If a state return authorization is included in the same envelope that you send to your client for their signature, it’s a single $5 fee. However, if you send federal Form 8879 for authorization to your client, get a successful signature back, and then separately send a second eSignature package with one or more state authorizations, that would indeed trigger an additional $5 fee. 

Q: Is there anything I can give to my client to help with this process?

A: Yes! We have an Overview of the eSignature Process document available on our Marketing Tools page. This Microsoft Word document, which can be customized with your firm information, walks your client through the eSignature process to ensure successful signature completion. 

Q: How can I track the eSignature envelopes?

A: On the 2014 UltraTax CS home page, you’ll find an eSignature Status Live section that presents the client ID, name, product, type (organizer or return), date, and the current status at our Thomson Reuters data center. In addition, Form 8879 (and its state equivalent) signature statuses are tracked in the UltraTax CS Electronic Filing Status utility. Select Utilities > Electronic Filing Status

Q: After sending an eSignature envelope, a change in the return is needed. How do I revoke an eSignature transmission?

A: On the 2014 UltraTax CS home page, in eSignature Status Live section, adjust the horizontal scroll bar to the right so the Date column header is visible. Click on the Date column header to sort the most recent eSignatures. Scroll left to see the Client ID column and locate the eSignature that needs to be revoked. Scroll right to the last column, Status at Thomson Reuters data center, and click the Revoke link next to Electronic Signature Sent.

UltraTax CS data center status

More Questions? 

For additional information about eSignature, check out the following resources.