You can sign your tax return electronically by using a Self-Select PIN, which serves as your digital signature when using tax preparation software, or a Practitioner PIN when using an Electronic Return Originator (ERO).
Self-Select PIN - Use the Self-Select PIN method when you're using tax preparation software. The Self-Select PIN allows you to electronically sign your individual income tax return by selecting a five-digit personal identification number (PIN). The PIN can be any five numbers (except all zeros) that you choose to enter as your electronic signature PIN.
If you're filing a joint return, each spouse uses his or her own PIN. As part of the authentication process, each taxpayer also enters his or her date of birth and either his or her:
- Original prior year adjusted gross income (AGI) or
- Prior year PIN
Practitioner PIN - The Practitioner PIN is a method that paid preparers use and doesn't require a prior AGI amount or prior year PIN. When using an ERO, you must always complete and sign an authorization form such as the Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization. Under this method, you may either enter your own PIN into the return or authorize your ERO to select and enter your PIN. If you enter both your own PIN and use the Practitioner PIN method when signing an electronic return, you must still appropriately sign the signature authorization form.