IRS Temporarily Expands List of Tax Forms Eligible for E-signatures

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS expanded its electronic signatures program to include many more forms that historically needed a wet signature. The expansion is intended to make things easier for tax professionals and their clients, while in-person interactions may cause unnecessary risk.

The IRS has recently extended the ability to accept e-signatures on many documents through December 2021, simplifying the process for tax professionals.

What types of signatures are accepted?

The IRS has provided the following acceptable types of electronic signatures:

  • Typed name in a signature block
  • Scanned/digitized image of a handwritten signature attached to an electronic record
  • Handwritten signature input on an electronic signature pad
  • Handwritten signature, mark, command input on a display screen with a stylus device
  • Signature created by third-party software (i.e., e-sign programs like Docusign)

While there are additional ways to provide an e-signature, taxpayers are advised to stick to the outlined methods to prevent the possibility of the forms being returned or delayed during processing.

What forms are included in the recent extension?

While some forms can be electronically filed, others must be sent by mail and manually processed by the IRS. The forms in this electronic signature program all require the latter – a hardcopy sent to the IRS for processing. This includes:

  • 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-1) Notification of Distribution from a Generation-Skipping Trust
  • Form 706-GS(D) Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions
  • 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 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
  • Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement
  • Elections made per Internal Revenue Code Section 83(b)

Our firm continues to monitor the ability to electronically sign and submit IRS forms. If you have any questions about tax filings, please reach out to our team of tax professionals for help.