What is an electronic signature? An electronic signature is a way to get approval on electronic documents. It can be in many forms and created by many technologies. You do not need specific technology to create electronic signatures. Electronic signatures can be: A typed name that is typed on a signature block A scanned or digital image of a handwritten signature attached to an electronic record A handwritten signature inputted onto an electronic signature pad A handwritten signature, mark or command inputted on a display screen with a stylus device Is an electronic signature the same as a digital signature? No. An electronic signature is an electronic symbol attached to an electronic record that a person will sign. A digital signature is a type of an electronic signature. Who needs to be authenticated? You must authenticate a taxpayer’s identity when the taxpayer electronically signed the form in a remote transaction (e.g., not in your presence) and you do not have a personal or business relationship with the taxpayer. How do I authenticate a taxpayer’s identity? If you do not know a taxpayer personally or you haven’t done business with them, you must verify their identity if they’re signing the form to do a remote transaction. To authenticate the taxpayer’s identity for remote transactions, take these steps: Inspect a valid government photo identification (ID) of the taxpayer and compare the photo to the taxpayer. Use a self-taken picture of the taxpayer or video conferencing to compare. Examples of government photo ID: a driver’s license, employer ID, school ID, state ID, military ID, national ID, voter ID, visa or passport. Record the name, Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, address and date of birth of the taxpayer. Verify the taxpayer’s name, address and Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) using secondary documentation, such as a federal or state tax return, IRS notice or letter, Social Security card or credit card or utility statement. For example, if a taxpayer changed their address in 2020, a 2019 tax return can be used to verify the taxpayer’s name and TIN, and a recent utility statement to verify the taxpayer’s address. Should I keep proof that I authenticated the taxpayer’s identity After you record the name, Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, address, and date of birth of the taxpayer, retain this record, so it is available upon IRS request. You are required to retain this record for seven years. Can I use my Secure Access account for e-Services/TDS/SOR to log in to the TDC platform? Yes. If you already registered for a Secure Access account for IRS tools such as e-Services, Get Transcript or Get an IP PIN, you may use the same account to log in to the TDC platform. If you don’t have an account, register now for Secure Access if you want to use the TDC platform beginning in January 2021. I can’t create a Secure Access account. What should I do? To create an account, you must successfully authenticate your identity using Secure Access. For more information, see IRS.gov/SecureAccess. If you are unable to validate your identity, you may get ink signatures on the authorization forms and send them to the appropriate location based on the “Where to File Chart” using mail or fax. (Form 2848 Where to File Chart & Form 8821 Where to File Chart) Can I fax an electronically signed form to the IRS? No. All forms mailed or faxed to the IRS must have “wet” ink signatures. I previously submitted my electronically-signed form on TDC, can I call IRS to discuss my client’s case? Yes, if the form has been processed and after the IRS employee performs the standard telephone authentication. If the form has not been processed, for security reasons, you must follow normal procedures to fax a copy of the form with a “wet” ink signature before the case can be discussed. If you fax a copy of the form with a “wet” ink signature to the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS), you will be able to speak with a representative immediately. If you fax a copy of the form with a “wet” ink signature to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) Unit, you will have to wait for the form to be processed before being able to speak with a representative. Why must I enter the taxpayer’s TIN before I can upload the form? We use the taxpayer’s TIN to match the digital upload and form What do I need to know to upload the forms? Follow this guidance when you upload Forms 2848 or 8821: Save the forms following: 15MB file size limit .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif file formats Upload one form at a time. Do not create one combined file I can’t attach my forms within the TDC platform. Who do I call? We don’t offer telephone support for the TDC platform. For help, review common errors or have the taxpayer sign the authorization form with an ink signature and fax the form to the IRS. Will I receive confirmation when my form is received? Yes. The IRS will send you an email confirmation when the form is successfully submitted. Will I receive notification when my form is processed? No. You will not be notified when the form is processed. However, the IRS will send you and the taxpayer a letter via the U.S. Postal Service if the form is rejected. Will my forms get processed faster using this system? We process forms in the order we get them regardless of the submission method (e.g., mail, fax, online) they are received. Forms submitted online are reviewed and processed by IRS employees in the same manner as those received via fax or mail. Why do I have to submit my forms one at a time? Due to the way we process forms, you can only upload one at a time. You may upload more forms at the end of each session. I have more than two designees on the Form 8821, what do I do? If you want to name more than two designees, check the box on line 2 and attach a list of designees to the Form 8821. Provide the address and requested numbers for each designee named. Attach the list of designees to the Form 8821. Upload the Form 8821 (with the list of designees) once finished. Can the TDC platform be used to revoke or withdraw an authorization form? Yes. See the revocation or withdrawal procedures in the form instructions or in Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney. To revoke authorization as a taxpayer, write the word “revoke” across the original Form 2848 or 8821. Under the word “revoke,” sign and write the date. To withdraw authorization as a representative, write the word “withdraw” across the Form 2848 or 8821. Under the word “withdraw,” sign and write the date. Why is the IRS launching the TDC platform now? We created this capability on the TDC platform to reduce in-person contact during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. How will the Tax Pro Account be different from this process? The Tax Pro Account will be an all-digital platform. Tax professionals can initiate a request for authorization from their account and it will send to the client’s online account for an electronic signature. The client will access their account, electronically sign the authorization and the system will send it to the CAF database.