Discussion:SSSHHH don't tell the IRS....Super Secret Poll Concerning Form 8879 and State Equivalent

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> SSSHHH don't tell the IRS....Super Secret Poll Concerning Form 8879 and State Equivalent


JEllegate (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007

These E-file Authorizations are a pain in the butt...causes yet another interaction with the client. A few of my "comrades" go ahead and efile without having the client first sign the authorization...they just send the form(s) along with the taxpayer's copy of the return and a bill for their fees (they claim that they don't have any fee collection issues w/their clients) and have the client(s) return the signed forms with their payment. Neither I or any of the folks I know have the type of practice where the clients have their returns prepared on the spot...it's mostly drop off or mail in and we'll send the completed package to you so, these efile forms do cause a ripple in the process.

I'm bracing myself for the backlash of criticism of this practice but I was wondering if anybody else out there is handling this in a similar fashion or found a more efficient manner to handle the "administration" of these forms.

TAXESIDO (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Many people have a fax machine. If you mail them out have them fax back signed forms. Most of mine pick up the completed returns and sign at that time, but the ones I mail out either fax them back or mail them back to me.

Will (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
I wouldn't e-file without the 8879 in my hands under any circumstance. The publications are very clear. I really don't remember a thing that was in them besides DO NOT EFILE WITHOUT SIGNED 8879.

I email the 8879 to my clients, receive them back by fax usually. I consider the 8879 easier than dealing with printing and mailing paper returns, maybe it's just me.

MsTwizz (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
I always have the 8879 signed also. I also print out a copy of the tax form and have the client look it over first before I e-file it. I have had an instance where I made an input error and the client was able to correct me before the e-file.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 24, 2007
I will admit that the administrative burden of identifying who has not returned their forms and then having to follow up is pain in the rear. On April 15th we got do a final check and end up having to send out several extensions because of these flaky clients.

Interestingly, there is always one extension that gets bumped because the IRS shows a tax return has already been filed. I guess they did not like our version of their return. Oh well, at least they paid us.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Try emailing pdf copies of the returns [encoded if possible], letting them print out and fax back the 8879 and state ones. Proseries now permits you to make a pdf of separate forms, so you can send the 8879 & State separately so the client does not have to print out the entire return.

Jokadah (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
Call me paranoid but . . . if you don't have the signed 8879 and you go ahead and efile, what happens if upon reviewing the return the client discovers an error? In Lacerte, you have to check the box certifying the client read consent. On 8879 it states under penalty of perjury that client examined form, etc. Could'nt that be construed as fraud? For clients that live out of the area, I email pdf tax return to review with "do not file" across each page and then I incude Fed and State 8879 for them to sign and mail back to me with payment. I tell them that I can't efile without the signed 8879 giving me permission to do so. I do not do returns on the spot either, but until I have the 8879 in my hand I won't efile it. If I efile it without their permission then the liability is on me. JE you're a braver soul then I. My clients are used to coming back to review/pickup/pay for their tax return so the signing of the 8879 is no big deal. They are usually thrilled that their refunds are coming faster, especially with direct deposit.

Jokadah (talk|edits) said:

24 February 2007
PVVCPA - I use Lacerte and have set up sign 8879, ready to efile, efile ack in my status descriptions. When client signs and pays they are moved to ready to efile and after they are efiled they are moved to efile ack. I can tell at a glance who is in pending, review, etc.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
Rules are quite clear. I have filed exactly one tax return without the 8879 in hand. And guess what? It's the only one that I ever had a problem with! The client was leaving that day for Italy and wouldn't return until after tax day. About 4:00, the fax rang, and I could see it was his number...and nothing came. I tried to call, too late, off to the airport, didn't have a cell#. He thought it was done...and I filed it anyway. Later, he complained about his tax due and went to another preparer who gave him his number...and I never learned if they filed an amendment or what...Never never never. Unless someone's getting on an airplane again I guess....

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
Jokadah, and what if you or your assistant accidentally changes the status of the wrong client?

I also use Lacerte, but we have set up a Custom Filter based on the e-file stati. For the most part it works, but it still requires someone to monitor it. For example, if a client was converted to paper when somebody else claimed their dependent, the e-file status still shows as Not Complete.

Jokadah (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2007
Been using status to track clients for 15+ years and have not had any problems. If client is rejected then status becomes Rejected if the rejection is something that can't be fixed then status becomes Paper. I use the status to track everything so I know immediately who is where, how many returns are in review, pending, to be prepared, etc. This also helps me find their file in a jiffy. It's worked for me all these years, tried using the client tracker last year but still prefer moving status column to first row to see how many are where.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

February 25, 2007
Can you believe we used up all 20 of our stati. We have none left to track e-file.

I agree with you about the Client Tracker. It's too complex. I turn it off as soon as I load my new Lacerte every year.

Mbcpa (talk|edits) said:

22 January 2011

Does the client's 8879 copy need to be signed or just the preparer copy that we keep?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

January 22, 2011
Doesn't matter.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

23 January 2011
The client's copy of the return or the 8879 doesn't need to be signed by the preparer.

Kerryfreemanea (talk|edits) said:

25 January 2011
So what would be your answer to the IRS if you were to get a compliance audit on April 20th and you do not have the 8879's on file siggned? The E-file rules are clear. I would not want to lose e-file Privileges because I did not get the singiture. If the client does not timely return it, I will not automaticely file an extension either. It might be good service,but I think it is bad practice.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

25 January 2011
Why would you not file an extension? What harm could come of it?

MilTaxEA (talk|edits) said:

25 January 2011
If they haven't sent in the signed 8879, what are the chances they will get you a signed 8878 in time?

Kerryfreemanea (talk|edits) said:

25 January 2011
Most likely I was not paid to file an extension!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

25 January 2011
JW

Umk395 (talk|edits) said:

26 January 2011
Is the original 8879 required or can the client sign the 8879 and fax back?

MilTaxEA (talk|edits) said:

26 January 2011
You can scan or fax, so long as the signature is legible.

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