The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") rolled out a new online option that will help tax professionals remotely obtain signatures from individual and business clients and submit authorization forms electronically.
Tax professionals can find the new "Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online" on the IRS.gov/taxpros page. Tax professionals must have a Secure Access account, including a current username and password, or create an account in advance of submitting an online authorization form.
The project is a result of the Taxpayer First Act that requires the IRS to expand use of taxpayers' electronic signatures on authorization forms. This online option also will help protect taxpayers and tax professionals by more easily allowing remote transactions.
The taxpayer and the tax professional must sign Form 2848. If the tax professional uses the new online option, the signatures on the forms can be handwritten or electronic. Form 8821 needs only the taxpayer's signature. If using the new online option, the taxpayer's signature can be handwritten or electronic.
The process to mail or fax authorization forms to the IRS is still available. Signatures on mailed or faxed forms must be handwritten. Electronic signatures are not allowed.
Most Forms 2848 and 8821 are recorded on the IRS's Centralized Authorization File ("CAF"). Authorization forms uploaded through this tool will be worked on a first-in, first-out basis along with mailed or faxed forms. The new online option negates the need for specific equipment (e.g., fax machines, scanners), saves tax professionals' time in obtaining signatures, reduces person-to-person contact, and allows complete flexibility in completing the form anywhere, anytime, for both the tax professional and client.
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