Sign and Send Documents Electronically

 

Through October 31, 2023, you and your authorized representatives may electronically sign documents and email documents to us during an audit or collection interaction. This is an exception to our normal policy as outlined in a memorandum PDF issued November 18, 2021.

On This Page

Documents We Accept

We accept these documents:

  • Extensions of statute of limitations on an assessment or collection
  • Waivers of statutory notice of deficiency and consents to an assessment
  • Closing agreements
  • Other statements or forms collected outside standard filing procedures

Electronic Signatures We Accept

We accept two types of electronic signatures during an audit or collection interaction:

  • Digital signatures: If you have a digital certificate that allows you to sign documents digitally, you may use a digital signature, which is more secure than an imaged signature. Digital signatures:
    • Give strong evidence that the digital certificate owner signed the document or record
    • Recognize tampering and invalidate the signature if the document changes in any way 
  • Imaged signatures: If you don’t have a digital certificate, you may hand sign a document, then scan or photograph the document and save it in a standard picture format such as JPEG, TIFF or PDF.

Protect Your Information

Standard email is not a secure form of communication. To keep your identity and information safe: 

  • Never include personally identifiable information (PII) in the subject line or body of your email message
  • Use password-protected, encrypted formats for any email attachments 

PII is any information that can identify you, such as your:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Medical, educational, financial or employment records

Encrypt Your Document

You must encrypt electronically signed documents before you email them to your assigned IRS employee. We accept encrypted files in common formats, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat. Each provider has its own instructions to encrypt files:

During the encryption process, you’ll create a password to access the encrypted file. Use strong passwords that are at least twelve characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.

Note that there’s no way to recover a lost password, so if you don’t want to encrypt your original document, you should save the encrypted copy with a new name.

PDF documents: You must have Acrobat Pro or DC to encrypt a PDF. Acrobat Reader can’t encrypt PDFs. Digitally signed PDF documents can’t be encrypted.

Now you can safely email your document to us.

Send Your Document

You may use your existing email account to send your encrypted documents to your assigned IRS employee at the email address they gave you. If you’re uncomfortable emailing your documents, you can send them to your assigned IRS employee with eFax, established secure messaging systems or mail.

To email documents to your assigned IRS employee, you should:

  1. Give the IRS employee your email address by phone, if you have not already done so. This will allow them to associate your message with the right case without additional PII. Never include sensitive or identifying information in the subject line or body of your email.
  2. Confirm the IRS employee’s email address, especially if you’re replying to a previous message. Official IRS email addresses look like this: employee.name@irs.gov.
  3. Sign your documents electronically, if needed.
  4. Encrypt any attachments you’re sending and protect them with strong passwords.
  5. Call your IRS employee and give them the password to the encrypted file. Never send a password by email.

Before We Email You

We’ll never initiate contact with you by email or require you to communicate with us by email. As always, it’s up to you to decide to send or receive documents electronically.

Before we email you, an IRS employee will contact you by phone to verify your identity and get your consent. The IRS employee will verbally verify your email address and ask you to send an email to confirm your address. Include the following statement in the body of your email:

I consent to receive encrypted documents by email from [employee name] and associated IRS personnel for the duration of this [examination / collection activity / etc.].

You may revoke this consent at any time. 

How We Send Documents

We’ll only send encrypted documents protected by a password. After getting your consent, the IRS employee will contact you by phone to tell you to expect the email and to give you a strong password to open the file.

Always confirm the email address before opening an email from us.

We’ll attach the encrypted file to the email in a Microsoft, Adobe, or zipped file format. To open the file, enter the password the IRS employee gave you when prompted.