What happens if my client cannot successfully complete a KBA?

KBA or Knowledge Based Authentication is the identity verification process that the IRS requires to electronically sign the Form 8879. Some KBA failures are unavoidable and should be expected. When the signer fails the KBA process, your firm will received an e-mail to notify them of the failure. If your client wants to electronically sign the Form 8879 still and would like to attempt the KBA again, you can re-export the return for CCH eSign again. A new e-mail will be sent to the client(s), and a new set of KBA questions will be issued for the authentication process.

  • Note:
    • In cases where KBA fails, the IRS will only allow two (2) additional attempts to pass validation.
    • If all three (3) attempts are unsuccessful, the IRS requires that the Form 8879 be physically signed by the taxpayer(s).

The Knowledge based Authentication (KBA) questions are generated from public databases and the financial history of the signer. To make KBA a reliable method of verifying identity and keeping confidential data secure, various safeguards have been build into the KBA process. These safeguards can sometimes prevent some signers from completing a KBA. On rare occasions, the information in the public databases is incorrect and the signer is not able to provide matching responses. Various KBA studies indicate that the average success rate for the KBA is around 90%.

Some of the reasons why signers may not be able to complete the KBA process are (but are not limited to):

    • A newly married taxpayer whose public records use their maiden names and previous addresses.
    • The information in public records may be incorrect and our software may not be able to match to this information in the return.
    • The information in the public databases may be incorrect and your client may be unable to answer those questions.
    • Young clients or clients who have recently moved to the U.S. may not be good candidates for Form 8879 eSign since a successful KBA may not be possible if they have limited public records.

Note: CCH will only charge for returns that successfully pass through CCH eSign. Therefore, customers will not be charged for eSign or KBA on returns where the taxpayer and/or spouse are unable to successfully complete the KBA process.

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