Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2007-42 

October 15, 2007 

Notice 2007-79

Alternative Signature Methods for Electronic Return Originators


SECTION I. PURPOSE

This notice provides that the Internal Revenue Service will allow Electronic Return Originators (EROs) to sign the following forms by rubber stamp, mechanical device (such as signature pen), or computer software program: Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Return; Form 8878, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350; and Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization.

SECTION 2. BACKGROUND

Section 6061 of the Internal Revenue Code and Treas. Reg. § 1.6061-1(a) generally provide that any tax return, statement, or other document shall be signed in accordance with forms, instructions, or regulations prescribed by the Secretary. Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns, sets forth the procedures for completing the Form 8453, Form 8878, and Form 8879. If providing the signature on a paper declaration, the taxpayer and the ERO (and the paid preparer if different from the ERO) must complete and sign the Form 8453 before the electronic data portion of the return is submitted. Taxpayers may wish to sign their returns electronically, but may choose to authorize their ERO to enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) in the electronic return record by completing the appropriate IRS e-file signature authorization form. Form 8879 authorizes an ERO to enter PINs on Individual Income Tax Returns, and Form 8878 authorizes an ERO to enter PINs on Forms 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return; and Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return.

SECTION 3. REQUIREMENTS FOR USE OF ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SIGNING

The alternative methods of signing that this notice authorizes must include either a facsimile of the individual ERO’s signature or of the ERO’s printed name. EROs using one of these alternative means are personally responsible for affixing their signatures to returns or requests for extension.

This notice applies only to EROs that sign Form 8453, Form 8878, or Form 8879, and does not alter the signature requirements for any other type of document currently required to be manually signed, such as elections, applications for changes in accounting method, powers of attorney, or consent forms. In addition, this notice does not alter the requirement that Form 8453, Form 8878, or Form 8879 be signed by the taxpayer making these forms by handwritten signature or other authorized means.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This notice applies to any Form 8453, Form 8878, or Form 8879 filed on or after October 15, 2007.

SECTION 5. DRAFTING INFORMATION

The principal author of this notice is Michael E. Hara of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure & Administration). For further information regarding this notice, contact Michael E. Hara at (202) 622-4910 (not a toll-free call).


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