How do I create and e-mail a password protected PDF to my client within Lacerte?

Solution Description

Beginning in Tax Year 2014, Lacerte has added the ability to include a link to the PDF, in the email. See Generating a Password Protected PDF and Email below for more information.



After your client opens the email, they will be prompted to enter a password with the instructions you provided. After entering the password, the return will be available for the client to print


The following rules apply:

  • Only up to the first five characters of the zip code are used.
  • If the zip codes contain anything that is not a number (ignoring dashes), it will not be used in the password.
  • The SSN must be at least four digits long before it is used in the password.
  • If the SSN contains anything that is not a number (ignoring dashes), it will not be used as the password.
  • SSN dashes are ignored when creating passwords.
  • If the SSN is less than 9 digits, it is not used as a password. 

Important Information about PDF Password Protection:

  1. Is the password protected PDF encrypted? Yes, using AES 128-bit encryption similar to Adobe PDF encryption.
  2. Can this PDF be hacked?  Any security can be hacked given a sufficient length of time and the right tools.  The password methodology is hackable, but allows for relative ease of opening by the Taxpayer. There is always a continuum between security and ease of use. At one end is no encryption and high ease of use.  At the other end is complex passwords like ?24bsde$%f*QW43**F!?, sent separately to the recipient, to create high security, but low ease of use. The password methodology was based on feedback from our Tax Preparer customers.
  3. Is there anything else I should do to protect my client's tax data? We recommend you also mask the SSN on the PDF return. See Content Coming Soon
  4. Is emailing a password protected PDF as safe as using a portal to deliver tax returns?   Portal security can be very high or not so high, again, depending on how it is set up. However, it is easier to give high security with reasonable ease of use with a portal.
  5. Can I use a different password methodology to protect PDF's? Not using this feature, but you can create a custom password using DMS. See Send Email Using DMS

Prior Year Details

 Tax Year 2013, the following print types were added:

  • Preparer review copy
  • Preparer file copy
  • Government filing copy
  • Extensions only
  • Additional Extensions only
  • K-1 package only (Partnership, S-Corporation, Fiduciary)
  • Grantor package only (Fiduciary)
  • Participant package only (Benefit Plan)

Tax Year 2012, this feature was introduced, initially supporting the following print types:

  • Client Copy
  • Custom Copy
  • Partial return