May 25, 2020

IRS Response to COVID-19 – Changes in Procedures Regarding Signatures and Use of Email

Due to the situation created by the coronavirus, the IRS has made temporary changes to its procedures to allow its mission critical functions to continue. These changes are meant to facilitate operations for the IRS, taxpayers and their representatives during the current remote working environment. Accordingly, the following temporary deviations from IRS procedures are now in place:

  1. The IRS will accept images of signatures (scanned or photographed);

  2. The IRS will accept digital signatures that use encryption techniques to provide original and unmodified documentation;

  3. IRS employees can now receive documents from taxpayers via email if the steps taken in the memorandum are taken;

  4. IRS employees can now transmit documents to taxpayers using SecureZip or other IRS established, secured messaging systems.

With respect to the transmission and receipt of electronically transmitted documents, the choice to transmit documents to the IRS is solely that of the taxpayer, and the taxpayer must consent to the receive electronic transmissions from the IRS.

More information is available in this March 27, 2020 memorandum from the IRS.

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About this Author

Angelique Neal Tax Attorney

Angelique is a member of Varnum’s Tax Team. Her practice includes all aspects of federal and state tax controversy and tax planning, including: tax audits, appeals, and litigation; tax collections – liens, levies, offers in compromise, and other collection alternatives; employment tax issues; and civil and criminal tax litigation. In addition, she handles tax and reporting compliance issues with offshore financial accounts and other assets. She represents individuals and business clients from small businesses to multimillion dollar corporations, including clients with overseas interests....

Eric M. Nemeth, Tax Planning Attorney, Varnum, Financial Controversy Lawyer

Eric is a partner and leads the tax team. He concentrates on tax and financial controversy (IRS and various States) from examinations appellate conferences, criminal investigations, witness representation and civil and criminal tax litigation. He works with government regulatory and general tax matters. He has served as Senior Trial Attorney for the District Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service and as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice. He is a frequent speaker on tax enforcement and has served as an expert witness and binding arbitrator.