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Preparer signature on e-filed returns

Johnl777
Level 3

Is a tax return preparer required to give their clients a signed copy of an efiled tax return?  Or does just their signature on Form 8879 suffice for IRS rules? Seems like some preparers do not give clients a signed copy of the return, but just emails them an unsigned copy (password protected). If you can give your source for the answer, that would help too. Thanks.

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abctax55
Level 15

Printed name (on hard copies and on PDF's).

Hard copies (unfortunately a few clients insist ... ) are physically stamped with a red "CLIENT COPY" on page one & over the signature area.  I wet initial over my printed name.....old habit....used to mean something.

PDF copies are water marked with "C L I E N T   C O P Y" and just have my printed name.  I could make Adobe let me initial but .... why? 

I've occasionally had a client/or a lender *complain* that the watermark obscured some number...sigh.

Former Chump..oops..AllStar...I used to be a people person, then people ruined it


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11 Replies 11
IRonMaN
Level 15

I let the software print my name in the signature box.  These days that counts as a signature on the return.

ACME Taxes, Tatoos, Tires and Tomatoes (I had to get rid of the turtles - they kept running away)
Just-Lisa-Now-
Level 15
Level 15

I have the software print my name in the signature box as well.    If it's good enough for IRS, its good enough for them.


♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
Accountant-Man
Level 11

I never wet sign a copy, only an original.

My name prints, too.

** I'm still a champion... of the world! Even without The Lounge.
dascpa
Level 8

Contrary to what others have posted, I sign every return before mailing, as well as have the software print my name in the signature box. I do this (a) as sometimes a return is printed, corrected, and reprinted; my signature tells me that is the final version, and (b) it shows the clients (who actually look at a return) that I went through each page of the return.  Maybe not required, just my preference.

abctax55
Level 15

Printed name (on hard copies and on PDF's).

Hard copies (unfortunately a few clients insist ... ) are physically stamped with a red "CLIENT COPY" on page one & over the signature area.  I wet initial over my printed name.....old habit....used to mean something.

PDF copies are water marked with "C L I E N T   C O P Y" and just have my printed name.  I could make Adobe let me initial but .... why? 

I've occasionally had a client/or a lender *complain* that the watermark obscured some number...sigh.

Former Chump..oops..AllStar...I used to be a people person, then people ruined it


If a post answers your question, click on *Accept as solution* for future searches

View solution in original post

Johnl777
Level 3

Thanks for your answer. Agrees with Rev Ruling 78-317, even though IRS website says otherwise it appears as stated in 2/5/21 post of "Beware of "ghost" preparers who don't sign tax returns." I think, but could be wrong, the key is for the preparer to sign and date the Form 8879 e-file authorization, as well as get his taxpayers to sign and date the same, before efiling the return. Then the taxpayer copy can be given to the client unsigned, if I am reading the RR correctly. Take care and thanks.

sjrcpa
Level 15

That ghost reference refers, for example, to "preparers" using Turddoh Tax who hand the client a tax return that says Prepared by a Nonpaid Preparer


ex-AllStar
Just-Lisa-Now-
Level 15
Level 15
I dont think 'non paid preparer' is an option in TT...its purely DIY so nothing prints in the Paid Preparer area.

You will see ghost preparers that use the cheapest professional software they can find and will mark returns as Self Prepared and not put any preparer info at all.

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
sjrcpa
Level 15

That must be what I've seen.


ex-AllStar
IRonMaN
Level 15

I ain't afraid of no ghost.

Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters - YouTube

ACME Taxes, Tatoos, Tires and Tomatoes (I had to get rid of the turtles - they kept running away)
PATAX
Level 11

@Johnl777 @abctax55 @dascpa @Accountant-Man @Just-Lisa-Now- @IRonMaN great points from all...like dascpa said, imo it is a good idea to sign both the return and the e-file signature document....