November 20, 2009, Newsletter Issue #194: Efiling Signatures

Tip of the Week

Since you will be (or are thinking about) filing your 2006 income tax return electronically, the subject of how to sign it may have come up. There are two ways in which you can sign your 2006 income tax return.

The first method makes for a truly paperless income tax return. It is when you obtain a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to file your tax return. Your PIN will be any five digits you choose (except all zeros). You can use your PIN whether you file your own e-file return, or if you have a tax preparer file it.

Each tax preparation software program that supports a PIN system will take you through the process of setting this up. Or, your tax professional who e-files your return can also help you.

The other method of electronically signing your income tax return involves not getting a PIN but still filing and submitting your income tax return using e-file. Some taxpayers are not allowed by the IRS to obtain a PIN to file their income tax return. This group of taxpayers includes:

Taxpayers under age 16, who have never filed, Taxpayers who filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040 SS in 2005, orTaxpayers whose Form 1040 requires attachments other than Form W-2, Form W-2G, or Form 1099-R. So, if you file a Form 1040 with multiple income and deductions, you cannot file using a PIN. You must fill out a Form 8453.

You will be signing your e-file tax return using what is called an electronic signature. This electronic signature is obtained by using a PIN (Personal Identification Number). This number is for your use only, and it will identify you to the online tax preparation software.

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