The tax and accounting industry involves tons of paperwork. Managing piles of crucial tax documents and files can be an overwhelming job as tax professionals and CPAs (certified public accountants) have a lot of responsibility.
They must be –
- Updated about the concerning state laws surrounding tax forms and other related documents
- Abide by a code of ethics to carry out their job satisfactorily, and
- Keep upskilling themselves to be up-to-date
Amidst all this hassle, sending tax forms for signatures and expecting timely replies to avoid delays in various applications, extension requests, and filing returns, adds to the pressure.
Wondering if this turmoil could get any better?
The wizardry of electronic signature (eSign) erases all the above problems in a flash. eSign is a legally valid digital alternative to wet ink signatures. It is safe, quick, & easy to use and offers a cost-effective way to skyrocket paperwork processes that involve signatures.
Here is why the world is gaining trust in eSign
Individuals and businesses worldwide have realized the tremendous potential and benefits of implementing an electronic signature workflow in their systems. Listed below are the reasons why eSign is being accepted with open arms –
It is a legally accepted way of signing important documents
Legal disputes are scary, and the repercussions cost time, money, and can put your business at risk. Everyone wants to sign documents that comply with all the laws to avoid any trouble in the future. Today 60+ countries have accepted eSignature as a legal way of signing documents, helping professionals and businesses switch to electronic signatures.
Working with eSign is easy
One of the main reasons business processes are delayed is due to complex paperwork. Creating documents, reviewing and sending them for signature, and waiting for them to return is a tiring process. Whereas adopting eSign changes the game. You can send the document with a click on any device, you can track the activities of the recipients, and save a lot of time and resources. The documents get signed and stored with you forever in a matter of minutes.
eSign promotes efficiency
With an eSign service, you save time and cost. You also get a streamlined workflow, cloud-based archival, digital audit trails, and better security. All these factors club together to make your business more productive and efficient.
It minimizes risks in the current scenario (pandemic)
Nobody awaits or celebrates in-person meetings today. Credit goes to the deadly pandemic showing effects until now. eSign enables a virtual process that demands no physical presence, ensuring the safety of all the parties involved.
Diving into the legality and validity of electronic signatures
Acceptance of electronic signatures is a basic expectation of all the professionals in today’s virtual economy. Agencies like the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) that look after the tax collections in the US have considered electronic signatures as a viable option to protect the health of taxpayers and all those who work as a tax professional.
Here are the laws that grant electronic signatures the same legal stature as traditional wet signatures –
- ESIGN ACT (The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act) – The US government passed this act in 2000 to promote electronic signature adoption by individuals and enterprises of different levels. According to this act electronic signatures can be presented as evidence in the court of law.
- UETA (The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) – The Uniform Law Commission drafted this act in the year 1999. It provides a legal structure for the use of eSign in various states of the US.
- eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and Trust Services) is an EU regulation. It takes care of the electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the European Union’s internal market. It regulates electronic signatures and other electronic transactions for user’s ease and safety.
The standard requirement of all eSign related laws and regulations is to fulfill the following aspects –
- Intent to sign
- Consent to do business electronically
- Signature attribution
- Record retention
If your eSign service provider abides by all the criteria, you are good to go.
Please note – These acts do not cover all types of documents and all geographical locations. It is advisable to do thorough research and consult your legal counsel for them to provide legal advice. This will help you make an informed decision.
List of accounting and tax documents that can be eSigned
Here are some of the frequently used accounting and tax forms that can be eSigned easily –
This form is used by taxpayers to grant their ERO (Electronic Return Originator) permission to generate their PIN (Personal Identification Number) on Form 4868 or Form 2350. Access the form along with more details of 8878 here.
According to the new IRS guidelines, an electronic signature is authorized on Form 8878.
Taxpayers use this form to grant permission to their ERO (Electronic Return Originator) to generate their PIN (Personal Identification Number) on Form 1040, 1040A, Form 1040EZ, or Form 1040-SS. Access the form along with more details of 8879 here.
According to the new IRS guidelines, an electronic signature is authorized on 8879.
This is an IRS form for individuals who want to extend the time period to file their tax returns in the US. Taxpayers need to file 4868 by the original due date of their return to get the extension. The extension received through 4868 is for the 1040 form series which includes Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS).
Access the form along with more details of 4868 here.
According to the new IRS guidelines, an electronic signature is authorized on 4868.
It is an installment agreement requested by the taxpayers to the IRS. People who are not comfortable paying the total due amount at once can request for a monthly installment plan using this IRS form.
Access the form along with more details of 9465 here.
According to the new IRS guidelines, an electronic signature is authorized on 9465.
This form is mostly filed by businesses who need to request for a change in their overall method of accounting or the accounting treatment of any particular item. Apart from businesses, individuals, accountants, estates, etc. can also file 3115 if needed.
Read this article for further details regarding 3115.
Form SS-4 is used to submit an application for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) to the IRS. EIN is a 9 digit number assigned to employers, sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, certain individuals, and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes.
Due to current COVID restrictions, the IRS has given some relaxation and has allowed electronic signatures on this form.
You can access the Form SS-4 here.
Also known as the ‘Application for United States Residency Certification’, Form 8802 is an important tax document for individuals and companies who wish to avail tax treaty benefits while operating from different countries. This form helps people prove their US residency and bring down the taxation rates in certain fields.
Learn more about Form 8802 here.
This form is filed to state the income, losses, deductions, and credits applicable to a real estate mortgage investment conduit.
You can access the Form 1066 here.
This is a short one page form that is filed by the founders of startups who receive restricted stocks for saving a substantial amount of tax. Filing this form within 30 days of receiving the restricted stocks saves the founders from future tax issues.
You can access the Form 83B along with more information here.
This document is used to record cash transactions between the buyer and the seller. It is given to the customers after their purchase as evidence of the received payment. It helps businesses maintain a record and manage their sales smoothly.
Add eSignature blocks to the cash memo and send it to the authorized person for their signature.
It is a legal document that is issued when the buyer returns certain goods or stops availing a service after paying for it. It confirms that the payment has been made and helps deduct the amount from the records without deleting the invoice.
Send the credit note to the customers for their signature and get it signed quickly using any eSign service provider.
A debit note is issued by the buyer to the seller to request for a credit note in a formal way. It includes information about the change in the invoice, that is, information about the immediate payment, and is used as a reminder for the current due funds.
This document is created when goods are returned or when buyers stop availing a service from a certain date.
Here is an extensive list of all the IRS forms that accept electronic signatures as a response to the COVID-19 situation.
Revv – the eSign solution that drives off your worries with its insightful features
Revv is a modern eSignature workflow automation tool amplified with features like app integration, cloud storage, workflow automation, etc., that enable easier creation and handling of documents.
Listed below are some benefits of Revv that will help you transition from old manual ways of signing to foolproof contemporary electronic signatures –
- Multiple ways to eSign a document – With Revv, you have three options to eSign a document. The signature types are click-to-sign, draw a signature, or click-to-initial.
- Upload PDF and send for eSign – Along with creating documents in Revv, you can upload existing PDF files and add signature blocks, and send for signature.
- Governance and compliance that meet all standards – Revv complies with all the major eSign regulations (ESIGN Act, UETA Act, and eIDAS) that make all documents signed through Revv legally binding.
- Top-notch security in the eSign process – You can give your security worries a backseat as Revv offers a two-factor (SMS and email) authentication to guarantee the identity of the signers.
- eSign evidence summary certificate – Signers get an evidence summary certificate with extensive information after the completion of the eSign transaction ceremony as proof of the ceremony. It also provides an entire audit trail of all the transactions with the date and time stamps, signers’ details, and IP addresses.
- Activity tracking to expedite eSign process – Documents sent for signature through email might get lost but documents sent using Revv can be tracked. You get access to detailed analytics of users’ activity on the document – who opened the email, who viewed the document, and who signed it.
- Lifetime record retention – Documents need to be saved once signed for future reference. Storing hard copies of all the documents is a clumsy affair. There are high chances of misplacing them and inviting unwanted troubles. With electronic copies of your documents stored in the cloud, you have a lifetime guarantee of retrieving them as per your need.
- Create documents you want to send for eSign quickly – You get access to 1000+ ready-to-use templates and a rich editor for instant document creation and customization.
- Powerful features backed with extensive research – The software comes packaged with multiple other features to support the eSign workflow. You can collaborate with your team and customers and track their activities on the document in real-time. You can integrate various everyday business applications through Zapier, Retool, and Native APIs and streamline the documentation process.
- An empathetic team that keeps customers first – Revv as an organization pledges to support its customers in every possible way. The team members go the extra mile to ensure 24/7 customer satisfaction.
It’s the right time to embrace ease and safety
All old practices cannot be evergreen. Change is inevitable as it brings progress and prepares everyone for the current times. There is no written rule to be worked up with paperwork when you have an empowering tool like Revv. It offers electronic signatures and automation workflows to rely on for smooth digital processes.
Revv’s digital document handling methods guarantee an added layer of security and make lives easier for the users, especially in current times. Revv has high-level security with AWS global cloud certification (CSA, SOC 1, SOC2, and ISO 27001) to protect your data at every step. Tax preparation, filing an income tax return for personal and business income involves multiple documents and risks and you might be on the fence about the adoption of eSign. But, with 10000+ satisfied customers worldwide, you can trust Revv’s electronic signatures for the betterment and enhanced security of your document workflows.