How To Sign Tax Return? (TOP 5 Tips)

Be signed by at least one of the tax filers. The signature must be on the line on the tax return designated for the signature of the tax filer. Or, include the tax preparer’s stamped, typed, signed, or printed name and SSN, EIN (Employer Identification Number), or PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number).

Do you have to sign your income tax return?

When you file your individual tax return electronically, you must electronically sign the tax return with a personal identification number (PIN) using the Self-Select PIN or the Practitioner PIN method.

Who can sign tax returns IRS?

You may be authorized to sign either as the taxpayer’s representative or agent. Generally, a representative must be an individual eligible to practice before the IRS, such as an enrolled agent, attorney, or CPA; a family member (limited to spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister) may also act as your representative.

Can you sign tax returns electronically?

Taxpayers, who currently use Forms 8878 or 8879 to sign electronic Forms 1040 federal tax returns or filing extensions, can use an e-signature to sign and electronically submit these forms to their Electronic Return Originator (ERO).

Who should sign tax returns?

These forms must be signed by one of the following: the president, vice president, treasurer, assistant treasurer, chief accounting officer or any other officer (such as a tax officer) who is authorized to sign.

Where do I sign my tax return check?

Government-issued checks require all payees listed to endorse the check by signing each of their names on the back of the check. If you receive a check made out to you and a joint filer, be sure to endorse the check with both of your names and deposit it into an account you hold jointly.

What is a stamped tax return?

In situations where borrowers are in the process of filing taxes, some lenders will allow them to file the taxes in person at an IRS office and get the returns “stamped” by the office. These stamped returns can then be used in lieu of the tax transcripts.

Does the IRS need original signatures?

The IRS has always accepted e-signatures on certain forms, such as standard tax forms that are e-filed. However, there are a number of forms that needed a physical, handwritten signature, or else the IRS would not accept them.

Can I sign my mom’s tax return?

To sign a return for a parent who no longer is competent, you’ll need to be your parent’s power of attorney or court-appointed conservator or guardian. Even if you have either of these designations, you can’t simply sign your parent’s return. You must file a Form 2848 along with your parent’s Form 1040.

What do I do if I forgot to sign my tax return?

If you submitted your return without signing it, all is not lost. In all likelihood, the IRS will simply send you a letter requesting your signature. And once they receive your signature, they’ll go ahead and process your return. If you choose not to do this, then you will have to complete and sign IRS Form 8453.

Where do I get an electronic signature?

Acrobat Sign makes it easy to send a document for electronic signatures. You can request esignatures from just one person or multiple people, learn more.

Can Form 8804 be signed electronically?

Answer. No. The IRS supports electronic filing only for Form 1065 and related forms and schedules and the extension Form 7004. Any forms that are filed to the IRS separately from Form 1065, such as Form 8804, are not included in the electronic file and, therefore, must be filed on paper.

Can I DocuSign my tax return?

DocuSign can be used to send and sign many of the documents commonly required for tax and accounting purposes, including: IRS-approved tax forms.

Can a controller sign a tax return?

Any corporate officer can sign, provided the corporation authorizes him to do so. The individual must be a corporate officer, such as a tax officer. An individual who is not an officer, such as a non-officer tax director, is not eligible to sign the return.

Can my spouse sign my tax return for me?

According to IRS tax rules, both spouses completing a married filing jointly federal tax return must sign the return. If it is not possible for one spouse to sign the return because he is out of town, the couple must secure valid power of attorney authorization allowing the wife to sign for the husband.

Signing the Return

Answer When utilizing tax preparation software, you can sign your tax return electronically by entering a Self-Select PIN, which acts as your digital signature, or a Practitioner PIN, which serves as your digital signature when using an Electronic Return Originator (ERO). When you’re utilizing tax preparation software, you may use the Self-Select PIN technique to choose your own PIN. Individual income tax returns can be electronically signed using the Self-Select PIN, which allows you to choose a five-digit personal identification number while completing your tax return (PIN).

If you’re submitting a joint return with your spouse, each of you will use their own PIN.

  • Prior year adjusted gross income (AGI) or prior year personal income tax (PIN)

Practitioner PIN – The Practitioner PIN is a way that paid preparers use to identify themselves. It does not require a prior year’s AGI or a prior year’s PIN. It is always necessary to complete and sign a permission document, such as the IRS Form 8879, E-file Signature Authorization, prior to using an ERO service. Using this approach, you permit your tax professional to enter or produce your personal identification number (PIN).

Signing an Electronic Tax Return

The taxpayer and paid preparer (if applicable) must sign an electronic income tax return in the same way that they would sign a paper income tax return submitted to the IRS. Individual income tax returns must be signed electronically by the taxpayer. Individual income tax returns can be signed electronically using one of two ways now available (see Electronic Signature Methods, below). Customers must sign and date the Declaration of Taxpayer to approve the creation of the electronic submission of their tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prior to the transmission of their tax return to the Internal Revenue Service.

  • The IRS is authorized to release information to the taxpayers’ Providers under the terms of the Consent to Disclosure.
  • Taxpayers also authorize the IRS to send an acknowledgement of receipt or a reason for rejection of a paper return to the EROs.
  • Methods of Obtaining Electronic Signatures Individuals filing individual income tax returns using an electronic signature have a choice between two methods of signing their filings.
  • One of these techniques is the Self-Select PIN option.
  • Those who do not have their original previous AGI or PIN should contact the IRS Tax Help line at (800) 829-1040, according to EROs.
  • Individuals may also permit EROs to enter PINs on their behalf; however, in this instance, the taxpayers must review and sign a completed signature permission form once they have reviewed the return.
  • It is possible to use the Practitioner PIN as an alternative technique that does not have the taxpayer providing their prior year AGI or prior year PIN.
  • When utilizing the Practitioner PIN approach and entering their own PINs in the electronic return record using key strokes after examining the completed return, taxpayers still need to complete and sign the signing permission form in the proper manner.
  • A signature permission for IRS e-file signature authorization with the PIN must be signed by the taxpayers after they have seen the return and agreed to it.

Individual income tax returns signed with an electronic signature using the Self-Select PIN are disqualified for electronic signing by the following taxpayers:

  • Primary taxpayers under the age of sixteen who have never filed a tax return
  • Secondary taxpayers under the age of sixteen who did not submit a tax return in the previous tax year
  • And,

EROs should urge taxpayers to preserve a duplicate of their completed tax return in order to aid in the authentication process the following year, if necessary. Signature Authorization for the Internal Revenue Service’s e-file When taxpayers are unable to input their PINs directly into the electronic return, they can permit the ERO to enter their PINs into the electronic return record by signing the appropriate completed IRSe-filesignature authorization form (IRS Form e-filesignature authorization).

  • IRS e-file authorization for the purpose of requesting an extension of time to file an application “This form, IRS e-file Authorization for Extension of Time to File, permits an ERO to input the taxpayers’ PIN numbers on Forms 4868 and 2350, as authorized by the taxpayers.
  • After completing eitherForm 8879orForm 8878, the ERO must provide it to the taxpayer for his or her approval.
  • After reading the return and checking that the tax return information on the form matches the information on the return, the taxpayer must sign and date theForm 8879orForm 8878.
  • Forms 8879 and 8878 may be signed by taxpayers using an electronic signature pad, which EROs can provide to them.
  • The ERO is required to save the forms with the taxpayers’ signatures on them and to deliver a copy of the documents to the taxpayer on request.
  • Prior to the taxpayers signing and date the form, the ERO must input the line items from the paper return on the appropriate Form8879or Form8878, depending on the situation.
  • Form8879 or Form8878, if using the Practitioner PIN method of electronic signing, must be completed and signed by both the taxpayer and the ERO representative at all times.
  • EROs are also required to sign with a PIN.
  • If the ERO does not manually insert the PIN into the electronic record, the program can create the PIN and store it in the place allocated for the ERO Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)/PIN in the electronic record.
  • Return preparers are certifying under penalty of perjury that they have examined the returns and that they are accurate, correct, and full in the case of returns prepared by the ERO business.

If you have a return prepared by someone other than the ERO firm that originates the electronic submission, the ERO will certify that the return preparer signed a copy of the return and that the tax information contained in the electronic return is identical to the information contained in the paper return.

  • In accordance with Notice 2007-79, EROs may sign Forms8879 and8878 with a rubber stamp, mechanical device (such as a signature pen), or computer software program, as appropriate.
  • Employees who use one of these alternative methods are directly liable for the accuracy of their signatures on returns or requests for extensions.
  • Forms 8879 and 8878 must be kept on file by the ERO for three years from the due date of the return or the date on which the IRS received the form, whichever is later.
  • Once a return has been signed, the ERO is responsible for initiating the electronic submission of the return as quickly as practicable.

Alternatively, if the taxpayer cannot secure and provide a correctForm W-2, W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, or1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., the ERO may elect to electronically file the return after the taxpayer completesForm 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statementor1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Ann The non-standard W-2 indication must be included in the record ifForm 4852is used; in addition, the ERO must maintainForm 4852in the same way as required for FormsW-2, W-2G, and 1099-R.

IfForm 4852is not used, the non-standard W-2 indicator must be included in the record ifForm 4852is used. When it comes to refunds, an ERO must make certain that no hoarding occurs at its offices. Stockpiling is defined as:

  • The term “stockpiling” refers to the practice of collecting tax return information from taxpayers or from another Authorized IRSe-fileProvider prior to official acceptance into IRSe-file
  • Or the practice of waiting more than three calendar days to submit a tax return to the IRS after the ERO has received all necessary information for origination after receiving official acceptance into IRSe-file.
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The Internal Revenue Service does not consider returns that were kept previous to the date on which it began accepting electronic returns that were hoarded. Due to a variety of factors such as late legislation, programming difficulties, and other factors, the IRS may be unable to accept particular returns, forms, or schedules until a date later than the start-up date of IRSe-file. It is the responsibility of EROs to inform taxpayers that they will not be able to send returns to the IRS until the IRS accepts the submission of electronic returns.

The Internet Protocol information that is necessary comprises the following:

  • IP address that is publicly available and routable
  • IP date
  • IP time
  • IP time zone

It is possible that the computer used to prepare (or initiate the electronic submission of collected returns) does not have a public/routable IP address when using one of the many various e-filing business models offered by the ERO. For computers that are on an internal reserved IP network, the IP address for the computer that is preparing the return (or the computer that originates the electronic submission of collected returns) must be the public/routable IP address of the computer that will be submitting the return.

  1. If it is not possible to capture the public/routable IP address, the ERO or program may be forced to hard code the IP address into each return in order to avoid losing data.
  2. Upon receipt of a return containing a private/non-routable IP address, the IRS will indicate it in the Acknowledgement File by inserting a “R” in the Reserved IP Address Code field of the Acknowledgement Key record, indicating that a reserved IP address is present for the return.
  3. An e-file Application is approved when a five (5) digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) is assigned to the Reporting Agent, which is then used to sign Forms 94x (944, 941944) e-file returns for the Reporting Agent’s clients.
  4. Please keep in mind that the Reporting Agent must have signature authorization on file with the Internal Revenue Service for any returns filed on behalf of their customers.
  5. When the 94x OnLine PIN Registration Process is finished and authorized, the PIN is assigned to the IRS Authorized Signer who has completed the process.

They are only permitted to file four (4) quarters of Forms 941 and one (1) return if filing Form 944, as well as one (1) Form 940 a year for each of these forms. IRS Authorized Signers are not permitted to use their PIN to sign returns for other persons or to submit bulk returns with the IRS.

Where do I sign my federal tax return for mailing. There is no signature line

@Croissant1 When you submit electronically, there is no need for a physical signature. You “signed” by inputting your AGI or PIN into the appropriate field. Refunds from the federal and state governments are handled by totally different organizations. There is no set rule as to which one will arrive first or how long it will take for them to appear in your account after the other. Unfortunately, the IRS refund site has been performing irregularly and has not always been dependable this year, which is unfortunate.

  • TurboTax provides you with an expected date for getting your refund based on a 21-day average from the date of acceptance, but it is possible that it will take longer than the estimated date.
  • During the epidemic, many refunds are taking longer to process.
  • Some of the delays are the consequence of people entering inaccurate amounts for the stimulus checks they received.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may delay your refund as they cross-check what you received.
  • The IRS does not provide any updates to TurboTax, and the software does not get any.
  • To monitor your federal refund, you’ll need your filing status, your Social Security number, and the precise amount (line 34 of your 2020 Form 1040) of your federal refund.
  • ** Disclaimer: Every attempt has been made to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information available on this website.

Navigating the tax return signature maze

Every tax return must be signed, so why is it so difficult to understand what you’re signing? The act of applying a wet signature to a paper tax return is straightforward, yet 130 million individual income tax filers do not file their taxes on paper; instead, they file them online. Furthermore, if the return is submitted electronically (e-filed), it must be signed electronically (e-signed). If taxpayers use a third party to prepare their tax return, the third party must also e-sign the return in order for it to be e-filed.

Understanding the numerous e-signature requirements to correctly file an electronic tax return can be confusing, even for tax experts with extensive experience. The reason behind this is as follows:

  • A taxpayer who prepares his or her own return is subject to just one set of signature requirements
  • Whereas, a taxpayer who prepares his or her own return is subject to two sets of signature requirements. When a tax preparer electronically signs a return for an individual, he or she is subject to a different set of standards. Furthermore, there is a degree of overlap in the manner in which self-prepared returns and returns produced by third parties are signed.

To make matters even more complex, the Internal Revenue Service has been under increasing pressure in recent years to strengthen controls around electronic signatures on tax forms, making the riddle much more difficult to solve. In the absence of a high barrier to entry, criminals are more likely to e-file tax returns using stolen identities, which results in the exploitation of both taxpayers and revenue agency. Because of the increased security measures in place to deter and prevent fraud, honest taxpayers and their tax experts will have to learn to overcome more obstacles in order to comply with their tax responsibilities.

An introduction to electronic signatures in a nutshell Before going into the specifics of tax returns, it’s vital to understand certain fundamental laws that apply to all electronic signatures.

  • The creation of an electronic signature
  • The use of an electronic signature
  • A demonstration of the signer’s intent to sign the electronic record
  • The signature is associated with the document
  • Verification of the identity of the signer
  • And The integrity of the signed record
  • The authenticity of the signed record

Individuals who want to understand the process of signing a tax return need to be familiar with two components: the process of verifying an individual’s identification and the process of producing a signature on the tax return. The remainder is usually taken care of by tax preparation software. Because a signature, by definition, must be the act of a distinct person, it is necessary to verify the signer’s identity before signing anything. The party relying on the signature’s legitimacy (in this example, the Internal Revenue Service) might choose a level of authentication that is proportional to the level of risk associated with a forged signature.

  1. A digital signature from an electronic signature pad, checking a box, or a personal identification number (in the event of a tax return) are the most common types of electronic signatures (PIN).
  2. A third option, the e-file PIN, is no longer available since, during the 2016 tax season, fraudsters using stolen identities utilized malware to create e-file PINs in large numbers using the IRS’s e-file PIN program, which has since been deactivated.
  3. However, this is not a story about misplaced PINs.
  4. The PINs themselves are only five-digit integers, which are easy to remember.
  5. The practitioner’s identification number When compared to the self-select PIN, the practitioner PIN is more straightforward.
  6. It is not necessary for taxpayers to be familiar with their prior-year return or to have ever submitted a tax return in the past.
  7. Once this is completed, either the taxpayer or the preparer can sign the return using the PIN.
  8. If the taxpayer signs the Form 8879 with a pen, the taxpayer must comply with the usual authentication criteria.
  9. Further identification verification requirements exist if, however, the taxpayer uses an electronic signature on Form 8879.
  10. It is necessary for the preparer to confirm the taxpayer’s identifying information by doing record checks with different organizations, agencies, financial institutions, credit bureaus, and other comparable databases before allowing the taxpayer to electronically sign the document.
  11. That PIN is comprised of the preparer’s six-digit electronic filing identification number (EFIN), followed by a five-digit PIN that the preparer has chosen for himself or herself.

During the whole tax year, the preparer uses the same personal identification number (PIN), which can be entered manually or created automatically by the program. In summary, the following steps must be completed in order to electronically sign a tax return utilizing the practitioner PIN method:

  1. The taxpayer signs an authorization document, allowing the preparer to produce the taxpayer’s tax return signature on his or her behalf. The preparer validates the taxpayer’s identification and attests to the validity of the identity verification by signing the same permission form as the taxpayer. Either the taxpayer or the preparer signs the tax return on the taxpayer’s behalf using the freshly formed five-digit PIN
  2. And Using his or her 11-digit PIN (which consists of his or her six-digit EFIN + five-digit self-select PIN), the preparer signs the tax return.

The taxpayer signs a permission document, allowing the preparer to generate the taxpayer’s tax return signature on his or her behalf; The preparer confirms the taxpayer’s identification and attests to the validity of the identity verification by signing the same permission form that the taxpayer does; and Either the taxpayer or the preparer signs the tax return on the taxpayer’s behalf using the freshly established five-digit PIN; or Using his or her 11-digit PIN (which consists of six-digit EFIN + five-digit self-select PIN), the tax return preparer signs the document.

  1. Adjusted gross income from the previous year (AGI). This is the sum of the amounts on line 37 of Form 1040, United States Individual Income Tax Return. It is also possible for taxpayers to access their prior-year AGI through their taxpaying account at
  2. Prior-year self-select PIN. The signature PIN that taxpayers used on their previous year’s return will be used to verify their identification for the current year
  3. The identity protection PIN will be used to authenticate their identity for the current year (IP PIN). IP PINs are six-digit numbers that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives to some taxpayers in order to secure their tax identities against identity theft-related refund fraud. If a taxpayer has an IP PIN, he or she is required to include it on the tax form. If this is not the case, the IRS will reject the electronically submitted return. See the section below for instructions on what to do if your IP PIN is forgotten.
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Joint filers, who both must e-sign the return, must choose how to validate their identities based on the circumstances of each spouse. Even if a spouse does not have an IP PIN, he or she must still use the right prior-year self-select PIN or AGI. If, on the other hand, a taxpayer possesses an IP PIN, the PIN takes precedence over both the prior-year AGI and the prior-year self-select PIN. That taxpayer will be required to validate his or her identification by entering the IP PIN. CP01A letters from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are sent out every December, making it impossible to prepopulate IP PINs for returning taxpayers using tax software or tax preparers.

For taxpayers who use the same software or preparer year after year, validating their e-signature to file will most likely be a straightforward process.

However, having a copy of the prior-year tax return available at the time of filing will never be a hindrance.

The work of individual taxpayers who do not have their prior-year adjusted gross income (AGI) or their prior-year self choose PIN (or their current-year IP PIN, if applicable) will be extensive.

Individual taxpayers who desire to e-file without the assistance of a professional can do it by following these steps: It is possible to obtain the information from the IRS by completing the two-factor authentication procedure or by requesting that the IRS mail a copy of last year’s tax return transcript to the individual.

  • It allows taxpayers to see how much money they owe, pay off a tax burden, and keep track of their payments all in one place.
  • Similar to this, taxpayers who have created an account with the IRS may get their IP PIN online using the IRS’sGet an IP PINtool.
  • Accessing the account, on the other hand, is not always straightforward.
  • Due to the sensitive nature of the information stored behind that authentication method, which includes the keys to e-filing a tax return, it was necessary to be stringent.
  • Early estimates from the IRS predicted that just three out of every ten taxpayers would be able to pass the test.
  • It’s easy to become stuck in the middle of an authentication process.
  • If taxpayers do not have a credit card, a certain loan type, or a text-enabled mobile phone situated in the United States, they will be unable to authenticate and utilize the service.
  • A confirmation SMS will not be sent to a mobile phone that has not been registered to the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • It takes five to ten calendar days for the code to arrive in the mail.
  • It will take several days before the technology becomes available to customers who have pay-as-you-go phones, family plans, or company-provided phones.
  • Requesting tax transcripts is an option for those who are unable to access their IRS online account but who require the information to e-file a return.

The ability to see tax transcripts online is accessible, but instant access is only available after successfully completing Secure Access, exactly as with a taxpayer account. Individuals that require AGI from these transcripts in order to e-file a tax return should follow these guidelines:

  • You should request a tax return transcript rather than a bank account transcript or a record of bank account transcript. When it comes to IRS transcripts, the tax return transcript is the most known since it looks very much like a tax return. It contains, among other things, the taxpayer’s AGI from the first tax return that was submitted. AGI is included in other transcripts as well. For example, the account transcript has an AGI amount as well as several other ambiguous code entries. Stick with the tax return transcript since it ensures that the AGI is always the same as it was on the first tax return
  • The importance of timing cannot be overstated for taxpayers who need to seek prior-year AGI or their IP PIN from the IRS. When it comes to getting a copy of their tax return transcripts or CP01A notification, taxpayers who start preparing early will have a lot smoother process than those who wait until the filing deadline (which was April 17 for the 2018 tax season). They’ll have to request that the information be delivered to them by mail, and it will take between five and ten business days for it to arrive.
  • Before seeking information from the IRS, double-check that the IRS has the correct mailing address on file. Taxpayers who have relocated since filing a return should notify the IRS of their new address by mailing a completed Form 8822, Change of Address (For Individual, Gift, Estate, or Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Returns), to the IRS prior to requesting a transcript or IP PIN through the postal service. When you update your address with the IRS, it might take up to four to six weeks for them to complete your request.

There are a variety of options for obtaining the transcript:

  • Visit the IRS Get Transcript feature at to obtain a copy of your transcript. Taxpayers can obtain a copy of their tax return via mail.
  • Call 800-908-9946, authenticate over the phone, and ask for a transcript to be mailed to you. The Internal Revenue Service would not provide prior-year AGI over the phone
  • Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or Form 4506T-EZ, Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript, should be mailed or faxed to the Internal Revenue Service. When the transcript is completed, it will be mailed to the taxpayer’s address on file, which is often the one on the most recently filed tax return.

In order to retrieve a forgotten IP PIN as soon as possible, just one method is available:

  • Taxpayers can obtain IP PINs instantly by using the IRS’s Get an IP PIN tool, which is available online. This tool, as well as the taxpayer account, is protected by Secure Access technology.
  • If taxpayers are unable to use the tool, they can contact the Internal Revenue Service at 800-908-4490, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, toll-free. Following verification of the caller’s identification, the IRS will mail the IP PIN to the address on file within 21 days of receiving the call.

If everything else fails, there are three other alternatives. If it is near to the filing deadline and taxpayers are unable to supply a prior-year self-select PIN or prior-year AGI (or do not have their IP PIN), they do not have to abandon hope entirely. The following is a breakdown of their choices for ensuring timely filing:

  1. Make an appointment with a tax specialist. If a taxpayer is unable to utilize the self-select PIN, a tax professional can sign the return using his or her practitioner PIN
  2. However, this is not recommended. To ensure that you have enough time to seek a tax transcript or a copy of the IP PIN, you should ask for an extension of time to file. All that is required is that you pay any taxes that are due before the filing time to avoid penalties and interest
  3. Make a note on a piece of paper. Sign your name on the return with a pen. It will take longer for the IRS to complete the return, and filers may be required to send the state return separately, but this is always an option if e-filing is not working properly.

Here you have it, the ultimate guide to signing tax returns. For better or worse, the information provided above is all that is required for taxpayers to correctly sign and submit their tax returns, as well as for tax preparers to assist them in doing so. Ben Deneka, J.D., is the industry operations liaison for The Tax Institute at H.R. Block, and he also serves on the IRS Advisory Council’s Digital Services Subgroup as a member of the IRS Advisory Council. You can contact senior editor Sally Schreiber at [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions about this article or another article idea.

Did Your Tax Preparer Sign?

Tax preparers that charge you a fee to do your taxes but never sign your tax return are in violation of the law. Is there no signature? This implies a lack of accountability. There is no evidence of its existence. A tax preparer (sometimes known as a “ghost tax preparer”) increases your chances of committing tax fraud, incurring fines, and owing more taxes on your return.

The individual name of the tax preparer (typed or handwritten) is required on state and federal tax returns they prepare for a fee. An IRSPreparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)is also required on your federal tax return.

  • Instead of signing their name on your tax return, they sign or stamp it as “self prepared.” Paid tax preparers are required by law to sign your tax return with their first and last names. There are no exceptions. Constantly double-check that they signed the “TAX PREPARER SIGNATURE”line on your state and federal tax filings. Signs that are shown under a company’s name. Once again, the law requires that they be identified by their given names. Instead of writing their name on your tax return, they stick a company label on it. Despite the fact that it seems that they “signed” it, the copy that is submitted with the government does not have the label. Once again, there is no name. There is no signature. There is no evidence of its existence. It is claimed that they “forgot” to sign your tax return, or that they “promise” to sign it later.


All of the information you enter will be kept strictly confidential. Reports sent anonymously will be approved!


Only the state of California has such a statute. In exchange for a fee, you can have your taxes prepared by an attorney, certified public accountant (CPA), enrolled agent (EA), or CTEC registered tax preparer (CRTP). Always check the legal status of a tax preparer before hiring them. Licenses and registrations can be cancelled or revoked at any time and without prior warning to you or the public!

Signing an Electronic Tax Filing

All physical (paper) tax returns must be signed by the taxpayer; however, what occurs when the taxpayer elects to electronically submit their taxes is not well understood. For starters, according to the Internal Revenue Service, all taxpayers are required to sign their tax returns, regardless of whether they are sent physically or electronically. The two most frequent methods of signing a personal income tax return both entail inputting a set of numbers that the IRS uses to verify that the taxpayer who is signing the return is the one who signed it in the first instance.

  1. If you want to learn more about where to locate your adjusted gross income on your tax return, please visit our page on AGI computation.
  2. When a taxpayer produces a 5-digit number, they normally do it the year before in order to act as their electronic signature on future tax returns.
  3. The AGI or the Self-Select Pin can be used to digitally sign your tax file, depending on your preference.
  4. The taxpayer has the option of requesting a transcript, which should include the AGI.
  5. There are other techniques of signing electronic files besides the ones described above that are less commonly used.
  6. This is a six-digit number that the Internal Revenue Service has allocated to victims of tax-related fraud.
  7. It will be utilized on any federal tax returns that they file in the future as well as in the present.
  8. Reminder: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not approach taxpayers through email, text message, or social media to collect personal or financial information.
  9. When the Internal Revenue Service communicates with a taxpayer, it always does so through the United States Postal Service.

Obtaining a transcript from the Internal Revenue Service’s website and reviewing your tax filing history for abnormalities will help you determine whether or not tax fraud has happened.

E-signing for forms, tax compliance documents extended

An internal memo (NHQ-10-1121-0005 and NHQ-01-1121-0004) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended until Oct. 31, 2023, procedures that allow taxpayers and their representatives to sign a variety of forms and returns digitally or by an image of their signatures, as well as certain compliance-interaction-related forms and documents, until the end of the year. They also reaffirm for that time period the IRS’s ability to accept forms and documents relevant to compliance and to send encrypted materials related to compliance via email when no other permitted electronic alternative is available.

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The rules were originally put in place in 2020 as part of the IRS’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in the same year.

Both letters refer to their processes as a “temporary divergence” from conventional ones, and none addresses the AICPA’s and other stakeholders’ past calls to make widespread e-signing a permanent feature of the organization.

These exchanges are relevant to determining or collecting a tax burden, and they include “any statement or form customarily exchanged” during such encounters, as well as “any statement or form normally exchanged.” The note includes numerous typical categories, together with instances of related forms, for the reader’s consideration.

The identity of any taxpayer or representative who requests to send documents by email must be authenticated in person or over the phone by an employee, who must inform them that unencrypted email is not secure and recommend that they exclude sensitive information and transmit any personally identifying information or other potentially sensitive information only through encrypted, password-protected attachments.

More information for taxpayers can be found at

It is also possible to submit those authorizations using the Internal Revenue Service’sTax Pro Accountfeature.

However, according to Memo NHQ-10-1121-0005, certain documents that are typically submitted exclusively on paper with a handwritten signature may alternatively be filed with an electronic or digital signature, if the handwritten signature is not required.

If a paper form is produced from an electronically created one that has that capacity, such e-signatures can appear in any of many ways on the printed form.) The memo identifies 42 forms or kinds of series of forms for which e-signatures are permitted, including:

  • Among the forms in the Form 706 series are: Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and certain others in the Form 706 series
  • Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons
  • Form 3115,Application for Change in Accounting Method
  • Form 8283,Noncash Charitable Contributions
  • And Form 8453 series, Form 8878 series, and Form 8879 series regarding electronic signatures.

• Paul Bonner ([email protected]) is a senior editor for the Journal of Accounting.

Do I have to sign my tax return?

Please keep in mind that until Form 1040NR is signed, it is not regarded to be a legitimate tax return. Even if you hire someone to prepare your tax return, you are still responsible for ensuring that the return is accurate. If you are unable to prepare and sign your own return because of one of the following reasons, you can have an agent (CPA or other tax expert) in the United States prepare and sign your return.

  • You were suffering from a medical condition. You were not in the United States at any point during the 60-day period before to the return’s due date
  • Other reasons, which you stated in writing to the Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service Center and which were accepted by the IRS, include the following:

A power of attorney, which expressly allows the representative to sign your return, must accompany a tax return that has been prepared and signed by an agent. This may be accomplished through the use of Form 2848. Recognize that the Internal Revenue Service does not enable e-filing of 1040NR returns. They have to be submitted on paper. The state of Arizona, on the other hand, allows for electronic filing (upon signature of the efile authorization form).

Filing a Tax Return When Deployed

To be legitimate, your tax return must be signed by you. For married couples, you and your spouse are required to both sign the tax return. However, if you are currently on active duty, you have alternative possibilities. He or she can sign on your behalf if your spouse has a legitimate power of attorney that he or she can include with the return. You can also utilize IRS Form 2848, which is available online. To be legitimate, your tax return must be signed by you. For married couples, you and your spouse are required to both sign the tax return.

  • He or she can sign on your behalf if your spouse has a legitimate power of attorney that he or she can include with the return.
  • appoint a power of attorney (IRS Form 2848) This form is used to appoint an agent to act on your behalf under the authority of a Power of Attorney.
  • It might also be someone who is authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service (like a law student or an attorney).
  • In Part I of the form, you must specify that you are granted the authority to sign the return, the tax form number, and the tax year for which the form is being filed.
  • “Agent” refers to a person who acts on behalf of another (also known as a “attorney-in-fact”). A power of attorney is a legal document that delegated powers to another person to act on your behalf under specific circumstances. The agent is the individual who acts on behalf of another and represents them in court. The principle is the person who has delegated authority to the agent
  • The agent is the person who has delegated authority to the principal.

Jointly Filing Tax Returns In most cases, both spouses must sign a joint return in order for it to be valid. When a spouse is away from home, such as in a conflict zone, in a missing person’s case, disabled, or deceased, a power of attorney may be required in order to submit a joint return with the other spouse. Having a spouse who lives in another country It is possible to file a combined return if one spouse is away on military duty and the other spouse is at home.

  • One spouse can draft the tax return, sign it, and then send it to the other spouse for final approval. However, this must be completed in sufficient time to ensure that it is submitted by the deadline. The spouse who is away from home can file Form 2848, which specifies that the spouse who is still in the United States is authorized to sign the return on his or her behalf.

Spouse is stationed in a combat zone If your spouse is unable to sign the return because he or she is serving in a war zone and you do not have a power of attorney or other legal authority, you can sign on your spouse’s behalf if you meet the requirements. Attach a signed statement to your tax return stating that your spouse is serving in a conflict zone to explain your situation. Spouse has been placed on the Missing Persons List. It is still possible for the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces who is listed as missing in action in a conflict zone to file a joint income tax return.

  • The joint return submitted under these circumstances is legitimate even if it is later discovered that the absent spouse died before the tax year covered by the return is filed under these circumstances.
  • If your spouse is unable to sign the return due to illness or injury, and he or she instructs you to do so, you can sign your spouse’s name in the appropriate spot on the return, followed by the words “by,” if your spouse is unable to sign due to illness or injury.
  • Attach a dated declaration that you have signed to your tax return.
  • During the year, the spouse passed away.

The surviving spouse should indicate in the signature box of the joint return that they are “filing as surviving spouse.” If an executor or administrator has been appointed, the return submitted on behalf of the dead must be signed by both the executor or administrator and the surviving spouse.

Deadlines are being extended. A variety of factors might lead to the extension of tax deadlines, either voluntarily or automatically. These are some of the possible reasons:

  • Service in a conflict zone, or qualifying service performed outside of a combat zone, is required. Deployment outside of the United States when engaging in a contingency operation away from your normal home deployment location See the full list of causes and information

Service in a conflict zone, or qualifying service performed outside of a combat zone, is required; deployment outside of the United States while participating in a contingency operation away from your normal home duty location More information and specifics may be found at:

  • It is the last day on which you are in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside of a combat zone, or are participating in a contingency operation. The last day of any continuous qualifying hospitalization for injuries sustained while serving in a war zone or during a contingency operation
  • And Deadlines can be extended by the number of days remaining before the deadline when you entered a war zone, in addition to the 180-day limit.

Payment has been postponed. You may be eligible to defer payment of income tax that falls due before or during your military duty provided you meet certain requirements. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Payment is being deferred The payment of income tax that falls due before or during your military duty may be eligible for a deferment of payment. Among the requirements are:

Payment Deferral You may be eligible to defer payment of income tax that falls due before or during your military service provided you meet the requirements. To be considered, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Form 2848: (PDF Form)
  • Form 2848: IRS Instructions
  • Fact Sheet: Filing a Tax Return While Deployed (PDF version of this resource)
  • Form 2848: (PDF Form)

Information on Form 2848 (PDF form); IRS Instructions for Form 2848 (PDF form); Fact Sheet: Filing a Tax Return While Deployed (PDF version of this resource); Form 2848 (PDF version of this resource); Form 2848 (PDF version of this resource); IRS Instructions for Form 2848 (PDF version of this resource); Form 2848 (PDF version of this resource).

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