The IRS has issued Notice 2007-79 which sets forth rules that allow Electronic Return Originators (EROs) to sign forms by rubber stamp, mechanical device (such as signature pen), or computer software program. Forms included in this directive include:
Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Declaration for an IRS e-file Return
Form 8878, IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350
Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization
The alternative methods of signing that Notice 2007-79 authorizes must include either a facsimile of the individual ERO's signature or of the ERO's printed name. EROs using one of these alternative means are personally responsible for affixing their signatures to returns or requests for extension.
This notice applies only to EROs that sign Form 8453, Form 8878, or Form 8879, and does not alter the signature requirements for any other type of document currently required to be manually signed, such as elections, applications for changes in accounting method, powers of attorney, or consent forms. In addition, this notice does not alter the requirement that Form 8453, Form 8878, or Form 8879 be signed by the taxpayer making these forms by handwritten signature or other authorized means.
This notice applies to any Form 8453, Form 8878, or Form 8879 filed on or after October 15, 2007.