IRS extends e-signature authorization for 6 months

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

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, and adding a number of new forms. The original authorization was from Aug. 28 through Dec. 31, 2020. Due to the ongoing public health crisis, that period was extended from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2021, and is now extended until the end of this year.

The forms can be filed only on paper and otherwise require a handwritten signature. Allowing them to be e-signed remotely before being printed and mailed to the Service will help tax professionals and their taxpayer clients by minimizing the need for in-person contact, the IRS said.

The list of forms that can be e-signed, which has been expanded greatly since the earlier extension is:

  • Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering;
  • Form 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit;
  • Form 637, Application for Registration (For Certain Excise Tax Activities);
  • Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
  • Form 706-A, U.S. Additional Estate Tax Return;
  • Form 706-GS(D), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions;
  • Form 706-GS(D-1), Notification of Distribution From a Generation-Skipping Trust;
  • Form 706-GS(T), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Terminations;
  • Form 706-QDT, U.S. Estate Tax Return for Qualified Domestic Trusts;
  • Form 706, Schedule R-1, Generation Skipping Transfer Tax;
  • Form 706-NA, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
  • Form 709, U.S. Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
  • Form 730, Monthly Tax Return for Wagers;
  • Form 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations;
  • Form 1120-FSC, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Sales Corporation;
  • Form 1120-H, U.S. Income Tax Return for Homeowners Associations;
  • Form 1120-IC DISC, Interest Charge Domestic International Sales — Corporation Return;
  • Form 1120-L, U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
  • Form 1120-ND, Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons;
  • Form 1120-PC, U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
  • Form 1120-REIT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts;
  • Form 1120-RIC, U.S. Income Tax Return for Regulated Investment Companies;
  • Form 1120-SF, U.S. Income Tax Return for Settlement Funds (Under Section 468B);
  • Form 1127, Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship;
  • Form 1128, Application to Adopt, Change or Retain a Tax Year;
  • Form 2678, Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent;
  • Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method;
  • 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 4421, Declaration — Executor’s Commissions and Attorney’s Fees;
  • Form 4768, Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes;
  • Form 8038, Information Return for Tax-Exempt Private Activity Bond Issues;
  • Form 8038-G, Information Return for Tax-Exempt Governmental Bonds;
  • Form 8038-GC; Information Return for Small Tax-Exempt Governmental Bond Issues, Leases, and Installment Sales;
  • Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions;
  • Form 8453 series, Form 8878 series, and Form 8879 series regarding IRS e-file Signature Authorization Forms;
  • Form 8802, Application for U.S. Residency Certification;
  • Form 8832, Entity Classification Election;
  • Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent;
  • Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting
  • Agreement; and
  • Elections made pursuant to Sec. 83(b).

On June 4, 2020, the AICPA sent a letter to the IRS requesting a permanent solution in the form of updated e-signature guidance and authentication requirements. The AICPA noted that the IRS was directed to develop procedures for accepting e-signatures by the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, P.L. 105-206. The AICPA on Dec. 10, 2020, reiterated that request and urged the IRS to extend its current e-signature authorization through Oct. 15, 2021, as well as expanding the scope to include non–income tax returns and paper-filed returns.

Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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