The IRS has allowed taxpayers to use electronic or digital signatures on certain paper forms they cannot file electronically. The Service has balanced the e-signature option with critical security and protection needed against identity theft and fraud. The IRS will accept a wide range of electronic signatures. Acceptable electronic signature methods include:
- a typed name typed on a signature block;
- a scanned or digitized image of a handwritten signature that’s attached to an electronic record;
- a handwritten signature input onto an electronic signature pad;
- a handwritten signature, mark or command input on a display screen with a stylus device; and
- a signature created by a third-party software.
Moreover, the IRS will accept images of signatures (scanned or photographed) including common file types supported by Microsoft 365 such as tiff, jpg, jpeg, pdf, Microsoft Office Suite, or Zip.
The IRS has allowed taxpayers and representatives to use electronic or digital signatures on paper forms, which they cannot file using IRS e-file, including for example:
- Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering;
- Form 637, Application for Registration (For Certain Excise Tax Activities);
- Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return and other forms in the 706 series;
- Form 709, U.S. Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
- Form 730, Monthly Tax Return for Wagers;
- Form 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit;
- Form 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations and other forms in the 1120 series;
- Form 3520, Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts; and
- Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner.