Signatures (Basic): Request E-Signatures from Clients
Request e-signatures so that clients sign prepared documents and forms from their TaxDome portal. Indicate where you want signatures, insert fields for a taxpayer and their spouse, add knowledge-based authentication (KBA), turn on reminders—and more!
- How to request an e-signature from a client
- How to request e-signatures from a married couple
- Adding a field for a firm representative’s e-signature
- Reminding clients to e-sign documents
- What clients see when you request an e-signature
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How to request an e-signature from a client
What you need to know:
- E-signing prepared docs and forms is the same as signing them by hand.
- Upload prepared docs to a folder with Client can view access so that your clients can e-sign.
- A client cannot e-sign without having portal access, so make sure that they’ve been invited to use their TaxDome portal.
- For a client to sign, Login must be toggled on for their linked email address in their account’s Contacts.
- Like any signed document, once a client e-signs, the document is final and cannot be altered.
Tip: You can use the Windows app to request e-signatures and apply signature templates.
1. In the account, go to Documents, click the three dots to the far right of the PDF, then click Request Signature in the pull-down.
2. Choose the signer manually in the Choose signer drop-down or apply a signature template.
3. Add however many e-signature fields you need, one for each signer.
4. Сlick Send. The document goes out to all clients who need to sign and becomes visible under their Docs tab in the Signatures section; it is visible both to you and to all the account users with Login toggled on.
Plus, there are more features. Below are the details for the numbered fields:
1. Template: If you’ve created signature templates to save time with frequently used forms, select one.
2. Choose signer: Add signature fields for the TaxDome user who must sign.
- To add a field, select the account user’s contact name.
- To add a field for a firm rep, select the Me option (details below).
- To add a field for an additional signer, such as a spouse, select the user’s contact name (details below).
3. Edit signers: Signers are listed in the same order as linked contacts in Account Details. To change the order of signers, click Edit signers. You can also change the default order.
4. Date format: Select the date format for e-signatures. If not set manually, the default date format is used.
5. Signature fields
- Signature: Use this for the e-signature by the client or the firm representative. Each signature field contains the signature, date and time of signing.
- Initials: Use this whenever you need the client or the firm representative to add their initials.
- Date signed: The date populates this field and all signature fields when the client signs the document. Dates appear in the firm representative fields when documents are sent to clients. Dates cannot be edited.
- Text: Request or add extra information
- You can request additional data. Place the field where you want it to be, then click on it to edit.
- A firm rep can also use text fields to add info. Place the prefilled field where you want it to be, then click on it to edit.
6. Reminders: Toggle them on if you want an email notification sent to the client when they don’t sign on time (details below). Reminders will include text from the next field — Message for client.
7. Message for client: Add a personalized message to accompany the signature request. This message will be included in the email along with the new signature request. If you choose not to fill in this field, the client will receive a default message.
8. Add shortcode: These are codes that are automatically replaced in the Message for client field, such as for a recipient’s name, address, account name or date (here's more on shortcodes).
9. Require KBA: This is available to your US clients only (here's more on KBA).
10. Send: Click here when the document is ready to be signed.
11. Save: Save your changes without sending the document: added fields are staved, and the document is visible under the Docs tab in the Signatures section. You’ll still be able to review the document and add or delete fields. The document isn’t visible to the client until you hit Send.
How to request e-signatures from a married couple
According to tax rules, spouses completing a married-filing-jointly tax return must both sign.
Steps before requesting e-signatures from a married couple
- Make sure you’ve linked the spouse’s contact to the taxpayer’s account. (You can find out more about setting up accounts and contacts.)
- Make sure that both the taxpayer and the spouse have portal access to the account.
- Login must be toggled on for both their email addresses in their account’s Contacts section.
Steps to request e-signatures from a married couple
1. Use Request Signature just as you would when you need one person to sign (see above). Add fields for the taxpayer, then select the spouse’s name in the Choose signer drop-down.
2. Add fields for the spouse to e-sign. For clarity, a different color is used for each signer.
3. Сlick Send to get the document out to both spouses.
What happens when you request e-signatures from a married couple
- The taxpayer and the spouse receive an email with a unique link to the document pending e-signatures.
- They see that the document is pending e-signatures.
- They see all the fields added to the document, but can only sign on their own field.
- You receive a notification when each spouse signs the document; it lets you know whether the other has signed or not.
- Once someone has signed a document, the signature field cannot be edited.
- A document is marked Signed once both spouses have signed it.
- If someone fails the KBA or declines to sign, you’ll need to upload the prepared document and request both e-signatures again.
Adding a firm representative’s e-signature
Most documents need to be signed by one or more tax preparers. If you need several company reps to sign, add fields for them and indicate each team member’s name.
When requesting an e-signature from a team member, select the Me option from the Choose signer drop-down. The available fields are:
- Signature: By default, your name appears, but you can change it. If you need more signature fields for firm reps, add more, then edit the names.
- Initials: By default, the initials of your name appear. You can edit the field as needed.
- Date: It is automatically populated when the document is sent to the client.
- Text: Add your firm’s name, address or any other necessary details.
- If you need to change your name or initials, click and edit the field.
- If a signature field is added for a firm rep, and the document hasn’t been sent to the client, the field can be edited or deleted by any team member with access to the client's account documents.
- Once you send the document to the client, the document is considered signed by your firm, and the client can see this.
- If signature fields for firm reps are added, and the document hasn’t been signed by the client yet, you still have time to cancel the e-signature request if needed.
- The document’s audit trail shows who created each firm rep’s signature field on the document.
Reminding clients to e-sign documents
Whenever you send a document for e-signing, a notification goes out. Users linked to the account—who have Notify toggled on—receive the notification. You can check which users have Notify toggled on by going to an account’s Info tab and viewing the Contacts section.
In case recipients take too long to respond, or if they forget to do so, you can:
Manual reminders (resending)
To resend a notification requesting an e-signature, click the three dots to the document’s right in the Signatures list, then select Resend.
- An additional email message is sent to the client.
- A notification about the document pending e-signature is moved to the top of the client’s Waiting for action list.
Clients receive an email notification when you send them a document to e-sign.
When you toggle on Reminders while requesting an e-signature, additional emails are sent to the client when they don’t e-sign the document within a specified time frame. The Reminders option can be toggled on and off at any time by opening the document pending signature (even if it has been e-signed by one of the signers). Don’t forget to click Save when you make changes to the Reminders settings.
Once you toggle on Reminders, make your selections:
- Days until next reminder: Set the reminder to go out after a specified number of days if the document has not been e-signed by all signers. By default, a reminder is sent three days after the e-signature has been requested.
- Number of reminders: Set the number of reminders that go out to the client. By default, the client receives only one reminder email.
Reminders stop when:
- The set number of reminders have been sent
- The document has been signed by all signers
What your client sees when you request an e-signature
A client views and e-signs a document by clicking its name in the Documents category of their Waiting for action in the Home or Documents pages of the client portal, or clicking the link in their email notification.
When you request an e-signature from more than one user for an account (e.g., spouses), the user who is signing sees their own e-signature fields only. The document remains Pending E-Signature in the Signatures subtab until both parties have e-signed it.
If you’d like to see TaxDome from the client side, access a read-only view.