The IRS is extending the ability to electronically sign a number of different tax forms and compliance documents through the end of October 2023.
In Memos NHQ-10-1121-0005 and NHQ-01-1121-0004, the IRS is extending the capability, which it had introduced during the pandemic so taxpayers wouldn’t need to visit their tax practitioners’ offices. The memos revise and supersede the extension that the IRS provided on April 15, which was going to expire at the end of this year. Now e-signatures will be allowed through Oct. 31, 2023.
“As part of our response to the COVID-19 situation, we have taken steps to protect employees, taxpayers and their representatives by minimizing the need for in-person contact,” said Douglas O’Donnell, deputy commissioner for services and enforcement at the IRS. “Taxpayer representatives have expressed concerns with securing handwritten signatures during these times for forms that are required to be filed or maintained on paper. To alleviate these concerns while promoting timely filing, we are implementing a deviation with this memorandum that allows taxpayers and representatives to use electronic or digital signatures when signing certain forms that currently require a handwritten signature.”
The IRS will accept a wide range of e-signatures, including:
- A typed name typed on a signature block;
- A scanned or digitized image of a handwritten signature attached to an electronic record;
- A handwritten signature entered onto an electronic signature pad;
- A handwritten signature, mark, or command entered on a display screen with a stylus; or
- A signature created by third-party software.
The IRS doesn’t specify what kind of technology a taxpayer needs to use to capture an e-signature, but it will accept images of signatures (either scanned or photographed) including common file types supported by Microsoft 365 such as tiff, jpg, jpeg, pdf, Microsoft Office suite or Zip.
Editor’s note: Learn more about Intuit® ProConnect™ eSignature and its capabilities for your practice.
This article was originally published on Accounting Today. Visit the article for a complete list of forms included for electronic signature. A free registration or login is required to view the article.