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emailing PDFs to clients to review

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been sending password protected using bullzip.. kind of a hassle. .is there another way., maybe hosting the returns somehow that is easier and safe that people here use?

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Well, there is an ongoing discussion on the ways to do this. For many years I have been sending password protected encrypted returns (256 bit through Adobe Pro).  The hassle for me and clients is getting the signed Form 8879 back to e-file.  So I am exploring especially Verifyle.  Still in discovery mode.

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I use ProSystem fx, so the names of the products are different. I have FileShare included free with my CCH SiteBuilder website; I use it to upload returns and such to my clients, and they use it to upload their tax information to me and to return signature pages. And, CCH offers a more robust free-standing portal.

If you use CCH's eSign, it automatically delivers a client copy when it delivers the signature pages for verification.

Many of us have been demoing Verifyle that's free with NAEA membership and another professional membership, too. And, not expensive if purchased on its own, I think. It's great for private communication.

More companies -- tax prep software, website builders, email providers, professional organizations, etc. -- are getting into this market. I hope that means that services will be easier for us and our clients to use and that prices will be competitive.

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Since email is becoming less and less reliable as far as getting past "security" settings, I have added a secure online file folder system.  I can post messages, and when the customer next opens my software, the message(s) will be shown.  I also have added the ability to send certain messages via text, which also helps.

I send only transactional messages, yet some "security" vendors still block or drop my messages (instead of delivering, or delivering as spam).  I use a private IP address to send, so there is no chance of getting blocked by the actions of others.

So if I were looking to get something securely to someone, and I could not handle it myself, I would look for a product that hosts the secure file (for download) and sends notice to the recipient (with viewing instructions) via email AND text message.

 

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I use OneDrive expiring links.  I upload the documents I need to send with a link that expires in 3 days.   They can download from there anything I'm sending.  Since the link expires, I don't have to worry about a hacker getting their info from these links and my inbox and theirs remains "personal-info-free."

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For signatures, I use Signature Flow thru CPaperless. I have used this for the last three years and it is seamless. Only charged when you use it. Through Drake, I use secure file pro, again no problems at all. Most of my clients really like it. However, there are a few who are challenged by technology and struggle with it.

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Warning:  Signature Flow support is ENDING as of June 30, 2020.  They are instead pushing their secure send product - which ONLY works with Outlook.  I am most seriously ticked off about  this.

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14 hours ago, Terry D said:

there are a few who are challenged by technology and struggle with it.

This will be the case no matter what you try. It baffles me how people can't create a password for a new account, and download a file. How do you live in the internet age without those skills?!🙄

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1 minute ago, Abby Normal said:

This will be the case no matter what you try. It baffles me how people can't create a password for a new account, and download a file. How do you live in the internet age without those skills?!🙄

I just had "this" conversation yesterday, with someone asking what it was like being able to "speak" programming.  I think I shocked with my reply.  Programming is a great skill.  But, it is no more than 5% of what it is needed to be a programmer.  5% is coming up with the ideas, and 90% is trying to predict what a human non-expert will do, and dealing with those consequences.  The person said "what?" and I shaded that when computers first became available to the "public", those who obtained them became experts.  Now, they are ubiquitous, and experts are rare.  Programmers must now anticipate and react, not just "allow".  Many believe their computer should get the job done, and will or should never allow the user to be human (make an error).

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8 hours ago, Catherine said:

Warning:  Signature Flow support is ENDING as of June 30, 2020.  They are instead pushing their secure send product - which ONLY works with Outlook.  I am most seriously ticked off about  this.

Catherine,

Thanks for alerting me/us. I just spoke with them the other day and they said nothing about this. I'm with you, I don't use nor like Outlook. I guess I'll have to search for something different. 

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Drake offers an online signature option if you are a secure file pro user. $5.00 per signature seems a bit high. That means $10.00 for a MFJ return and only works for 1040 returns. DocuSign at $15.99 per month sounds better. If anyone is using anything else that is reasonable, please post it here. 

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There are a lot of E-signature companies offering this service, but for signing IRS 8878/8879, it has to have KBA (Knowledge Based Authorization), such as Docusign uses.  Others that meet this requirement are CCH E-sign, Smartvault and I think Adobe. If there are others, I haven't run across them.   KBA requires two questions to be answered electronically, usually DOB and SSN accessed through a credit agency.

If I am reading the following correctly, the IRS will accept faxed, or emailed wet signatures. 

"What is an “e-signature via remote transaction” in relation to Forms 8878 or 8879?

A remote transaction for e-signature is one in which the taxpayer is electronically signing the form and the ERO is not physically present with the taxpayer.

Note: A remote transaction for e-signature purposes does not include handwritten signatures on Forms 8878 or 8879, sent to an ERO by hand delivery, U.S. mail, private delivery service, fax, e-mail or an Internet website."

https://www.irs.gov/e-file-providers/frequently-asked-questions-for-irs-efile-signature-authorization

 

 

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Max you are correct on the KBA requirement. I have used the faxed method, sending the 8879 securely, have them sign, take a picture an return. But, with signature flow, I am pretty sure that was a connection with DocuSign. I very well may end up going with DocuSign at the end of this season. I normally send out more that 50 8879's for e-signatures and for various entities. Signature flow also provided the ability for me to have an engagement letter signed as well. Signature Flow has spoiled me but all good things eventually come to an end.

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On 1/23/2020 at 3:56 PM, Margaret CPA in OH said:

GGRNY, how do you manage e-signatures?  I think I have OneDrive available but haven't used it.  Do you still encrypt documents uploaded?

Sorry for the late reply Margaret.  Originally I was asking clients to upload to various Clouds they may have that I also have; One Drive, Dropbox, Google, etc.  But this year, I'm trying out SignRequest.  So far, it seems easy.  The only annoying thing is that it's a separate email to the client, rather than part of my original email with the return information.  We'll see how my clients respond to it.  

As for encrypting docs upload to OneDrive.  No I don't encrypt them.  Once the engagement with the client is completed, I delete their info from my drive completely. 

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Thanks, GGRNY, I went with Versifyle.  It's going well and the first several clients like it.  There will be some without the ability to upload documents as no way to scan paper but I do like the e-signature part now that I understand how it works.

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