Tax Insights

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IRS allowing electronic signatures on some non-e-filed forms

In pre-COVID world, clients often came to our office to sign important paper tax filings. After signing, we mailed the forms certified mail/return receipt, so the taxpayer had proof of timely filing. After the pandemic started, clients struggled with getting forms signed and safely mailed. Last August, the IRS began allowing electronic signatures on certain paper tax forms as part of its COVID-19 operations, but the policy was to expire on December 31, 2020. Luckily, the IRS extended its policy from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021.

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Below is the list of non-e-filed forms which can include electronic signatures before mailing:

  • 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
  • Form 8038 series, pertaining to tax-exempt bonds.

To this list, IRS has recently added the Form 2848 and Form 8821 for online submissions. Additional information is available on the IRS website.  As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact a Henry+Horne tax professional.

Melinda Nelson, CPA