Signing 990 returns for electronic filing

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Signature options

You can use either the Practitioner Personal Identification Number (PIN) or Scanned Form 8453 option to sign an electronic return.

Note: Electronic signatures for electronically filed extensions are required only if you use electronic funds withdrawal (EFW) to pay a balance due on the extension.

Practitioner PIN option

  1. Complete the Signature date field in Screen ELF. This should be the date that Form 8879-EO will be signed by an officer.

    Note: If you leave this field blank, UltraTax CS defaults to the option selected in the When Form 8879 (etc.) signature date(s) (Preparer and/or Client) are not entered field in the Setup > Office Configuration > Print Options tab.

  2. Enter five numbers in the ERO PIN field. You may choose any five digits other than 00000. The actual Electronic Return Originator (ERO) PIN is an 11-digit number, of which the first six digits are your IRS-supplied Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) and the last five digits consist of the self-selected numbers entered in Screen ELF.
  3. Have the client complete the Taxpayer PIN field, which is a self-selected set of five numbers other than 00000.

Note: As the ERO, you may enter this PIN if you have the taxpayer's written signature on Form 8879-EO, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for an Exempt Organization, which will print with the return if you elect to use the PIN. Keep this form with your records, and do not mail it to the IRS unless requested to do so.

Scanned Form 8453 option

  1. Complete the Signature date field in Screen ELF.

    Note: Leave the PIN fields in the Personal Identification Number (PIN) Information section in Screen ELF blank.

  2. Once the return is completed, print a copy of Form 8453-EO, Exempt Organization Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing. You will need to sign the form as the ERO, and an officer must also sign the form.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • If you are licensed for FileCabinet CS, scan the signed form into FileCabinet CS to create and store a Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the form.
    • If you do not have FileCabinet CS, create a PDF file of the signed form and save the file to the desired location on your hard drive.
  4. To include the PDF in the electronic file, choose Edit > Electronic Filing Attachments with the return open and click the Add button.
  5. In the Attachment title field, select 8453 Signature Document from the drop-down list.
  6. In the Product field, select Federal from the drop-down list.
  7. In the Return field, select Tax Return, Form 990-PF Extension, Form 990-T Extension, or Form 4720 Extension from the drop-down list.
  8. If the document was scanned into FileCabinet CS, click the FileCabinet CS option and click the Select button to select the appropriate document. If the document was not scanned into FileCabinet CS, click the File option and click the Browse button to browse to the location of the document you want to attach.


    • If you are running UltraTax CS through Virtual Office CS or Software as a Service (SaaS), you can navigate to files on your local network.
    • If you want to proforma this attachment next year, mark the Proforma information to next year checkbox.
  9. Click OK to return to the Electronic Filing Attachment dialog.
  10. Click the View Attachment button to see the PDF file that will be included in the electronic file, or click OK to close the dialog.

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