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October 20, 2023

IRS incorporates temporary e-signature rules into Internal Revenue Manual

The IRS has incorporated guidance on e-signatures for specified tax forms and returns into its updated Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), 10.10.1 IRS Electronic Signature (e-Signature) Program, and will accept e-signatures as described until further notice.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS issued a series of memos and announcements temporarily allowing taxpayers to electronically sign and submit certain documents (see Tax Alert 2021-2159).

The IRS has partially incorporated NHQ-01-1121—0004, Approval to Accept Images of Signatures and Digital Signatures, Approval to Receive Documents and Transmit Encrypted Documents by Email), released on November 18, 2021, into the updated IRM. This memo allowed taxpayers to use e-signatures on specified non-return documents, including extensions of the statute of limitations on assessment or collection, waivers of statutory notices of deficiency and consents to assessment, closing agreements, and "any other statement or form needing the signature of a taxpayer or representative traditionally collected by IRS personnel outside of standard filing procedures." The memo allowed taxpayers to choose their preferred e-signature method.

The IRS has fully incorporated NHQ-10-1121—0005, Temporary Deviation from Handwritten Signature Requirement for Limited List of Tax Forms, released on November 18, 2021, into the updated IRM. This memo extended until October 31, 2023, the date on which the IRS will accept e-signatures on certain forms and returns that cannot be filed electronically, and that are signed and postmarked on August 28, 2020, or later. 

  • 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 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons*
  • 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)


Taxpayers and representatives who have become accustomed to using electronic signatures rather than handwritten signatures on certain forms will appreciate IRS making the policy permanent. For any forms not listed in the guidance (such as Form 2848 or 8821), Taxpayers should consult the instructions specific to that form to determine the signature requirements.


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

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Andrea Ben-Yosef, legal editor