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IRS Response to COVID-19 – Changes in Procedures Regarding Signatures and Use of Email

April 1, 2020

Due to the situation created by the coronavirus, the IRS has made temporary changes to its procedures to allow its mission critical functions to continue. These changes are meant to facilitate operations for the IRS, taxpayers and their representatives during the current remote working environment. Accordingly, the following temporary deviations from IRS procedures are now in place:

  1. The IRS will accept images of signatures (scanned or photographed);
  2. The IRS will accept digital signatures that use encryption techniques to provide original and unmodified documentation;
  3. IRS employees can now receive documents from taxpayers via email if the steps taken in the memorandum are taken;
  4. IRS employees can now transmit documents to taxpayers using SecureZip or other IRS established, secured messaging systems.

With respect to the transmission and receipt of electronically transmitted documents, the choice to transmit documents to the IRS is solely that of the taxpayer, and the taxpayer must consent to the receive electronic transmissions from the IRS.

More information is available in this March 27, 2020 memorandum from the IRS.

This is an unprecedented situation, and Varnum’s tax team will provide further updates as they evolve.

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