Incorporating Individual e-file Into Your Office

Signature Process

With e-file, you and your clients must sign the California e-file Return Authorization form (FTB 8453) or the California e-file Signature Authorization form (FTB 8879) instead of the tax return or use the Self-Select PIN Method.

Requirements:

  • Unless your client uses the Self-Select PIN Method, you and your client are required to sign form FTB 8453 or form FTB 8879 after the return has been prepared and you and your client have reviewed it, and before the return is e-filed.
  • You and your client must keep the form FTB 8453 or form FTB 8879 for four years after the due date of the return or four years from the date the return is e-filed, whichever is later.

Suggestions from successful e-filers:

  • When you mail completed returns to your clients, mail them:
    • The completed return, either in electronic format, or paper.
    • The form FTB 8453 or form FTB 8879.
    • A self-addressed stamped envelope.
    • A bill for your preparation fees.
    • Instructions to return payment for your fees with the form FTB 8453 or form FTB 8879.
    • Instructions for payment options for payment of state tax, if applicable.
    • A message that you will e-file their return only when you receive both their payment for preparation and their authorization.

    Set up a client log to keep track of when you send the package to your client and when you receive the signed form FTB 8453 or form FTB 8879.  A client log can help track the entire return process. Click here for more information.

  • When you complete the return while your client is in your office:
    • Have them sign the form FTB 8453, form FTB 8879, or use the Self-Select PIN Method.
    • Have them pay your fees.
    • Transmit the return (after they leave or while they are in the office, depending on how you want to schedule your e-file transmissions).
    • Retrieve the ACK.
    • Provide your client with proof of acceptance (by FAX is acceptable).
  • Store the signature documents:
    • In your computer, by scanning the document and saving as a Portable Document Format (.pdf) or image file, or
    • On CD or disk, or
    • By paper, keeping a copy in your client files.

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