Signing Your E-Filed Return

When you e-file your return, you have two choices for "signing" your return:

  • Digital signature (PIN number)
  • Paper signature using Form 8453

Digital Signature

You choose your own 5-digit PIN number as your digital signature. No zeros or letters may be used in your PIN number..

The 5-digit number is your digital signature. You don't have to memorize it. In fact, the same PIN number may be used by another person because the IRS uses other information to validate each person's identify. For example, a social security number and date of birth.

If you use your own tax software, the software's instructions will guide you through the e-filling process.

If you use a paid preparer, you can still choose your own PIN number. In fact, it's a good idea to have your own PIN number because it allows you to pay any other federal taxes electronically using your own computer.

For example, if you have to make quarterly estimated tax payments, you can schedule them to be paid on the due dates by having the funds automatically withdrawn from your checking account.

Employment tax payments for Forms 940, 941, and 944 cannot be scheduled in advance.

Sign Form 8453

Form 8453 is used to provide a paper signature to the IRS for your e-filed forms and schedules. So, if you want to e-file but don't want to "sign" your return using a PIN number, then you must complete, sign, and mail, Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file On-Line Return to the IRS

Form 8453 must be received by the IRS on or before the due date of your return to avoid a late filing penalty. The date you e-filed your forms and schedules does not count.

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