Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to get IRS e-signature PIN? | IRS e-signature PIN mandatory for e-filers

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How to get IRS e-signature PIN?:

In an effort to make electronic filing even more secure and paperless, the Internal Revenue Service now requires all taxpayers who file their tax returns electronically to also use electronic signatures. The IRS has eliminated the paper signature document for e-filed returns.

Just as the familiar automated teller machines use personal identification numbers, so does the IRS e-signature process. If filing a joint return, each taxpayer must create and use his or her own PIN to sign the tax return. The IRS also must verify your identity so there will be personal and tax-related questions. You should have your prior year 2009 tax return on hand if it’s available.

There are two ways to create an IRS e-signature PIN: self-select PIN method and practitioner PIN method.

Self-Select PIN Method

Taxpayers who are preparing their own returns using software must use the self-select PIN method. The self-select PIN allows taxpayers to select five numbers (except all zeros) to enter as their electronic PIN signature. The IRS still must verify the taxpayers’ identities. As part of the verification process, you must provide either your adjusted gross income listed on your 2009 tax return or your 2009 PIN used to e-file your return last year. It also will ask for date of birth. For joint returns, both taxpayers must create PINs using this method.

If you have never filed a tax return before, you can still use self-select PIN by using zero as your 2009 AGI. Do not leave this field blank. However, the space for the 2009 PIN should be left blank.

Practitioner PIN Method

Taxpayers who use a volunteer or paid tax preparer may use the practitioner PIN method or the self-select PIN method. The practitioner PIN method allows you to authorize your tax preparer to enter or generate your five-digit PIN on your behalf. You must sign Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization. The practitioner retains Form 8879 but does not mail it to the IRS. Some tax preparers may use an electronic signature pad for Form 8879 this year. Taxpayers who are age 16 and younger must use the practitioner PIN method.

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