Knowledge Base

10853: 1040 - EF Message 5331

Rejects + EF Messages

How do I clear EF Message 5331 on this individual return? 

1040 EF Message 5331:

ALTERNATIVE E-SIGNATURE MISSING: You are not set up to sign electronic returns using the 8879 or Alternative E-Signature.

To set up the PIN Signature:

1.     From the menu bar of the Home window, go to Setup > Preparer(s).
2.     Double-click a preparer to activate the "Preparer Setup" window.
3.     In the "Return Signature Options" box:

a)     Enter a five-digit PIN. This PIN will be used on all tax returns the preparer opts to use the PIN Signature or Alternative E-signature. (Remember this number or save to a secure place.)
b)     Choose the alternative e-signature option the preparer will participate in - the "8879 PIN Signature" and/or "Alternative Electronic Signature."

If you are not authorized to access Setup > Preparer(s), contact your office administrator.

EF Message 5331 occurs if the Preparer # field on screen 1 identifies a preparer who is not set up with a PIN for e-filing. The message may not appear until you attempt to sign the PIN screen. The problem occurs because either screen 1 does not point to the intended preparer, but rather someone else who is missing a PIN or, the preparer is correct but lacks a PIN setup. 

Note: If the Preparer # field is blank, the return will use preparer #1 by default.

To fix the problem, choose one of the following options:

  • Open screen 1 and use the drop list to set the Preparer # field to a preparer who is set up with a PIN (you can check which preparers have PINs in the steps below).
  • Open screen 1 and note the number displayed in the Preparer # field. In the steps that follow, you may have to be logged in with full security or as admin. See your system administrator if you cannot proceed.
    • Close the return and go to Setup > Preparer(s). Note the preparer numbers listed in the left-hand Number column.
    • Select the preparer whose number was shown on screen 1 by clicking the entry.
    • Open the entry by clicking the Edit Preparer button.
    • Under Return Signature Options, confirm or enter a 5-digit number in the PIN Signature box and a check in the box 8879 PIN Signature. (Checking Alternative Electronic Signature is not necessary to e-file.)
    • Click Save and Exit setup. 
    • Go back into the return and view.
    • The message should be cleared. 

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