Description

This article explains how the Signature Request works and provides Benefit Plan Information.

From the FAQs on EFAST2 Electronic Filing System

All pension and welfare plans and DFEs that are required to submit an annual return/report under Title I of ERISA (Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF) must do so electronically for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009. Beginning January 2010, an all-electronic system called EFAST2 will receive those electronic annual returns/reports. You must file the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF electronically through EFAST2 for plan/reporting year 2009 and for subsequent plan/reporting years.

 
Note:  The 5500-EZ is now available but cannot be submitted electronically per the DOL.  For more information see the Form 5500-EZ instructions.

Solution Description
If you are currently using Lacerte software to prepare Form 5500 and then print and file the annual return/report via EFAST, be aware that you must E-File the return.  Before doing so, the plan administrator must electronically sign the return.
 
What you need to get started:
  • All signers of the benefit plan must go to the DOL website and register for their pin
  • Email addresses for all signers
  • Your email address entered in the preparer's tab of the options
  • A prepared 5500 return
 
Enter Your Email Address:
  1. Click on Settings
  2. Click on Options
  3. Select the Preparers tab
  4. Highlight your name in the list of Preparers
  5. Select Modify

 
Enter the Signer's Information:
 
  1. Go to Screen 4, Electronic Filing 
  2. Click on e-file Misc from the left navigation panel

     
     
  3. Select Administrator from the Signer Type (Ctrl+T) drop down menu
  4. Enter the signer's name in Individual signing return
  5. Enter the signer's e-mail in Email


Once the Return is complete and all diagnostics have been resolved, with the exception of "The return must be electronically signed before e-filing the return... (ref. #13799)," send the Signature Request.

Note:  Beginning in 2013 Lacerte Tax, you will need to Setup and Access Manage User rights before sending the Signature Request. See Tax Year 2016 Login Requirements for Identity Authentication in Lacerte for more information.

To send the Signature Request:

  1. Click on the Clients tab
  2. Highlight the client file
  3. Click on the Request Signature link (or click on E-file, Click on Step 1: Print e-file Signature Document, and Select Send Request to Sign Returns.)

     
     
  4. Start the Signature process.  You will have a chance to edit the request email at this point.  Click Next to continue.


     
  5. Continue the Signature Process by reviewing the e-mail.  Click Next to continue.
  6. Once the request has been processed, you will see the Signature Request Summary.  Click Finish to complete.
  7. The Signature Status column will now display Pending for that client.
  8. Once the Plan Administrator, sponsor, or Direct Filing Entity receives the email, they will need to go to the link from the email to review the return. The log in information will also be supplied in the email.


     
  9. Click Let's Go once signed in 
  10. Click on the PDF under Review Documents to review the return.
  11. Enter the UserId and PIN

    Note:  The Plan Administrator, Sponsor, and Direct Filing Entity must obtain their UserId and PIN from the Department of Labor (DOL) to sign the return. The PIN is a four-digit number, no alpha characters, numbers only. The signer must follow the instructions located at http://www.efast.dol.gov .  To go straight to the sign-up click here: https://www.efast.dol.gov/portal/app/userCreate?execution=e1s1



     
  12. Click Sign to approve the return

    Note:  Lacerte will pull the Signor Database every 15 minutes for updates.  When all Signees have accepted and electronically signed the return, the Signature Status column will change from Pending to Complete. The return may now be electronically filed. If the signee rejects the return, then you cannot get a Complete signature status in the column and must modify the return in order to send another Signature Request. See Form 5500 Signature Status is Rejected for more information.

    Note:  The e-file diagnostic e-file:  The return must be electronically signed before e-filing the return.  Please review the help/"How Do I" in screen 4, Electronic Filing, for more information on how to complete the signature requirements. (ref. #13799)
    will still be generating even after the return has been signed. The return can still be e-filed even though this diagnostic is generating.
If the client is in your office, you may follow the steps above including sending the request.  To sign the return, you can Launch Signature Website under the E-file menu after the request has been sent.  From here, you client can review the return, then accept or reject.
 

See Alternative Signature for Electronically Filed Form 5500