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IRS Extends Use of Digital Signatures for Certain Forms until End of 2021

The list of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms that can be digitally signed continues to grow. On August 28, 2020, the IRS issued a memorandum indicating that it would accept the use of digital signatures on various IRS forms because of the restrictions involved with the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, it announced the addition of several more forms. Then, on April 15, 2021, the IRS announced it is extending the authorization to a large number of IRS forms until December 31, 2021. The IRS has not specified which digital signature product tax professionals must use but has advised that there are several commercial products available.

The current list of IRS forms that can be digitally signed are:

  • Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering

  • Form 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit

  • Form 637, Application for Registration (for Certain Excise Tax Activities)

  • Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return

  • Form 706-A, U.S. Additional Estate Tax Return

  • Form 706-GS(D), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Distributions

  • Form 706-GS(D-1), Notification of Distribution From a Generation-Skipping Trust

  • Form 706-GS(T), Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return for Terminations

  • Form 706-QDT, U.S. Estate Tax Return for Qualified Domestic Trusts

  • Form 706, Schedule R-1, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax

  • Form 706-NA, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return

  • Form 709, U.S. Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return

  • Form 730, Monthly Tax Return for Wagers

  • Form 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations

  • Form 1120-FSC, U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Sales Corporation

  • Form 1120-H, U.S. Income Tax Return for Homeowners Associations

  • Form 1120-IC DISC, Interest Charge Domestic International Sales — Corporation Return

  • Form 1120-L, U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return

  • Form 1120-ND, Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons

  • Form 1120-PC, U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return

  • Form 1120-REIT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts

  • Form 1120-RIC, U.S. Income Tax Return for Regulated Investment Companies

  • Form 1120-SF, U.S. Income Tax Return for Settlement Funds (Under Section 468B)

  • Form 1127, Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship

  • Form 1128, Application to Adopt, Change or Retain a Tax Year

  • Form 2678, Employer/Payer Appointment of Agent

  • Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method

  • Form 3520, Annual Return to Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts

  • Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner

  • Form 4421, Declaration — Executor’s Commissions and Attorney’s Fees

  • Form 4768, Application for Extension of Time to File a Return and/or Pay U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Taxes

  • Form 8038, Information Return for Tax-Exempt Private Activity Bond Issues

  • Form 8038-G, Information Return for Tax-Exempt Governmental Bonds

  • Form 8038-GC; Information Return for Small Tax-Exempt Governmental Bond Issues, Leases, and Installment Sales

  • Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions

  • Form 8453 series, Form 8878 series and Form 8879 series regarding IRS e-file Signature Authorization Forms

  • Form 8802, Application for U.S. Residency Certification

  • Form 8832, Entity Classification Election

  • Form 8971, Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent

  • Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting

  • Agreement

  • Elections made pursuant to Section 83(b)

Practice Point: In the current environment and with advances in technology, the expanded use of digital signatures is a welcome development. It remains to be seen whether the IRS will extend such use in 2022 and add additional forms to the list. Taxpayers should continue to remain aware of further developments in this area to ensure compliance.

© 2022 McDermott Will & EmeryNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 113

About this Author

Andrew R. Roberson tax attorney McDermott Will. Andy handles tax cases in Federal court, United States Tax Court

Andrew R. Roberson is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office.  Andy specializes in tax controversy and litigation matters, and has been involved in over 30 matters at all levels of the Federal court system, including the United States Tax Court, several US Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court. 

Andy also represents clients, including participants in the CAP program, before the Internal Revenue Service Examination Division and Appeals Office, and has been successful in settling...

Kevin Spencer, McDermott Will & Emery LLP , Tax Litigation Attorney

Kevin Spencer focuses his practice on tax controversy issues. Kevin represents clients in complicated tax disputes in court and before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the IRS Appeals and Examination divisions.


In addition to his tax controversy practice, Kevin has broad experience advising clients on various tax issues, including tax accounting, employment and reasonable compensation, civil and criminal tax penalties, IRS procedures, reportable transactions and tax shelters, renewable energy, state and local tax, and private client matters. After earning his Master of...

Michael Bruno Tax & Private Wealth Attorney McDermott Will Emery Law

Michael Bruno focuses his practice on domestic and international tax planning for multinational companies, funds, and entrepreneurial families. Michael has written numerous articles on international tax planning and frequently submits comments on statutory & regulatory promulgations. As a strong proponent for pro bono legal services, Michael founded the Transactional Equal Justice Program with Legal Services of Greater Miami, which offers free legal advice to non-profits and low-to-moderate income small business owners, helping them to launch a business.