May 10th 2011
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Small businesses should be able to file electronically with the Internal Revenue Service Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation. This form is used to elect S corporation status. E-filing would allow taxpayers to have "immediate, verifiable assurance of S election status through the e-Services program” the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants told the IRS in a May 5 comment letter.
The AICPA said IRS’s inability to quickly verify that the form has been filed results in delayed processing of S corporation tax returns. However, electronic filing of Form 2553 would remove doubt about when, or whether, the form was filed and acknowledged by the government, the AICPA said.
The AICPA also made recommendations about how to improve Form 2553. The form should be modified so that it identifies each type of shareholder and how the stock is held, the AICPA said. This change would help reduce delayed or rejected elections based on inappropriate or missing signatures related to the type of interest held. In addition, the AICPA said the form should be changed so that the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each shareholder is not disclosed to every other shareholder who has to sign the form. In addition, the AICPA recommends that the IRS clarify that non-corporate officers may sign the Form 2553.