Temporary Use of Electronic or Digital Signatures on Certain Paper-Filed Forms Allowed
Tax & AccountingMarch 08, 2022

Taxpayers May Use E-Signatures on Certain Paper-Filed Forms

By: CCH AnswerConnect Editorial

The IRS is temporarily allowing taxpayers and their representatives to use electronic or digital signatures (e-signatures) on certain paper forms that cannot be filed electronically. The relevant paper-filed forms for which this flexibility applies must be signed and postmarked from August 28, 2020, through October 31, 2023.

Signatures on Forms and Returns

Taxpayers are generally required to provide a handwritten signature in ink on paper-filed forms and returns. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however, the IRS has allowed e-signatures on certain paper-filed forms (listed below) to help minimize the need for in -person contact between taxpayers and their representative. The IRS announced late last year that it was extending the use of e-signatures for the relevant forms through October 31, 2023.

Types of E-Signatures Allowed

The IRS will accept a wide range of e-signatures on the relevant forms. No specific technology is required to create or capture an electronic signature. Acceptable methods include:

  • a typed name typed on a signature block,
  • a scanned or digitized image of a handwritten signature that's attached to an electronic record,
  • a handwritten signature input onto an electronic signature pad,
  • a handwritten signature, mark, or command input on a display screen with a stylus device, or
  • a signature created by a third-party software.

The IRS will also accept images of signatures whether scanned or photographed, including file types supported by Microsoft 365 such as tiff, jpg, jpeg, pdf, Microsoft Office suite or Zip.

Relevant Paper-Filed Forms

The temporary use of e-signatures applies only to the paper-filed forms listed below. It does not apply to any other paper-file form such as Form 1040 or Form 1120. Taxpayers and their representative must still provide handwritten signatures on any other paper-filed form, unless the form can be, and is, filed electronically.

Temporary e-signatures are allowed on the following paper-filed forms:

  • Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering,
  • 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 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons,
  • Form 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit,
  • 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, and
  • Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement; and
  • Elections made per Internal Revenue Code Section 83(b).
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