Can you explain in more detail? Not having to sign with a facsimile or printed name would be great, but I just do not see it. Seems to me Part III requires a signature to certify the PIN, it can't be signed with only a PIN. I find this to be a problem in Proseries, same as the OP.
Assuming use of the Practitioner PIN method, Part III requires the signature of the ERO, where he/she is certifying the ERO EFIN/PIN used to electronically sign the return. I don't think the EFIN/PIN by itself is a valid signature of the ERO on Form 8879 if that is what you are saying? The EFIN/PIN is the electronic signature for filing, but the 8879 has to be manually signed, or signed using one of the alternative procedures in Notice 2007-79, to certify the EFIN/PIN used in the efiled transmission.
Publication 1345 says the ERO "must also" sign with a PIN, just like the client, but this is referring to the signature of the electronic return originator attesting to the ERO Declaration, and if applicable signing as return preparer. This is not the same as the certification of the EFIN/PIN itself, which is accomplished by signing the 8879.
In other words, the ERO must sign the return electronically with a PIN. But the 8879 still has to be manually signed, or signed using one of the alternative methods (either a facsimile of ERO signature or printed name) to certify that the PIN used to sign the return is valid.
I cannot seem to get the ERO signature to print in Part III, which I see as a serious issue.
@kre On the F.8879, your name should be printed on the preparer signature line by default, just like on the tax return. Your printed name, just like on any paper-filed tax return, is recognized as your electronic signature according to published IRS guidelines and is, therefore, compliant with the regulations.
Still an AllStar
I agree - that's what this thread is all about - how do you get Proseries to print ERO name on the 8879???? Setting Options to print name on return works on the 1040, but has no effect on 8879, and there is no input to type directly on the form 8879.
Pro Series Professional
Reading the thread on the ERO name. I can't figure out how to get the ERO name to print on Part III of the 8879. We are going to be using e-signature to send the returns to client and didn't want to have to print and sign the forms.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
I do not believe it can be done in Proseries, and despite what one poster says in an old reply above, I believe it is a problem. It really screws up use of the electronic signatures.
I am open to any explanations of why it is not a problem, but I'm still waiting for any explanation to the contrary. That post above does not explain anything. The ERO has to sign the 8879 in order to certify the PIN which is used to sign the return. An 8879 with just the EFIN/PIN entered, but not signed, does not meet the requirements. It would be nice if Proseries allowed the signature to be printed on the form before creating the PDF for the DocuSign envelope.
Forcing the ERO to print the 8879 and manually sign it, especially when it is being signed electronically by client makes no sense. I just don't see any way around it in Proseries.
Here is the response I received from the Pro Series e-signature desk
This is a common question and the short answer is that the ERO requirement is automatically fulfilled when you use our e-signature to send and receive 8879’s. Since you are sending the request directly from your software which has your EFIN attached to it, our system assumes you are signing the ERO and prepares it as such. We took every step to make sure we’re IRS compliant while making it as convenient as possible to you and your client. The IRS does a much better (although wordier) job of explaining it than I can. Feel free to reference this article for further clarification.
We are going to use the Pro Series e-signature add on this year so we appear to be in compliant.
I don't see where Notice 2007-79 supports their position at all.
The Notice provides alternative methods for an ERO to sign 8879, instead of using a wet signature. It lists rubber stamp, mechanical device (such as signature pen), or computer software as the allowable alternatives. That's it! Then it goes on to state that EACH of these alternatives MUST include either a facsimile of the ERO's signature, or the ERO's printed name. Proseries does not meet this requirement, period. This requirement makes it clear (at least to me) that the ERO's signature line cannot be left blank, while Proseries' response seems far-fetched. I want to be wrong, but still waiting for a reasonable explanation.
Without a name on the ERO signature line, the ERO is not certifying that the EFIN/PIN used to sign the tax return is valid. Entering just the EFIN/PIN obviously cannot serve as a certification of itself.
Agree with kre 100%--every other software allows for printing the preparer's name in lieu of signature on the 8879. Proseries even does so on certain state e-file forms but not others. It's very frustrating and a waste of time for practitioners.