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September 2, 2021

IRS allows e-signatures on specified forms through December 31, 2021

In new guidance, the IRS extends until December 31, 2021, certain e-signature relief that was first introduced on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS said it is “studying possible further extensions of this option” (see Tax Release 2021-1687). The guidance allows e-signatures on certain forms and returns that cannot be filed electronically.

The IRS had issued several memos allowing e-signatures to be used on various forms and returns until a certain date (see Tax Alerts 2021-0825, 2020-0841, 2020-2148, 2020-2206).

The memo does not prescribe any specific method for e-signing the specified forms. Taxpayers may therefore choose their preferred e-signature method.

The following forms may be filed with e-signatures until December 31, 2021:

  • 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
  • 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 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit
  • 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 under IRC Section 83(b)


By repeatedly extending the deadline for the use of e-signatures on forms that cannot be e-filed, and increasing the number of forms to which this guidance applies, the IRS has over the past year indicated its willingness to balance ease of filing for taxpayers with the risks of potential fraud or identity theft. This most recent guidance, which permits over 40 IRS forms to be signed using any kind of electronic method until December 31, 2021, represents a victory for taxpayers, many of whom continue to struggle with accessing printing and mailing capabilities during the ongoing pandemic.

That said, not all paper-filed forms qualify for e-signature. Accordingly, before e-signing an IRS document, filers should check the IRS website for the most current list of forms to which this new guidance applies. For instance, certain paper-filed forms, such as the Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund, continue to require actual, handwritten (or "wet") signatures. Improperly e-signing an IRS form could result in the filing of an invalid return, which could in turn lead to missed or untimely elections, and/or significant penalties.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Tax Policy and Controversy
   • John DiIorio (
   • Melissa Wiley( (