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E-File another firm's tax returns - I am the paid preparer and the ERO

I am the paid preparer for a private client who has multiple entities (less than 10) and who owns the Lacerte software on their computer.  I am planning to e-file their tax returns from their computer for the upcoming season.  Do they have to apply for their own EFIN or can I just use mine while e-filing with their firm information and my PTIN?

If this is possible, how do I set up the program? 

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     You just use your own prep file.  The multi-firm prep support is pretty good.

    • Thank you, Phoebe.  If I use my own prep file, my firm information will show, and I don't think that my client will want that... aside from the fact that I do not want to be billed for their REP charges.  I was thinking of using the Alternate ERO option (screen EF 4.4), but am still not sure what information to enter when I first set up the program for E-file, since my client is not a tax preparation outfit, and not an ERO, and entering my firm's EFIN number in their Options may not work.  I have been e-filing for a long time and do not remember how to first set up the Lacerte program for efile since every year previous year info is automatically replicated in my computer (nice feature!).  To complicate things further, I work at this client's on week-ends when Lacerte live support is not available.  I guess, I could rephrase my question as follows: Can I install the 2010 Lacerte program on my client's computer using their prep file without setting it up for efile, and then enter my firm info under Alternate ERO, and go back to the efile setup screens (how?) and complete the e-file test only then? Or is there a simpler way to achieve this when first prompted if my client's firm is going to e-file this year?
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    The simplest way is to Backup the files from your client and restore it into your. Create a preparer profile of your client in your system and send, right? guess that is it? no? :-)

    • Would be nice if it were that simple.  My client wants their firm info on the tax return, not mine.  I am only the preparer, but as such, I am required to e-file all of the returns I prepare regardless of the firm I am working for... right?
    • But if you are the paid preparer, as stated in the first line of your original post "I am the paid preparer" , then your firm info should appear. If you are not the paid preparer and are just transmitting the return for them, then it can show their firm info, or perhaps more appropriately "Self-Prepared" Then you could be the Alternate ERO.
    • Allright... I think I've got it.  I will install the program on their computer with my client's prep file using 999999 as EFIN to test e-file functionality, REP the returns using my client's Lacerte number.  When ready to file, I will download my prep file and make sure my EFIN is entered correctly under my firm number, and e-file the returns using my Firm info and my PTIN.  This still brings the issue that my account may be inadvertently used at some point in the future to REP returns since I do not have control over who is going to use the computer.  This makes Peter846's suggestion of backing up the files and to send them from my computer more appealing as the efile solution.  I cannot mark any single one of your posts as "solved" since you all contributed, but you definitely all deserve the thumbs up.  Thank you!  
    • From her original post, she will be filing her client's tax returns on their system.  By placing/updating her prep file into their system, wouldn't it transport her  license info along with it? Can lacerte handle two multi prep files? I though each Lacerte is unique with the prep file.  Anyway, if the client wanted their name on the tax return, it would simpler to have them apply for a efin and just add your name to the roster of preparer. No?
    • Since my client does not have CPA or EA, etc. credentials, it would be extremely burdensome to have them apply for a EFIN and go through the fingerprinting, etc. I guess the issue here is that I prepare well over 100 tax returns per season and am obligated to e-file every return that I am paid to prepare, and happy to do so.  This one client presents a unique challenge as the tax prep is done on their premises and the complexity is such that only a sturdy commercial program such as Lacerte can handle their needs.  I am not sure how programs such as Turbo Tax handle e-file, but it might be interesting to find out if returns could be e-filed from Lacerte without requiring a preparer firm EFIN. 
    • Cora, would your client like to opt out of e-filing the returns?  All they want you to do is PREPARE them?  If a client ops out of e-filing, you aren't forced to e-file those clients.  If the client DOES want e-filing, and you and they come up with a method, fine.  But if they want to opt out because "the whole thing is too blasted complicated," the gov't won't put you or them in jail.
    •  There is alway good old US Postal Service!!! Just print it and Mailed in. Your Client can also save on the REP cost as well. I think that's the simplest way. 
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     I HAVE A QUESTION NOT A REPLY. I AM NEW TO THIS SO DIDN'T SEE HOW TO POST A QUESTION YET LOL.

    I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE JUST RECIEVED MY PTIN. I ALSO REGISTERED FOR E-SERVICE, BUT DIDNT KNOW IT WOULD TAKE FOREVER TO RECIEVE TO EFIN, IM JUST GETTING STARTED. CAN I STILL FILE MY CLIENT RETURN WITH JUST MY PTIN? I ALREADY HAVE MY SOFTWARE BY DRAKE? I DONT FILE VERY MANY ONLY ESTIMATE ABOUT 25 CLIENTS FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON PLEASE HELP HOW CAN I DO THIS?

    • If you are using Drake soffware why don't you ask Drake?
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