Signing 5500 electronic returns

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MFA required for electronic filing

Effective May 3rd, the 2017 version of UltraTax CS requires multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access the electronic filing transmission feature in CS Connect.

Thomson Reuters is committed to proactively evolving our security features to help you protect your firm and your clients' data. For more information about multi-factor authentication, see Multi-factor authentication overview.

Per Department of Labor (DOL) mandates, the electronic filing signer credentials, which consist of the User Identification Number (User ID) and the Personal Identification Number (PIN), must be kept confidential and not shared with anyone. To accommodate this requirement, UltraTax/5500 offers three methods for entering the signer credentials.

Notes

  • The designated signer must have a User ID and PIN before signing the return.
  • If the practitioner is not the signer, enter the name of the person who signs the return in the Individual signing for plan administrator field on Screen Admin in the General folder.

Entering signer credentials in person

If the signers are able to enter their signer credentials in person, follow these steps.

  1. Open the client's return.
  2. Address all diagnostic messages in the ELF Critical tab of the Federal Diagnostics window.
  3. Open Screen ELF in the Electronic Filing folder.
  4. Have the signers enter the plan administrator, employer / plan sponsor, direct filing entity (DFE), or E-Signature eight-character User IDs and the four-digit PINs in the appropriate User ID and PIN fields in the Direct Signer Designation section on Screen ELF. If you use this option, leave the fields in the Website Signer Designation section blank.

    Note: If you use the Service Provider Designation option, see Entering signer credentials as the practitioner below.

  5. Create the electronic file by choosing File > Print returns.
  6. Transmit the electronic file via CS Connect.

To protect the confidentiality of the signers' credentials, after the signers enter the User IDs and the PINs and leave the field, UltraTax CS replaces the data with asterisks. Therefore, it is imperative that the signers review the data entered before leaving each field.

After the signers enter their credentials and the electronic file is created and transmitted via CS Connect, the return will be processed as usual, and the DOL will issue an acknowledgment after the DOL completes processing.

Entering signer credentials via website

If the signers are unable to enter their signer credentials in person, UltraTax/5500 allows for the creation of the electronic file without signatures. When the signers cannot enter their credentials in person, the signers will enter their signer information via a website. To create the electronic file without signatures, follow these steps.

  1. Open the client's return.
  2. Address all diagnostic messages in the ELF Critical tab of the Federal Diagnostics window.
  3. Open Screen ELF in the Electronic Filing folder.
  4. Mark the Plan administrator, Employer / Plan Sponsor, or Direct Filing Entity (DFE) checkbox in the Website Signer Designation section on Screen ELF to indicate which signers will sign the return via a provided website.

    Note: You can designate more than one classification of signer, which will require corresponding User ID and PIN entries for each signer.

  5. Verify that a preparer has been selected in File > Client Properties.
  6. Verify that the applicable preparer's email address has been entered in the Setup > Office Configuration > Preparers tab.
  7. Create the electronic file by choosing File > Print Returns.
  8. Transmit the electronic file via CS Connect.
  9. Upon receipt of the electronic file without signer credentials, Thomson Reuters will send an email message to the assigned preparer with a link to the signing website. The preparer should then forward the email message to the signers with instructions to click the link to access the website and enter their User ID and PIN.
  10. The signers should enter any additional data indicated in the instructions provided on the website, then click the Click to sign return button, and click OK in the confirmation dialog.
  11. After the User ID and PIN have been entered, we will send a follow-up email message to notify the preparer that we have received the signer credentials and the return is being transmitted to the DOL for processing.

Notes

  • We will send reminder email messages to the preparer every two days while the signature codes are pending; if the signature codes are not entered within two weeks of transmission of the return to us via CS Connect, the return will be rejected.
  • We will send an email message to the preparer when a signer has completed the signer credentials. We will also include information for signer credentials that are pending.
  • The Thomson Reuters email messages come from efile@efileservices.net. You must confirm that email spam filters do not prevent these reminder emails from being delivered.

Entering signer credentials as the practitioner

If the practitioner is authorized to sign Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF, follow these steps.

  1. Open the client's return.
  2. Address all diagnostic messages in the ELF Critical tab of the Federal Diagnostics window.
  3. Open Screen ELF in the Electronic Filing folder.
  4. Enter the practitioner User ID and PIN in the E-Signature: User ID and E-Signature: Personal identification number (PIN) fields in the Direct Signer Designation section. Do not mark any option in the Website Signer Designation section.
  5. Mark the checkbox indicating that the practitioner has been authorized to enter the User ID and PIN on the return to electronically submit the return in the Service Provider Designation section.
  6. Choose Edit > Electronic Filing Attachments, and click the Add button.
  7. Select Federal from the Product drop-down list.
  8. Select Tax Return from the Return drop-down list.
  9. Select Manually signed Form 5500 or 5500-SF under e-signature option for service providers from the Attachment title drop-down list.
  10. Click the Browse button to navigate to the location of the document you want to attach. 

    Note: If the attachment is not saved as a PDF file, the file will not be listed when you click the Browse button. The attachment must be a PDF file to attach the document to the electronic file; you cannot attach scanned images to the electronic file.

  11. Click OK to close the Add Electronic Filing Attachment dialog.
  12. Click View Attachment to view the PDF file, or click OK to close the Electronic Filing Attachments dialog.

    Note: For more information on attaching PDF files to electronic files, see Attaching Portable Document Format (PDF) files to electronic files.

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