The remote Signature feature allows the ERO to send a remote signature request to Taxpayer and/or Spouse when clients are not physically present in the office . This means that you can prepare the tax return for your clients and sign the documents utilizing a completely remote process.
What are the requirements in order to use the remote signature feature?
The computer used with the remote sign feature must have internet access. This feature of the software can be used in two distinctive ways, using text messages by cellphone or using an email.
- If you are going to use the request by cell phone, you only need to provide the proper information on the client data screen. (Cell phone number and carrier for your clients)
🖐 Note: If MFJ, both the main taxpayer and the spouse are required to sign the documents.
- If you are going to use the request by email, you will need an extra step. That is, to use an existing, or set up a free google email account in the software that will be used as the source of the email.
On the client side, you should verify that your client has access to a touch device (Smartphone, Tablet, Ipad) or computer.
Why? Your clients will sign the documents using his/her finger on a website received on the signature request. Your clients will also be able to sign on a regular computer using their mouse. With that said let us start setting up the system.
This article is broken into the following sections:
- Configuring the software
- Preparing your tax return to be able to send the remote sign request to your clients
- Sending the remote signature request to your clients
- Troubleshooting remote signatures
- Additional Information
Follow the instructions below to successfully configure/capture a remote signature:
Configuring the Software
1. Click Setup > Office Setup.
2. Click TextMsg/Email Tab.
- Here you will find the fields that need completed in order to be able to send the signature request by email and the button for the activation of the TextLink/Email function
🖐 Note: You must be running the software as administrator.
- Email/password fields: enter your existing Gmail account and password or register for a free gmail account.
- Activate Textlink: When you activate texlink you will received two notifications from the system. The first one, is in reference to the SendText.dll registration file, and the second one, in reference to the Mscomctl.ocx registration file and both of them should show a succeed message.
🖐 Note: You will need to activate texlink for all and each one of the computers that will use the remote signature feature.
Example of how the notifications before described will look like:
🖐 Note: The path that the image is showing could be different on your system because it is relative to the location were you installed the software.
If you chose to use only the text message alternative then we already finished the setup of the system. However, if you also wanted to use the email alternative, there are some steps to be done after the above mentioned - to guarantee that the Google email settings are compatible with CrossLink 1040 and the function of sending emails. Please follow the article Configure Google to work with Textlink.
3. Store the signed documents.
Preparing your tax return to be able to send the remote sign request to your clients.
In order to do this you will need to collect the cell phone numbers, cell phone carriers and valid emails from your clients.
🖐 Note: If you are preparing a Married Filing Jointly return you will need this information for the taxpayer and spouse.
On the Client Data Screen you will input this information accordingly with the corresponding field and with the corresponding section for the taxpayer and/or spouse.
On the previous image, both clients provided a valid email that can be used for the remote signature request, firstname.lastname@example.org for the main taxpayer and email@example.com for the spouse.
You can also use the cell phones to send the remote signature request because they provided the cell phone numbers and the corresponding carrier(s), AT&T for both taxpayer/spouse.
🖐 Note: There is a check mark to the left of the Cell Phone Carrier field labeled as “Text Message”. That field needs to be selected if you want to use the cell phones for the remote signature feature request.
Why? That is the consent that your clients authorizes the software to send text messages to their cell phones.
Sending the remote signature request to your clients.
- Taxpayer/Spouse cell phone number and cell phone service provider information in client data screen for text messaging.
- ERO and Preparer signatures are already captured.
1. Open a return that has been completed with no verify error messages.
2. Click Print > Final Tax Return
3. Click RemoteSign.
4. If no clients are in the office to sign simple leave all boxes unchecked and click Ok.
🖐 Note: Previous year versions of CrossLink 1040 may present this differently.
5. Select the option to send the Remote Signature Link (cellphone or email) and click OK.
🖐 Note: If you chose to send the request via email the user must have access to a touch screen.
- A Text message and/or E-mail with a web link will be sent to TP/Spouse cellphone and/or Email based on your selection.
6. After clicking the weblink from the text message/Email, a web browser window will open and the taxpayer/Spouse will need to verify their identity by completing the information for Lastname , DOB, Last 4 digits of their SSN, and Zip Code. Click Next to continue.
7. Taxpayer/Spouse will be prompted to verify that everything on the return is correct.
8. Click Ok, to continue to the signature request.
9. Capture the Signature and click Submit.
10. Confirm the signature by clicking on Yes.
11. You can view the Remote Signature from inside Return.
🖐 Note: Any pending remote signature(s) can be viewed in the WIP screen.
Troubleshooting remote signatures
After you verified that the system is correctly setup you want to verify that the “Live” function is properly connected and that your installation has the leader role.
1. Click Help > About CrossLink.
2. Click Live.
In the next window you will pay special attention to the labels “ LEADER ” and “ STATUS ”, you will first check that the Live function is responding with the following process.
3. Click Ping Xlive to test the connectivity. You should receive a success notification if everything is working fine.
4. Click Leader Req.
5. Click Refresh.
🖐 Note: that the “ Leader ” has a value of TRUE and the “ Status ” is CONNECTED.
If on the previous steps, the process did not ended successfully, there may be an issue with the Live connection between the software and our servers. In that case, check the internet connection and verify that the antivirus and/or firewall are not blocking the software.
After verifying that everything is ok with the previous steps you will try to resend the remote signature request.
🖐 Note: Before you try to resend the remote signature request you should verify that there is no pending request waiting for the signature. Follow the next steps to verify this.
1. Open the return associated with the remote signature in your software.
2. Double-click Remote Signature on the attached forms.
- On the next window you should verify that there is no remote signature request with the status “ WAITING ” because that could cause problems when you resend the request again
🖐 Note: In the above image you can see that the request that is highlighted in blue has a status of waiting
- Delete all the remote signatures that have a status of pending before you try to resend the signature. Highlight the request that has a “ Waiting ” status and click on the Delete button at the bottom of the window. Do this for each request that is pending
3. After the previous step is complete and there are no remote signature request with the “ Waiting ” status, you can resend the remote signature request again.
There are several reasons why you will need to do this process; the taxpayer/spouse is not receiving the remote signature request. The taxpayer/spouse received the remote signature request but they are unable to finish the process because of an error. The taxpayer/spouse received and complete the remote signature process but the signature never reached the ERO.
In all the cases mentioned before you should troubleshoot the remote signature process accordingly.
How to Verify the Status for the Remote Signature Request Outside of the Return
The ERO does not need to open the return to verify the status of the remote signature. There is an indicator on the WIP (Work in Progress) screen that shows the remote signature request that are pending and the ones that are already completed. It is located on the “ Exception/Rejects ” section of the work in progress.
If you click on those sections the software will show you a list of pending or completed remote signatures with the information related to the particular return(s).
🖐 Note: Double-click on the request and the software will open the return for you.