The IRS has rolled out a new online option for tax professionals to upload authorization forms with either electronic or handwritten signatures.
Tax professionals can access the new electronic version of these two authorization forms via the Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online tool on the IRS website.
Below are details tax professionals need to know about this new option:
- Tax professionals may use handwritten or any form of electronic signature for the client or themselves on the Form 2848 or 8821 submitted through the online tool.
- Tax professionals must authenticate the identities of unknown clients who signed the authorization form with an electronic signature in a remote transaction. See the Frequently Asked Questions on the Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 page on the IRS website for examples of what the authentication options are for individual and business clients.
- To use the new tool the tax professional must have a Secure Access username and password they have set up from an IRS Account such as e-Services. If they do not then they will need to authenticate their identity and create an account on the IRS website. See the Secure Access page for information on how to set up an account.
- In order to correctly route the authorization form to proper Centralized Authorization File (CAF) unit, the tool will ask a series of questions. The questions include:
- Form type: 2848 or 8821
- Whether, if required, the tax professional authenticated the taxpayer’s identity
- Whether the client is a domestic or International client
- May use various file formats, including PDF or image files such as JPG or PNG when uploading an authorization form.
Authorization forms uploaded through the tool will be added to the processing stream (which includes forms that were faxed or mailed) and worked on a first in, first out basis.
This new option is an interim step. Coming later this year, the IRS will launch the Tax Pro Account. As part of their account, tax professionals will be able to initiate a third party authorization while in their account and send it to their client’s IRS online account. The client will then be able to digitally sign the authorization and upload it to the IRS to be recorded by the CAF.
For more information see the following on the IRS website:
- IRS News Release IR-2021-20 (New IRS “Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online” offers contact-free signature options for tax pros and clients sending authorization forms)
- IRS Fact Sheet FS-2021-01 (How to Use new Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online”)
- Uploading Forms 2848 and 8821 with Electronic Signatures webinar
- Frequently Asked Questions – On the “Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online” page on IRS website