During the heat of tax season, firms of all sizes look for ways to save time, reduce costs and deliver value to clients as a trusted partner. Firms don’t only want to deliver value. They want to deliver everything from client correspondence and forms to financial advice and completed tax returns, securely. And that needs to be done clearly, effectively and in a timely manner. One way to do that is through the adoption of electronic signatures into a firm’s tax workflow.
Electronic signatures have been used effectively since they were made legal by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act) of 2000. The IRS has encouraged electronic filing for many years. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that they approved the use of electronic signatures on Form 8879 – removing a barrier for accountants and their clients.
Which is a huge deal.
Because you see, the IRS reported that the number of tax returns processed by the IRS in 2016 was more than 150,000,000 through November 23, 2016.
Electronic Signatures Offer Many Benefits
So what benefit can Electronic Signatures provide your firm at this stage of the game, in the middle of tax season?
Here are a few…
- Streamlined Electronic Filing. CCH® eSign uniquely integrates Form 8879 into Wolters Kluwer’s tax preparation and compliance software, including the electronic filing status system. This allows firms to take advantage of a paperless filing process from start to finish.
- Enhanced Firm/Client Relationship. Just as clients have come to anticipate e-signing in other official transactions, they expect their accountant to offer this convenience. Using e-signature technology helps solidify your reputation as a client‑focused, tech‑savvy firm.
- Time and Cost Savings. Practitioners report dramatic savings by eliminating the time and expense of mailing or faxing paper forms back and forth. This savings can result in an average of $13 per client return!
- Security. The strictest security protocols are in place to protect clients’ personal information. Electronic signature technologies also need to meet stringent IRS security requirements.
It’s Not Too Late to Implement for Tax Season
And if you’re wary of implementing electronic signatures for this tax season, consider them for the extension season and beyond. By doing so, you’ll also position your firm as future ready and client service oriented.
For more information on electronic signatures and Wolters Kluwer’s CCH eSign solution, click here.