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Anna Falkenstein: All right, I see it's the top of the hour. For those of you just joining, welcome to today's webinar, "Uploading Forms 2848, 8821 with Electronic Signatures." We're glad that you're joining us today. My name is Anna Falkenstein, and I am a Stakeholder Liaison with the Internal Revenue Service. And I will be your moderator for today's webinar, which is slated to last 60 minutes. Before we begin, if there is anyone in the audience that is with the media, please send an e-mail to the address on this slide. Be sure to include your contact information and the news publication you're with. Our Media Relations and Stakeholder Liaison staff will assist you and answer any questions you may have. As a reminder, this webinar will be recorded and posted to the IRS Video Portal in a few weeks. This portal is located at

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This feature will be available throughout the webinar. During the presentation, we'll take a few breaks to share knowledge-based questions with you. At those times, a polling style feature will pop up on your screen with a question and multiple-choice answers. Select the response you believe is correct by clicking on the radio button next to your selection and then clicking "Submit". Some people may not get the polling question, and this maybe because you have your pop-up blocker on. So please take a moment to disable your pop-up blocker now, so you can answer the question. If you have a topic specific question today, please submit it by clicking the Ask Question drop down arrow to reveal the text box. Type your question in the text box and then click "Send". Very important now, please do not enter any sensitive or taxpayer specific information. Again, thank you. Welcome, and thank you again for joining us for today's webinar.

Before we move along with the session, let me make sure you're in the right place. Today, we will share information related to uploading Forms 2848 and 8821 with electronic signatures. This webinar is scheduled for approximately 60 minutes. Let me introduce today speakers. Sharyn Fisk is the Director of IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, OPR. As Director, she is responsible for the IRS oversight of tax professionals, who practice before the IRS is set out in Treasury Circular 230. Andrew Chiu is a Director of Product Management and User Experience in the IRS Office of Online Services. In this role, he is responsible for providing leadership, oversight and direction for the strategic growth of IRS online products and services. Now, I'll turn it over to Sharyn to begin our presentation. Sharyn? Sharyn Fisk: Thank you very much.

Right, so in today's presentation, we have several objectives that we aim to meet. One is to understand the new options for submitting third-party authorization forms that has been signed electronically. We're going to review the step-by-step process for a successful uploading of these third-party authorization forms and learn what electronic signatures are acceptable. And then understand the ways to authenticate the taxpayer's identity, when there has been an electronic signature done in a remote transaction. We'll define remote transaction too, right. So let's start with a little background on why we created this new option for submitting third-party authorization forms that have electronic signatures. As you all recall, in July of 2019, Congress enacted the Taxpayers First Act, the TFA. And this act had approximately 45 legislative provisions. Now, the goal of all those provisions was to modernize and improve the IRS with respect to the services organization and operations, and its technological capability. The TFA goal we're addressing here is TFA 2302. Section 2302, the TFA requires the IRS to establish uniform standards and procedures for the acceptance of taxpayer signatures appearing in electronic form regarding any request for the disclosure of the taxpayers return or return information to a practitioner. And typically this is done through the Form 8821, right, the Tax Information Authorization. And also with respect to any Power of Attorney granted by a taxpayer to a practitioner, and that's our Form 2848, the Power of Attorney. The Office of Professional Responsibility has taken the lead on implementing the IRS's respond to provision 2302. The OPR is working towards meeting provision 2302 in 2 ways. First, by creating a cross functional team within the IRS to develop a mechanism for submitting Forms 2848 and 8821 that have electronic signatures through the Taxpayer Digital Communication, the TDC platform. And that is set to be released in January of 2021. This process will allow authorization forms to be signed and socially distant transaction that's our remote transaction, as COVID is continuing to affect us on our taxpayers and our tax professionals. These forms can be signed and submitted to the IRS without the taxpayer or the tax professional leaving their home. And the signature can be obtained without the need for certain equipment like scanners, fax machines or the need to have an eFax service. Now the IRS is also working with a cross functional group within the IRS on the creation of the tax professional accounts platform. And this will allow for the creation of online authorization and this platform is set to be released in July of 2021. TFA provision 2302 states that no later than 6 months after the date of enactment, the secretary shall publish guidance to establish uniform standards and procedures for the acceptance of taxpayers' electronic signatures on the Forms 2848 and 8821. Now within that 6-month deadline, on December 3, 2019, the IRS published an overarching e-signature policy, and if you're looking for that, that's in IRM 10.10.1. This IRM addresses electronic signature policy for all IRS forms, unless a form is explicitly excluded. Now, because e-signatures or electronic signatures were not accepted on Forms 2848 and 8821 at the time this IRM was issued, the IRM didn't specifically cover these 2 forms. And so, this TD solution as well as the tax pro account aims to address that gap. In January 21, the IRS is going to launch the "Submit IRS Forms 2848 and 8821 Online".

Now, this is a special webpage featuring IRS Secure Messaging platform. So, allow for the upload of signed Forms 2848 and 8821. To access the Secure Messaging platform, an individual must verify their identity through Secure Access, or use their existing Secure Access username and platform - excuse me password. This Secure Messaging platform will require the individual to answer a few questions to be anywhere from 3 to 5 questions depending on the type of signature that's on that particular form. And we'll explain that a little later on. Checkboxes verifying their clients' identity has been authenticated, when that form is signed electronically by the taxpayer in a remote transaction. And again, we'll clarify this, a little later on in this presentation. And then we're going to upload that signed authorization form and hit the "Submit" button. Under this new online submission platform, taxpayers and tax professionals have the option of using commercial digital signature products to electronically sign a Form 2848 or 8821.

So there's no particular signature technology required. Now, the instructions to both these forms will contain the explanations and the requirements for those electronic signatures which also includes, how you go about verifying the taxpayer's identity, when the taxpayer has electronically signed a form in a remote transaction. Now, a remote transaction is one where the taxpayer has signed the form not in the presence of the tax professional, right. So you've gotten a signed form from the taxpayer, but it's within an electronic signature attached to it and they send it to you by e-mail, or they fax it to you, or they mailed it off to you in the mail. These authorization forms can be submitted to the IRS either in a PDF or some other image format through that submit Forms 2848 and 8821 online platform. Authorization forms that come through this online platform are going to be routed to the CAF Unit and processed just like other authorization forms that the CAF Unit received via fax or mail. They will be processed in the same manner, as those that come in by fax and mail. In the summer of 2021, I mentioned, the IRS will launch the new tax pro account - tax professional account. And this is a secure self-serve online portal that will allow for the actual creation of online authorization that can be signed by tax professional and taxpayers digital. Tax professionals will be able to access their tax pro account by passing through Secure Access authentication, or again by using their existing IRS account such as you may have an e-Services account, you have your username and password for that. On the tax pro account, tax professionals will initiate the third-party authorization through their account, which will then interface with their client's individual taxpayer account.

The authorization will be routed to the client's account for the client's digital signature.

Accessing their own online account, the taxpayer will digitally sign that authorization. And upon that signature by the taxpayer, the authorization will be routed to the CAF unit automatically.

When using tax pro account to create these authorizations, the wait time for CAF processing is minimized. Authentications will be processed almost immediately. Over time, the tax pro account functionality is going to increase, so we're going to expand beyond just the creation of online authorization, so looking forward to that. Now here is a diagram that kind of shows the proposed process flow for obtaining clients' signatures and uploading it to the IRS to submit 2848 and 8021 online. The first step, our client is going to sign the authorization form. They can either do that in ink or sign it electronically. The tax professional is going to authenticate the taxpayer's identity. And again, we'll go into more detail on that. And at the form of 2848, the tax professional is going to sign the document as well, either in ink or electronically. If you recall, the 8821 only has a signature line for the taxpayer. Next, the tax professional is going to go to this special web page called "Submit Forms 2848, 8821 Online," and access the tool with their Secure Access username and password. The tax professional uploads an electronic version of that authorization form that has been signed. The CAF unit is going to receive that authorization form. They're going to review it for completeness and accuracy, right, just like they do with everything we mail in or fax in. And if the form is complete, and the information is verified, the CAF unit will process the form. Now, forms received online are going to be processed along with the forms received by mail and fax, which means on a first-come first-served basis. So these forms will not have expedited processing. So it will just have the same processing as the other authorization forms that come in to the CAF unit. All right, Anna, let's take a moment and have our first polling question. Anna Falkenstein: All right, that sounds good to me. Audience, our first polling question is, "The new Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 online process will allow you to: A, upload authorization forms with either electronic signatures or wet signatures to the CAF unit for normal processing; B, offer a safe remote transaction that protects you and your client from possible COVID exposure; C, obtain immediate approval and bypass CAF processing; or D, both A and B." Take a moment and click on the radio button that best answers the question. I'll give you just a few more seconds to make your selection. Okay, I think we can go ahead and stop the polling now. And let's go ahead and share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct response is D, both A and B. And looks like, waiting on the response here. Sharyn Fisk: Pins and needles, pins and needles. Anna Falkenstein: It's coming.

85%, okay, so 85% of you got it right. And that's awesome. So keep listening closely. And I believe, Andrew, you're up next. Andrew Chin: Yes, I am. Thank you very much, Anna. What you're seeing in front of you is the tax professionals' webpage on, which I believe most of you are probably familiar with. Before I begin, a couple of things I want to mention. You're going to be seeing several, "Under Construction" drafts of web-pages and process flows. But I want to emphasize, take the opportunity to emphasize that these are still drafts. We have held several customer feedback sessions. And we are already making changes to these drafts. But they weren't able to be available for this session. I will be going over some of those changes. But I would ask that you focus on the high points that Sharyn mentioned earlier. There will be some interactive aspects to help with the workflow. And ultimately, this will enable all of you to upload electronically signed 2848s and 8821s or other scanned forms such as revocations, as Sharyn described. Getting into this page, I would like to take the chance to point out that there will be a link, actually several, on the tax professional landing page. You'll see the first one on the lower left navigation at the bottom, entitled "Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 online." You'll also see a similar link under the call-out box for "Serve Your Clients." These links and others will be on many pages. And we will also have several friendly URLs available for your bookmarking needs. Regardless of which link or bookmark you use, you will ultimately be taken to a landing page very similar to this one. This page will provide you with the basic instructions, what to get started, how to submit the form, what to expect after you submit. Of course, you're welcome to just click the "Login to Submit" button and begin. Once you've clicked that button, you'll be taken to Secure Access, where you will need a Secure Access account as Sharyn mentioned earlier. I'm not going to go into the registration process in depth here. But if you don't have one, feel free to use the "Create Account" button on the left to begin that process.

If you already have one, feel free to log in as you normally do. And of course, if you have any e-services account, you should be aware that you are already signed up. Once you've begin the log-in process, you'll need to sign in just like any other Secure Access logging in. We will send you a SMS code or you can use your code generator on IRS2Go app. Once you successfully authenticated, you'll be presented one time with the terms of service for Taxpayer Digital Communication. This is the platform we are using to host the service. And you will need to agree to the terms of service. We don't anticipate making changes to these often. However, if we were to do so, you would be presented with these again in the future. Once you've accepted the terms of service one time, we'll need some basic information from you to make sure we can route your form to the right place. The questions that you'll be seeing on this screen, and the next few are just examples. The precise wording may and probably will be different in January when this launches. To begin, you'll need to tell us what type of form you'd like to submit. As mentioned, this allows for the submission of Forms 2848, 8821, and Revocations and Withdrawals, both electronically signed and wet signatures. You'll need to attest that you've authenticated the taxpayer. And we'll have more information coming later in this webinar. We'll be adding some additional information to this screen to make sure everyone understands what this means. And Sharyn will again be discussing that a little bit later. Notice on the right-hand side that the questions you've already answered through this Guide Me process are pre-populated on the right along with the answers you can check as you go if necessary. Again, I do want to mention that the steps in this platform and process are under construction and a work in progress. This particular question will likely be removed once this goes live in January, based on the fantastic feedback and engagement from your colleagues who participated in our focus groups. We, of course, have the IRS very much appreciate their efforts to provide feedback and help us continually improve our online services. If you're going to mail or fax your form, you do need to send it to a specific location based on the type of form. And that's exactly what we're doing here as well and replicating that part of the routing process, domestic, international or tax clinic. We'll need that same information to make sure it gets to the right place for processing, as Sharyn mentioned earlier. Finally, you're almost ready to submit. There will be some basic instructions on the top of this page, we will ask you to provide the SSN, EIN or ITIN to help us with the forms processing. We will also be asking and confirming whether or not an electronic signature was used. Continuing on, this particular screen, we've shown in 2 different slides just to make sure it's readable. You'll notice at the bottom, there is an attached file link, and the submit button. Once you've completed answering those questions, you can go ahead and click on the attach file. The process is just the same as most other upload processes you may be used to in your private life, a window will pop up on your computer, and you'll be able to select the file in question and click "Open" is transmitted to us. At this point in time, you want to make sure you select the correct version. So you may need to adjust your team or office workflow to make sure you're uploading the correct and final version to the Internal Revenue Service. Once that file is ready, you'll notice, you're taken back to this screen and under the attachment section that file is now listed just like it would be on many other platforms, again, that you may use in your personal life. You can upload only one form at a time. If you do upload more than one, they won't be processed. Doing so helps us expedite the processing within the CAF Unit and maintain the processing pipeline. Once you're ready, you can go ahead and click the "Submit" button. And you'll be taken to this confirmation page again under construction. This confirmation page will allow you to recognize that the form was submitted to us successfully, you will also receive an e-mail confirmation. The e-mail for those of you who are concerned does not include PII or any other identifying information. But it is a confirmation that we did actually receive your form as well. I would also like to point out here that if you're done, feel free to click on the "Exit" button and terminate your session. You can if you have additional forms, click the "Submit" another form button and that will start the workflow all over again. As shown, you'll be taken to the beginning, where you'll need to answer the same basic routing questions again to help get that new form to the right location in the CAF. As long as your session is active, you won't have to log in through Secure Access time to time again, just wash, rinse and repeat on these questions in workflow. Anna, how about another polling question? Anna Falkenstein: Okay, I'm ready. Audience I hope you're ready. So here's our second polling question. The new upload tool will allow tax professionals do: A, upload tax returns; B, ask questions of the CAF Unit; C, upload authorization forms and withdrawal requests; D, transmit an amended return. Okay. So take a moment to review the question and click the "Radio" button that best answers that question. I'll give you just a few more seconds to make your selection. Okay, let's go ahead and stop the polling now and share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct response is C, upload authorization forms and withdrawal requests. And let's check on the number of correct - for percentage of correct answers. All right. You all were definitely listening. It was 97%.

That's awesome. Excellent. Okay, Sharyn, I'll turn it back to you now. Sharyn Fisk: Thank you, Anna. All right. So with the addition of this online submission platform in January of 2021, there are now going to be 3 ways that you can file your authorization forms with the IRS. If the authorization form that's the 2848 or the 8821 has a handwritten signature, a wet signature, right. The authorization form can be mailed, faxed, or submitted online to the IRS. Now, if that authorization form has an electronic signature on it, right, a DocuSign and Adobe signature, somebody typed their name in the signature block, then that authorization form may only be submitted via the online platform. And there's a reason for that and we'll get into that. Now, if an authorization form that reflects an electronic signature is sent to the IRS, by mail or by fax, and that does include faxing to the Practitioner Priority Service, right, the PPS, it is going to be rejected as not processable. Again, if you fax your authorization form, and it has an electronic signature on it, or you mail it, it's going to be rejected as not processable. If you need immediate assistance with respect to a client or immediate access to taxpayer information, or you intend to use the PPS line, get a wet signature on that authorization form. Now, when summer of 2021 rolls around, we're going to have the addition of a tax pro account, then there will be 4 ways in which to submit third-party authorizations to the IRS. Submitting a Form 2848 or 8821, by mail, facsimile or online, depending on what kind of signature is on that form, or creating an online authorization on the tax pro account that will have a digitally signed - be digitally signed by the taxpayer and the tax professional. So let's chat a little bit about what it means to have an electronic signature, because we've used the term electronic signature and we may also hear the term digital signature. So an electronic signature can appear in many forms, it created by many technologies, no specific technology is required. An example of an electronic signature might include typing the name in the signature box of the form, right, or scanning and digitizing an image of a handwritten signature, a fax, a handwritten signature that's been put into an electronic signature pad, or a handwritten signature that was put on a display screen with a stylus. So what is that difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature? An electronic signature is an electronic symbol attached to an electronic record used by a person with the intent to sign a document. As explained on the prior slide and I gave those examples of electronic signatures such as typing your name in the signature box of the form. The online submission platform is a mean to accept images of electronic signatures. A digital signature is a type of electronic signature, but a digital signature has encrypted data attached to it. Tax professionals and taxpayers will digitally sign online authorizations on the tax pro account when it launches next summer. Let's see, if I've read that clear enough. And we have a polling question here, Anna? Anna Falkenstein: I think we do. Okay, audience, this is our third polling question. Examples of acceptable electronic signature methods include: A, a typed name that is typed into a signature block; B, a scanned or digitized image of a handwritten signature that is attached to an electronic record; C, a handwritten signature input onto an electronic signature pad; D, a handwritten signature mark or other command input on a display screen with a stylus device; or E, all of the above. All right. Let's take a moment to review the question and click the "Radio" button that best answers the question. I'll give you just a few more seconds to make that selection. Okay. Let's go ahead and stop the polling now and share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct answer is E, all of the above. And let's check on the percentage of correct answers. Wow, you guys are doing great, 97% again, awesome. Sharyn, let's just keep rolling. Sharyn Fisk: Excellent. All right, so earlier we mentioned that if a taxpayer electronically signs the authorization form in a remote transaction, the taxpayer's identity must be authenticated. Let's chat about authentication. A remote transaction is one in which the taxpayer has electronically signed the authorization form, not in the presence of the individual who's submitting the form to the IRS. So if, say, your client signed a form electronically and sent it to you, this is a new client, how do you know the person who's submitting the form to you, who claims to be the taxpayer is actually the taxpayer? We all know there's unscrupulous individuals out there attempting to steal people's Personally Identifiable Information, right, your PII. These individuals are not above impersonating taxpayers to obtain additional PII to participate in stolen identity refund fraud or other fraudulent acts. And these individuals are also not above using an unsuspecting tax professional to assist unknowingly in committing fraud. So to reduce the risk to the IRS and reduce the risk to you, taxpayers through electronically signed authorization forms in remote transaction must be authenticated. Now, if you already know the taxpayer that you have a prior business relationship, right, you've been doing this person's tax returns for 30 years or the person has hired you for an audit, then you're adding another year to the POA, or you have a personal relationship with the taxpayer.

It's a friend or colleague or family member, then authentication at this time is not necessary.

You already authenticated the taxpayer. As I mentioned, authentication has been done. All right.

Now, authenticating a taxpayer's identity is something that you probably already do under your Due Diligence as to Accuracy requirement, under Section 10.22, of Circular 230, right, that's Due Diligence as to Accuracy in the preparing or assisting in the preparation of or proving or filing documents related to IRS matters, and also in ensuring the correctness of oral and written representations made by you, the practitioner to the IRS. But this is not just a Circular 230 issue, it's also about penalty protection. It's also an E&O issue. You want to make sure that you are dealing with the individual who claims to be the taxpayer is actually the taxpayer. You want to be able to show you've exercised that due diligence. You want to be able to show that the taxpayer - who the taxpayer is and what they have signed or what they have not signed. When a document is hand-signed, you can point to that signature being out of the taxpayer, right, it matches the signature on their driver's license or it matches the previously filed return. But when we have an electronic signature, you don't have that same ability of matching that same option of proof, so an extra authentication step is necessary. Now, a lot of you probably already have standard business procedures in place, like requesting IDs from new clients, or requesting IDs every year from the same client to authenticate a taxpayer. You want to make sure, because you want to make sure you know who you're dealing with, and what you're making - what representations you're making to the IRS when you are filing and submitting documents for the service. The IRS is proposing changes to the instructions of both the Form 2848 and the 8821 to explain what it means to authenticate the taxpayer's identity, when an authorization form is electronically signed in a remote transaction. So to authenticate the taxpayer's identity, that an individual submitting the authorization form to the IRS via this online platform must, first, inspect a valid government photo identification and compare the photo to the taxpayer. Now, this comparison can be done by the taxpayer taking a selfie and sending it to the tax professional or perhaps you and your new client have had a video conference, right, you met on Zoom or FaceTime.

After inspecting the taxpayer's valid government ID, you're going to record the name, Tax Identification Number, address, and date of birth of the taxpayer. Now, because we're talking about authorization forms, right, we're talking about the 2848 and 8821, these forms already require us to record the taxpayer's name, Tax Identification Number and address. So really the only additional information we're seeking to have recorded here is the taxpayer's date of birth, if that's applicable, right? If we're talking about an entity, they don't have a date of birth.

So the actual recordation of this information is the 2848 or the 8821 itself, perhaps with a notation on the side, if we're dealing with an individual about what that individual's date of birth is. Put a little note on the copy of that authorization form you're keeping in your file.

Next, we want to verify the recorded information through secondary documentation. So, we can do - we can verify the taxpayer's name and address, and Tax Identification Number, and date of birth, if it's applicable, through a couple of different secondary documents. It's hard to find one document that's going to have all of that information, right. So, for example, if you have a new client that's come in, they've given you their photo ID or their government ID, but they've changed their address since they've gotten their driver's license. They can bring to you - besides the photo ID, they can bring to you, say a 2019 W-2 to verify their names, and their Tax Identification Number. And then, also bring or provide you with a recent utility statement that can verify their new address. Now, if all of this authentication process sounds familiar, it's because - it's, there are similar requirements outlined in Publication 1345, regarding the electronic signatures on electronically filed Forms 1040. So again, this authentication process is for taxpayers, who are unknown to you, who have signed that authorization form electronically in a remote transaction. To use the Submit 2848 and 8821 Online platform, an individual has to register for Secure Access. And some of you, hopefully many of you are already are familiar with and registered for Secure Access, having used one of the IRS' e-Services such as online tool for tax professionals or other similar online tools, for example, the e-Services online transcript delivery service or system. If you are not already registered for Secure Access, you'll need to do so if you are interested or intend to submit authorization forms via this Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online platform. To register for Secure Access you're going to need personal information and the mailing address on your most recently filed return, financial account information and a U.S.-based cell-phone registered in your name to receive a onetime activation code. Now, you can opt to receive your activation code by mail, if you don't have a cell phone or your cell phone may be registered in the name of a business, so that they're able to handle that problem. There is a virtual assist also on the IRS webpage to help you with Secure Access. And if you do want to submit your authorization forms online and you want the option of obtaining electronic signatures on these forms, register for Secure Access now, because this registration process does take a bit of time to complete. Now, if you have more - you want more information on Secure Access and registration, you can go to And again, there is a virtual assistant to help if you have questions on registration. All right, Anna, do we have time for another polling question? Anna Falkenstein: We sure do. Audience, this is our fourth and final polling question. Here's the question. I am responsible for authenticating the identity of a client I do not know by: A, matching a government ID to a selfie or video conference; B, recording the name, SSN or ITIN, address and date of birth of the client and matching that information with other documents such as a prior tax record or a Social Security card; C, options A and B; or D, none of the above. Again, just take a quick look at that question, click on the "Radio" button that best answers the question. I'll give you just a few more seconds to make your selection. And let's go ahead and stop the polling now and share the correct answer on the next slide. And the correct answer is C, both A and B. And now let us take a quick look at the percentage of correct response is pulling up. It's an 83%, okay, not quite as good as that 97% earlier, but pretty good. Sharyn, we'll send it back to you just briefly. Sharyn Fisk: All right, 83%, that's still a good grade. Anna Falkenstein: Yeah. Sharyn Fisk: All right. So instructions for the Form 2848 and 8821 will identify the landing page, where you're going to be able to find this platform, or the landing page for the submitting Forms 2848 and 8821 online. And those revised instructions will be coming out in January. And as Andrew mentioned, this landing page will provide information on how to submit the forms online. So in addition to the form instructions, the landing page will have all the details that we need. All right, Anna, that's all we have. So I'm going to hand it back over to you. Anna Falkenstein: Thank you, Sharyn.

Hello, everybody. It's me again, Anna Falkenstein, and I will be moderating the Q&A portion of this session. Before we start the Q&A portion, I do want to thank everyone for attending today's presentation, Uploading Forms 2848, 8821 with Electronic Signatures. Earlier, I mentioned we want to know what questions you have for our presenters. And here is your opportunity. If you haven't input a question yet, there is still time. Go ahead, click on that dropdown arrow next to the Ask Question field and type in your question. One thing before we start, we may not have time to answer all the questions submitted. However, let me assure you, we will answer as many as time allow. If you're participating to earn a certificate and related continuing education credit, you will qualify for one credit by participating in at least - for at least 50 minutes from the official start time of the webinar, which means that the first few minutes of me chatting before the top of the hour does not count towards that 50 minutes. So let's go ahead and get started, so we can get to as many questions as possible. And I do see we've got quite a few questions here.

Let me scroll down. Here we go, oops. All right. I'm going to, let's see, you know what, we're going to give Sharyn just a moment to catch her breath, because she was talking quite a bit towards the end. We're going to ask Andrew the first question. Okay, Andrew, here's the first question. "How do I know that what I'm submitting is going to the IRS is secure?" Remember to take yourself off mute. Andrew Chin: Thank you, Anna. Anna Falkenstein: There you go. Andrew Chin: Yes, thank you, Anna. That's a great question. So very quickly, TDC, the Taxpayer Digital Communications program and platform follows all the Federal security standards as mandated by the Office of Management and Budget, and all the guidance and instructions promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, in their cybersecurity guidance and rules.

We also conduct annual cybersecurity audits with our IT organization to make sure that the platform is meeting the required security practices. We also conduct other risk assessments to make sure that it's meeting our requirements. And finally, I would just reassure everyone that as a part of those requirements, the platform encrypts all the information according to federally approved encryption standards from your submission all the way through the platform. You can rest assure that the information is only being shared with the Internal Revenue Service. Thank you, Anna. Anna Falkenstein: Okay, thank you. I'm going to ask you one more real quick before we give one to Sharyn. What will we see or what kind of information can we expect to see in the confirmation e-mail? Andrew Chin: That's another great question. So we're excited to be able to provide the confirmation e-mail to you all. And as Sharyn noted before, at the IRS, we are very concerned with privacy, disclosure, and in general, the authentication of the information. So we want to make sure that we're protecting your taxpayers, because they're our taxpayers, and we're protecting you as well. To that end, the e-mail will not contain any TINs or other taxpayer information. As Sharyn mentioned, it won't contain any of that PII. But it will confirm that we did receive the form for processing. So you can rest assure that that e-mail makes the way to you over the Internet, and finally ends up on your system that no one else will be aware that, a particular taxpayer now has a POA submitted with you. But it is a confirmation, in addition to and supplementary to the confirmation you see on the screen once the upload has been completed.

Anna Falkenstein: Okay, all right. Sharyn, I'm going to throw the next question to you. And this is a good question. "Why is this an improvement over the current system?" Sharyn Fisk: Very good question. So, it is an improvement over the current system for several reasons. One, just dealing right now with the environment that we are in, it allows us practitioners and taxpayers to get that authorization in, in socially distant transactions, right. There's no need for the practitioner to or the tax professional to create the form, print it out, sign it, scan it, send it back to - send it to the client, the client may or may not have those print or scan capabilities, so that they're going to need a printer. If they have a printer, they're going to sign it, they don't have a scanner, they're going to have to go down to the post office and drop this thing in the mail. This electronic signature process will avoid all of that, we don't need scanners, we don't need printers, we don't need fax machines. And we can get all of this done much faster at the front end than we could with a typical wet signature when there's not a face-to-face interaction with the practitioner and the client. Anna Falkenstein: Okay, okay. And I totally agree. Sharyn, I'm going to throw one more question at you since you're underlying right now. The question says, I have two designees on the Form 8821. Can I still use this? What do I do? Sharyn Fisk: Sure. Actually, one of the changes we made to the 8821 was to make a space for an additional designee. So the new form will have spots for two, but let's say we have four designees. You would still go through the same process, right, the taxpayer signs that form, and there'll be a statement attached to that 8821, which can be additional designee, those two pieces of paper will be scanned together as one 8821 Form. And then you'll go through the same process through this online, you'll log in, you will answer a few questions, you'll have scanned a copy of those two pages into one document and you will upload that one document and hit the "Submit" button. So, it's - it's as if you would've fax those two pages to the IRS. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. All right. Andrew, I'm going to throw another one at you now. Andrew Chin: Sure. Anna Falkenstein: Good question. I think you sort of touched on this before, but go ahead, let's expand on it. It says, why do I have to upload each form separately? Andrew Chin: Great.

Thank you for that question. We're asking that you upload each form separately to make sure that we can optimize the workflow and CAF Unit processing as much as possible. As you know, when you fax those or mail those in. They are processed one at a time and by keeping them separate. This minimizes any additional work that the CAF Unit is going to have to do to just assemble the file in order to process it. That's why we're asking for your help in making sure that this digital process can work as quickly as possible with our CAF colleagues. And remember that this process allows you to not only upload 2848 and 8821 with the electronic signature. It will also allow you to upload those revocations as well. We want to make sure that those all flow as smoothly as possible so that we can help you with your tax customer. Thank you. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. I think I have one more for you here. It says, well, I think the question really meant to say, is this format already available to submit online on the website, or when will it be available?

Andrew Chin: Yeah, thank you. So yes, the 2848 and 8821 are longstanding IRS forms, and they are available on the website today. As Sharyn mentioned, we are making revisions. And those revisions will be available prior to the availability of this platform for use in January of 2021. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. Sharyn, I think, I have one here for you. It says, do I understand correctly, that simply typing a name on a PDF of the 2848 will qualify as an electronic signature? Is there any further need to secure it? Sharyn Fisk: No. Well, you are correct of that. No need to secure it. Yes, typing a name in a signature blocks is an electronic signature.

The security that we're looking for is done through this access through the Secure Access portal, where the person submitting it to the IRS is identifying themselves to their username and to their passcode. So the IRS knows where this form is coming from. So that's where our security lies on that particular document. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. You know what, Sharyn, just by you saying that I'm just to take it a step further. So the person who has the Secure Access needs to be the person who is submitting the 2848 or the 8821, not somebody in their staff? Is that correct? Sharyn Fisk: Correct. Well, the person who is authenticating the taxpayer needs to be the one who is submitting that form. Like, there's a question that basically, says, have you authenticated this taxpayer? Or do you know the taxpayer from prior business relationship or personal relationship? So we're just like you do under Circular 230. We want to see if you've done your due diligence responsibilities and you know that, that form, you're submitting that says, this is the taxpayer, this is their address, this is their Social Security number, and this is their electronic signature is correct. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. Here's another question. I am not very clear about the difference between electronic signatures and digital signatures, and that's all it says? Sharyn Fisk: Yes. Yes. Yes. Those two terms get bandied about quite frequently. So we think of it this way, an electronic signature, as I mentioned, could just be typing a name in a signature block. There's no metadata attached to it, right. There's no secret formula, such as you would use with some sort of a DocuSign. That's going to lock down your computer IP address, and the date and the time you signed it. It's just typed. Or even if you hand wrote your - someone hand wrote their signature, and then you scanned it, that scan is just an image of a wet signature. There's no computer data attached to that signature. So those are electronic signatures. And there's a whole broad category. One of the categories within electronic signature is a digital signature. Now a digital signature is think of it is means of, when the UPS person comes to your front door and you do that terrible signature with a finger as a stylist, or you're at the grocery store and you use the stylist design, the little stylus pad or the little signature block that is a digital signature, because it has all the data attached to it. When did you sign it? How hard did you push that stylus? How quickly did that finger move on that pad? So all of that data is stored to establish that digital signature, because as we all know, and we use our fingers with stylus, it looks nothing like your legitimate signature, right, your handwritten signature. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. Thank you very much. Andrew, I have another one for you. Do we get an e-mail, if the Power of Attorney is rejected? Andrew Chin: No.

Anna Falkenstein: So they send something in, they don't? Andrew Chin: Yeah. Anna, if you want to finish that question, feel free to do so. Anna Falkenstein: No. I was just - it was a very short question. So I was just going to kind of step through, they send something in via the online system. They do get a confirmation that it was received, when the CAF Unit is working at, if they reject it, what's the next step? How are they notified? Sharyn Fisk: Can I pipe in on that one?

Anna Falkenstein: Sure. Sure. Sharyn Fisk: Yeah, I think we need to define about when the rejection occurred. So this is just another means to get those authorizations into the CAF Unit.

So if it's rejected through the CAF Unit processing, right, the taxpayer, you drop the digit, or you transpose the digit on the Social Security number, so it's not matching up on the IRS site, you're going to get that regular rejection letter from the CAF Unit, saying, this Power of Attorney is no good. If they're talking about the rejection, meaning, you've uploaded the document. And for some reason, it doesn't go. That's an Andrew question. Andrew Chin: Yeah. To that end, Sharyn, if you upload the document, and you don't see that success screen, that's your first indication, right there. That it wasn't submitted to us. That it didn't fully make it over to us. The second indication might be that the e-mail doesn't come over. So, again, once you've seen that success screen at the very end, and they offer to either exit or restart the process to upload another form. That's your cue right there that we did get it. And then, any issues with form processing would be handled to Sharyn probably. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. I do have, there seems to be a few very similar questions, so I'm going to - this is sort of a two-parter here.

Can you have both a wet signature and an e-signature on the same form? So maybe the taxpayer did the wet signature, the Power of Attorney did the e-signature? This - I believe that, yes. But the next part of that one of these other was can that be faxed? And I think, Sharyn, you addressed that. But go ahead and address it again, since it's being asked. Sharyn Fisk: Sure. So, yeah, you are correct. Yes, you can have it only applicable to the 2848 that's the only form that has multiple signatures on it. But you could have a combination of the taxpayer, doing the electronic signature, one of the practitioners doing a wet signature and another practitioner doing electronic signature, so that the combination is input on that particular form. And those forms do need to come through the online platform, because they are - they do contain an electronic signature. And for the processing of the CAF Unit that just makes a very easy delineation between processing the form. If it has an electronic signature, it must have come through the online platform. If it has an electronic signature, it must come to the online platform. If it has a wet signature, it can come through to fax, mail, eFax, or the online platform. Anna Falkenstein: Excellent. Okay. I'll throw this out to either one of you can a non-enrolled agent, I'm thinking this must be somebody who's not credentialed use the electronic uploading options? Sharyn Fisk: Yes, they can, if they have a Secure Access account. So... Anna Falkenstein: Okay. Sharyn Fisk: Yeah. Andrew Chin: Exactly. Anna Falkenstein: So they've got a Secure Access account. They probably are wanting to put an 8821 in I'm assuming? Sharyn Fisk: Correct. Probably to help with us, right. Get Transcripts for their clients or something like that, yeah. Anna Falkenstein: Interesting. Here's a good one here, and we'll probably finishing up here. But, for the summer 2021, you mentioned the new tax pro account, if they are to create the 2848s or 8821s, does the client need their own online account to be able to sign and be authenticated? Sharyn Fisk: Yeah, I got it. I'm picking up, like I'm putting down. Alright. Anna Falkenstein: Okay, cool. Sharyn Fisk: So the tax pro account, you're going to need to match those like your salt and pepper shaker going, you need the tax professionals who have their own tax pro account, and you're going to need the client who have an individual taxpayer account. And that is because when grabbing those digital signatures like the signatures that have all that metadata attached to the computer that issued out that signature. So you will need those two pieces for this online submission portal. You do not have to have your client have an individual taxpayer account, because it is this is just a means to really put it in layman's terms, because I'm not as technologically savvy as Andrew is. This is rather like an e-mail system. We're e-mailing our authorization form to the IRS. Anna Falkenstein: Okay. Well, audience that's all the time we have for questions. I think we did go a few minutes over, but I think they were important questions to ask. So I do want to thank Sharyn and Andrew for sharing their knowledge and expertise, and for answering these wonderful questions that you submitted. Before we close the Q&A session, Sharyn and Andrew, can you give us a few key points that you want the attendees to remember from today's webinar? Sharyn, why don't we start with you first? Sharyn Fisk: Sure. All right. So just to remind you that if you haven't previously registered with the IRS for a Secure Access account, let's say example, if you don't have e-Services to get your transcript, and so you don't already have an IRS username and password, you'll need to register for Secure Access and to do so soon, because it's a little bit of a registration, a two-step registration process, you do have to wait for some feedback from the service. And you can go to has all that information, what you need to be successful. We've got virtual assist to help you if you have problems with that registration. Again, if the client is unknown to you, and using an electronic signature that they sign this form in a remote transaction, you have to authenticate the taxpayer's identity. This is just your regular due diligence under Circular 230. And this is not a perfect tool. We know that. It's a work in progress. And we will make adjustments as we hear back. But this is something that we could put out now to help you and your clients navigate through these difficult times. And brighter days are going to be ahead. We're going to launch that all-digital process this coming summer, the tax pro accounts, and we'll keep you in the loop on how that platform is going and going forward. Anna Falkenstein: All right, Andrew, how about you? Do you have a couple of key points for us? Andrew Chin: I do. Thank you so much, Anna. So I'll just build on top of what Sharyn noted. And while this might not be the perfect situation and tool for each of you or your clients, we do encourage you to try this as much as possible. As with all changes, it may be with some minor modifications that this will work great. And as Sharyn mentioned, certainly it allows you to maintain a virtual presence and service your clients entirely virtually. So that is certainly a plus. And we are delighted to be able to make this available to you all. We continue to look for feedback. So please feel free to share that.

We do actually look at the surveys submitted on and other products. So please feel free to send us feedback. And we do read it and we do take that to heart and continue to look to make improvements. So thank you very much and we are excited to see these 2848s and 8821s come in.

Anna, back to you. Anna Falkenstein: Well, thank you - so, awesome. Thank you for those key points. Audience, we are planning additional webinars throughout the year. To register for an upcoming webinar, please visit Keyword search Webinars, and then select "Webinars for Tax Professionals" or "Webinars for Small Businesses." When appropriate, we will be offering certificates and CE credit for upcoming webinars. We invite you to visit our video portal at And there you can see archived versions of our webinars. Please note that continuing education credit or certificates of completion are not offered if you view any version of our webinars after the live broadcast. Again, a big thank you to our speakers for a great webinar, for sharing their expertise, and for staying on to answer your questions. I also want to thank you, our attendees, for attending today's webinar, "Uploading Forms 2848, 8821 with Electronic Signatures." Audience if you attended today's webinar for at least 50 minutes from the official start time of the webinar, you will qualify for 1 possible CPE credit. And again, the time we spent chatting before the webinar officially started doesn't count towards that 50 minutes. If you're eligible for continuing education from the IRS and registered with your valid PTIN, your credit will be posted to your PTIN account. If you're eligible for continuing education from the California Tax Education Council, your credit will be posted to your CTEC account as well. If you registered through the Florida Institute of CPAs, your participation information will be provided directly to them. If you qualify and have not received your certificate and/or credit by January 7th, please e-mail at, and you can see that on the screen. If you're interested in finding out who your local Stakeholder Liaison is, you can also send us an e-mail using the address shown on the slide. And we'll send you that information as well. We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete a short evaluation before you exit. If you'd like to have more sessions like this one, let us know. If you have thoughts on how we can make them better. Please let us know that as well. If you have requests for future webinar topics or pertinent information, you'd like to see on an IRS Fact Sheet, Tax Tips, and FAQ on, then please include your suggestions in the comment section of the survey. Click the Survey button on the screen to begin. And if it doesn't come up, remember to check and make sure if you disabled your pop-up blocker. It has been a pleasure to be here with you. And on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service and our presenters, we would like to thank you for attending today's webinar. It is important for the IRS to stay connected with the tax professional community, our individual taxpayers, industry associations along with federal, state and local government organizations, you make our job a lot easier by sharing the information that allows for proper tax reporting. Thanks again for your time and attendance. And we wish you much success in your business or practice. Happy holidays and be safe. You may exit the webinar at any time now.