IRS Electronic Signature Options Will Simplify Third-Party Authorizations (Form 2848)


This new process gives tax professionals and taxpayers a safe option to electronically sign and upload critical documents without an in-person meeting.

In January, the IRS plans to launch a new secure submission platform and a new page, “Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online,” that will allow tax professionals to upload third-party authorization forms electronically.

Tax professionals will enter their Secure Access username and password or complete a Secure Access registration to authenticate their identities.

Taxpayers and tax professionals can sign the forms electronically or with ink, and then upload the image of the form to the IRS.

This new online submission process will not eliminate the reviewing and processing time by the CAF staff, but it gives tax professionals and taxpayers a safe option to electronically sign and upload these critical documents without an in-person meeting.

Tax professionals are required to verify the taxpayer’s identity if there’s an electronic signature and the client is unknown to them. The IRS is planning on using a similar process as outlined by Publication 1345, Handbook for Authorized IRS e-File Providers PDF. This verification process should be familiar to tax professionals.

This new third-party authorization submission process will not be the only electronic option for Forms 2848 and 8821.

Next summer, the IRS plans to launch a platform called the Tax Pro Account. At launch, the Tax Pro Account will serve as the point of entry for tax professionals to electronically initiate and sign an online third-party authorization form.

That third-party authorization form will electronically transfer into the client’s IRS online account. Clients can access their personal IRS account and electronically sign the document. The document goes directly to the CAF, posting immediately. There’s no wait time, no backlog. The Tax Pro Account is an electronic operation from beginning to end.

When the IRS has completed these projects next year, tax professionals will have four submission options:

  1. upload on,
  2. initiate electronically via Tax Pro Account,
  3. mail to IRS and
  4. fax to IRS.

Because of the risk of fraud, the IRS will not accept electronic signatures on mailed or faxed authorization forms.

The IRS will offer more details on the secure submission platform soon, including a demonstration webinar for tax professionals in December.