IRS to Extend Digital Documentation and Authorization Policies Into June

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 15, 2020
The IRS will continue accepting digital signatures and emailed documents, measures it instituted in response to the pandemic, through at least June 2021, said Accounting Today.

In April, the IRS expanded its acceptance of digital signatures, to the point where even a picture of a hand-written signature would do, on extensions of statutes of limitations on assessment or collection, waivers of statutory notices of deficiency and consents to assessment, agreements to specific tax matters or tax liabilities (closing agreements), along with any other statement or form that needs the signature of a taxpayer or representative and is traditionally collected by IRS personnel outside of standard filing procedures (such as a case-specific power of attorney. Beyond this, the agency also allowed its employees to accept documents through email, or through secure messaging services like SecureZip.

In August
the IRS further expanded its acceptance of digital signatures to include: 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 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; and Form 8453 series, Form 8878 series, and Form 8879 series regarding IRS e-file Signature Authorization Forms.

Citing a memo from earlier this month by Sunita Lough, deputy commissioner of services and enforcement at the IRS, Accounting Today said these policies will be extended until at least June 30, 2021. Digital signatures and electronic documents are  not mandatory, and if taxpayers decide they'd rather mail everything in, that is also acceptable.

Those wanting to learn more about current issues at the IRS may be interested in attending the Foundation for Accounting Education's webcast, Hot IRS Tax Examination Issues for Individuals and Businesses, on Dec. 17.

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