Contributed by: Peter Dukas – Staff Accountant
The IRS has extended the period in which it will be allowing required signatures in electronic or digital form. The policy, originally in effect through July 15, 2020, has now been extended through June 30, 2021. The policy extension is to help protect the health of taxpayers and tax professionals during the pandemic, minimizing the amount of contact between both groups. UPDATED 4/15/21: In a memorandum dated April 15, 2021, the IRS announced it was extending the authorization to electronically sign a large number of IRS forms until Dec. 31, 2021
Allowing the forms to be e-signatures and digital signatures will minimize the amount of contact between all parties. At Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, our firm will take full advantage of the extension, offering our clients the comfort of e-signature during these trying times. We will work with our clients to ensure a safe environment for all while catering to their individual needs.
The Form 1040 has already utilized an electronic signature. By expanding the use of e-signatures to additional forms that have previously required a handwritten signature, the IRS is trying to promote timely filing, allowing taxpayers and professionals a secure form of signature. Our firm will continually work towards timely filing while ensuring a secure form of signature.
According to the Journal of Accountancy, electronic and digital signatures have been expanded to the following forms:
- Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method;
- Form 8832, Entity Classification Election;
- Form 8802, Application for U.S. Residency Certification;
- Form 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit;
- Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
- Form 706-NA, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
- Form 709, U.S. Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
- Form 1120-ND, Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons;
- Form 1120-RIC, U.S. Income Tax Return for Regulated Investment Companies;
- Form 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations;
- Form 1120-REIT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts;
- Form 1120-L, U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
- Form 1120-PC, U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
- Form 1128, Application to Adopt, Change or Retain a Tax Year;
- Form 3520, Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts;
- Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner;
- Form 8453 series, Form 8878 series, and Form 8879 series regarding IRS e-file Signature Authorization Forms; and
- Forms 8038, 8038-G, 8038-GC.
Currently, there are no restrictions on the different technologies used to create digital and e-signatures. This allows for some flexibility within the industry. The IRS is expected to create a permanent solution for the usage of e-signatures.
Leone, McDonnell & Roberts team of experienced accountants help taxpayers minimize tax burden and optimize cash flow opportunities. Contact us today to learn more.