No printing required: How to sign your tax “paperwork” digitally

Posted on: July 7th, 2014 by Real Estate Accountants 1 Comment

Sign hereMany of our clients have moved to sending and receiving all of their “paperwork”, such as tax returns, financial statements, and bookkeeping, electronically through our secure client portal. However, we often need signed documents back from you, which allows us to efile returns, for example, or communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency on your behalf. This means the documents need your unique signature. (Signing with a script font doesn’t count – the CRA has audited this for us before and noted that these types of signatures are invalid.)

So, what is the easiest way to sign documents from the portal without actually printing them? What we have found to be the most effective is using the signing feature in Adobe Reader. It’s quick and easy, and saves on trees.

Signing documents in Adobe Reader

  1. In Adobe Reader, open the document you need to sign.
  2. Scroll to the page you need to sign.
  3. On the top-right menu bar, click Sign.
  4. In the I Need to Sign panel, to add text, such as the date, click Add Text. Click in the document where you want to add the text, and type.
  5. When ready to add your signature, in the I Need to Sign panel, click Place Signature.
  6. (First time signing) In the Place Signature dialog box, under How would you like to create your signature?, select Use an image.
    TIP: If you do not have an image of your signature, use black ink to sign your name on a clean blank sheet of paper. Photograph or scan your signature and transfer the image file (JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF or PDF) to your computer. Don’t crop the image, Reader only imports the signature.
  7. Click Browse, and locate your signature file. When your signature appears in the dialog box, click Accept.
  8. Click in the PDF where you want to place your signature.
  9. Adjust the size of the signature as needed.
    The next time you want to sign a document, the signature is remembered, and you just have to click Place Signature.
  10. Choose File > Save to save the signed document.
  11. When prompted, “You added a signature or initials. Do you want to finalize the changes?”, click Confirm.
  12. Select the location to save the document and click Save.

Now, you can upload the signed document back to the portal and we’ll receive a notification that the document is available for download. No printing required!


One Response

  1. Troy says:

    Is this post saying that, in your experience, the CRA accepts forms signed in this manner? I hate printing and mailing forms or visiting my accountants office to sign, but I understood that the CRA will not accept any other option.


Leave a Reply