Incorporating e-file Into Your Office
With e-file, you and your clients must sign one of the following California e-file authorization forms listed below instead of the tax return or use the tax return or use the Self-Select PIN Method.
The following authorization forms are available:
- Unless your client uses the Self-Select PIN Method (individual taxpayers only), you and your client are required to sign the applicable authorization form after the return has been prepared, reviewed, and before the return is e-filed.
- You and your client must keep the authorization form 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 authorization form (return or signature authorization).
- A self-addressed stamped envelope.
- A bill for your preparation fees.
- Instructions to return payment for your fees along with the signed authorization form.
- 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 completed authorization form.
Set up a client log to keep track of when you send the package to your client and when you receive the signed authorization form. 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 authorization form or use the Self-Select PIN Method (individual taxpayers only).
- 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 (FAX or email is acceptable).
- Store the signed authorization documents in one of the following formats:
- In your computer, by scanning the document and saving as a Portable Document Format (.pdf) or image file
- On CD or portable USB/flash drive
- By paper, keeping a copy in your client files.
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