Effective immediately, the IRS will begin to temporarily accept images of signatures (scanned or photographed) and digital signatures on documents related to the determination of collection of tax liability. This has been put in place to help taxpayers and the tax professional community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, IRS employees are now being allowed to accept documents via email as well as transmit documents to taxpayers using established secured messaging systems, such as SecureZip.
This effort is in response to the Coronavirus pandemic maximizing the ability of the IRS to execute on mission-critical duties where employees, taxpayers, and their representatives are working from alternate, remote locations, outside of their office.
A statement from the taxpayer or the representative, either in the form of an attached cover letter or within the body of the email, must be included. This statement must say, “The attached [name of the document] includes [name of taxpayer]’s valid signature and the taxpayer intends to transmit the attached document to the IRS.” It is solely the taxpayer’s choice of transmitting documents electronically.
The limited categories of documents included in the scope of this effort include the following:
- Extensions of statute of limitations on assessment or collection.
- Waivers of statutory notices of deficiency and consents to assessment.
- Agreements to specific tax matters or tax liabilities (closing agreements).
- Any other statement or form needing the signature of a taxpayer or representative traditionally collected by the IRS personnel outside of standard filing procedures.
- An example of this would be a case specific Power of Attorney.