March 6, 2020 0 comment

Where’s That Tax E-signature Form?

Hello everybody! Ben Smith here with Etrends Group, your Prosperity Advisor. Has your tax professional ever sent you a tax form that required your signature and you had it on your phone or you had it on your computer and you thought, “where’s that little electronic sign box that everyone else sends me when they need stuff signed?” and you ask your tax professional and they say, “you’re going to have to actually print that form out, sign it, scan it back in, and send it to me.” That is a problem with the IRS. Powers of attorney, 2848’s, form 2553, the s-election, and a bunch of other forms that you might file with the IRS require an original signature by your hand and they don’t allow digital signatures. So you can’t use one of these digital signature companies, adobe, or whatever to sign a form like you could maybe a real estate contract or something like that. So that’s kind of annoying, but there are some IRS forms where you can use an electronic signature. The e-file authorization form is one of them. But these others you cannot. Believe it or not as a tax professional I have to request for instance a power of attorney be signed by hand. Of course the client has to go through all that trouble printing, signing, scanning and all that, and then generally I have to fax that form to the IRS with a fax machine. That just tells you kind of where the IRS is technologically on the fax side, they consider the fax “secure”. They don’t consider other methods secure so that’s how they do it. In reality they just haven’t had any funding for decades and they haven’t developed a good process to receive electronic signatures, to verify them, to receive documents electronically.

Anyways I just wanted to give you a little background on the IRS. If you’re annoyed by that talk to your congress people. Believe it or not I know most of us are like hey yeah the IRS didn’t get any funding that’s great. It is good in some ways I guess, but it really leaves the IRS unable to efficiently administer the tax code. It means things like you can’t electronically sign your IRS power of attorney’s or your s-elections or other forms. So hey if you don’t like it call your congressman or congress woman, senators, and tell them you don’t like it. Tell them that you want that to change. By the way, there was a law passed last summer 2019 that did direct the IRS to make some changes in the way it receives electronic documents, signatures and things like that. Not a lot of funding went with it so we’ll see how successful they are, but it did direct them to do it so maybe and hopefully here in the next few years we do see some improvement there.

If you have tax needs; if you have problems with the IRS; if you’re getting notices; if you’re just paying too much tax, come talk to me here at Etrends or one of the other professionals here. We have a great staff. A lot of brain trust here. We file returns in every state. We file returns for non-resident aliens or resident aliens, for expats. We do a lot of innovative tax planning. We’ve got solutions for almost everybody, so contact me. We can help you pay less tax. We can get you out of trouble with the IRS. We can settle tax debts. We can do all sorts of things.