How do I sign tax returns electronically?

You can e-sign your income tax return with ease, leaving behind the days of mailing paper-based tax return forms.

An electronic signature is a modern alternative that helps you e-file taxes hassle-free

The steps to make your filing experience seamless are straightforward. You can use tax preparation software and also sign your tax return online using a Self-Select PIN.

Follow this simple procedure, and you’ll easily make it through the tax filing process while staying on the right side of IRS rules.

Which version of Form 1040 do I need?

Since 2019, things have become much simpler with the IRS merging various versions of Form 1040 into one easy-to-use document.

For most of us, whether we owe money or are eligible for a refund, we mainly rely on just this one income tax form for the bulk of filing our returns.

If you come across other tax forms like Form 1040-X for amending prior year returns or Form 1040-V for payment vouchers to the IRS, don’t worry.

These forms are supplements to your original 1040, and you may need them only in specific cases.

For those who are 65 or older, the IRS has introduced Form 1040-SR specifically designed to meet the requirements of seniors.

If you fall into that category or help your senior family members with taxes, using this special form will make submitting and signing a tax refund a breeze.

What are the steps to electronically sign my tax return?

Prepare your tax return

You can begin by gathering all necessary documents and receipts for deductible expenses and organizing your paperwork into relevant categories, such as income, deductions, credits, and investments.

Also, you can consider using tax preparation software such as TurboTax or TaxAct to streamline your tax preparation process, or seek assistance from an in-person paid preparer.

Review the information

Carefully check your form for any errors. Make sure you’ve reported all income, deductions, and credits accurately.

These records can be crucial in case you’re audited or if you need to justify any deductions or credits claimed on your return.

If you have any doubts or uncertainties about specific tax rules or deductions, consider seeking advice from a tax professional.

Once you’ve reviewed and verified all the information, go ahead and sign your tax refund electronically.

Choose your e-file signature method

There are two e-file signature methods available for taxpayers: the Self-Select PIN and Practitioner PIN.

The Self-Select PIN method requires taxpayers to provide their prior-year adjusted gross income (AGI) or prior-year personal identification number (PIN).

If you lack this information, you can contact the IRS for assistance. With the self-select PIN, you can go paperless by directly entering your PIN into the electronic tax return record.

The second method is Practitioner PIN. With this method, you don’t need to give your prior-year AGI.

No matter how you choose to enter the PIN — either by yourself or using software-generated PINs — you must always sign an electronic signature authorization form.

That means even with the Practitioner PIN, you still need to sign an IRS e-file signature authorization that contains your PIN after reviewing your tax return.

Add your declaration that the taxpayer information provided is true

This declaration is an affirmation you make on your tax return, confirming that the information provided in the return is true, accurate, and complete.

You need to sign and date the declaration to state as much.

By doing so, you show compliance with tax laws and declare your tax form is valid. You’re also giving your consent to disclose the provided tax information.

E-file return

Gone are the days when your only option was to snail mail a paper tax return form to government entities.

Although you can still do it, choosing an electronic filing option offering speed, security, and ease of filing your taxes after duly verifying and signing them with your electronic signature is much faster — and much more efficient.

For electronic returns, the IRS accepts third-party software signatures, typed names on a digital entry block, scanned or digitized images of your handwritten signature, and names and signatures created by handwriting on screen via a digital pad.

Retain copies

Make sure to keep a copy of your signed tax return. Also, keep copies of any IRS e-file signature authorization forms you used as part of the electronic filing process.

You will need these documents for future reference; for example, when you need to authenticate information next tax year or in case of any tax-related inquiries or audits.

When is the deadline for filing tax returns?

The general deadline for filing federal tax returns with the IRS is April 15 of each tax year.

However, the deadline can be automatically pushed to the next business day in case this date falls on a weekend or holiday. You can always consult the IRS official website for updates.

Taxpayers who need more time to prepare their returns can request an extension to file taxes before the original deadline.

You’ll still owe, if applicable, but not be forced to pay by April 15.

By doing so, you can get an additional six months to e-file returns with the new deadline of October 15.

Military personnel serving in a designated combat zone can typically have an extension equal to the period of time they were in the combat zone plus 180 days.

This provides them with ample room to file their taxes upon returning from service.

E-sign your tax return securely and on time 

When it comes to e-signing your tax return, PandaDoc is the go-to choice.

The legally compliant tax preparation software will ensure that your documents are securely stored and readily accessible whenever you need them.

You can electronically submit and sign your tax return with just a click, meeting all legal requirements and protecting your privacy while leaving paperwork woes behind.