Many people shy away from paying taxes. Firstly, most people would not want to pay taxes if they had that option and secondly, the legal terms and jargon make many people uncomfortable since it is uncharted territory in our regular lives.

However, clarity and knowledge can help you to know how exactly to fulfill your tax obligations and this article coherently answers how to complete the IRS Form 8879.

  1. What is IRS Form 8879?
  2. Who needs to complete IRS Form 8879?
  3. What is IRS Form 8879 Used For?
  4. How to complete IRS Form 8879
  5. Responsibilities for the Taxpayer
  6. When is the IRS Form 8879 completed?
  7. Responsibilities for the electronic return originator
  8. When do I Send IRS Form 8879?

What is IRS Form 8879?

The IRS Form 8879 is an electronic declaration document with signed authorization for e-filing. It is generated by software that utilizes the taxpayer’s self-selected PIN and returns filed by an electronic return originator (ERO). Form 8879 is kept by the electronic return originator (ERO) and it is not required to be sent to the IRS unless it is requested.

In conforming with guidelines, IRS Form 8879 might be retained within records. It is advised to retain the completed Form 8879 for 3 years from the return due date or from the date the IRS obtains the return. Also, Form 8879 is used to authorize the e-filing of individual and business returns in Drake Tax.

Download the official Form 8879 on the IRS website.

Who needs to complete IRS Form 8879?

Typically, business taxpayers are supposed to complete the IRS Form 8879. However, due to legality and the accounting procedures, an electronic return originator or ERO aids their clients through the tax process.

The electronic return originator is usually an individual, either a certified public accountant, tax preparer, or tax accountant, who is authorized by the United States Internal Revenue Service to develop and convey tax returns for people and companies electronically.

What is IRS Form 8879 Used For?

Form 8879 is the declaration document and signature authorization for an e-filed return filed by an electronic return originator. This infers that if your Form 8879 has not been completed, your tax preparer can not file your return and therefore it will not be possible for you to earn tax returns. The form can also serve the purposes of verifying that your tax documents are updated in the chance of an audit.

How to complete IRS Form 8879

The beginning of the form requires the following to be filled Submission Identification Number (SID). Taxpayer’s name and Social Security number, as well as Spouse’s name and Spouse’s social security number if married.

The form is further divided into 3 different parts, namely Part I, Part II, and Part III. Part I is about Tax Return Information and includes filling the adjusted gross income, the total tax, federal income tax, refund, and amount owed.

The Taxpayer Declaration and Signature Authorization are found in Part II. This part has a lot of information and requires the Taxpayer’s Pin, signature, refund, ERO firm name, and signature.

Finally, Part III is for Certification and Authentication which requires the Practitioner Pin Method only. At the stage, it confirmed the pin and signature belong to the taxpayer and that the return is in accordance with the requirements of the Practitioner PIN method and Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns. It is beneficial to ensure all these parts of the form are completed.

Responsibilities for the Taxpayer

  • The taxpayer has to confirm the accuracy of the prepared income tax return, including direct deposit information.
  • The taxpayer has to check the appropriate box in Part II to authorize the ERO to enter or generate your PIN or to do it yourself.
  • The taxpayer should indicate the PIN when authorizing the ERO to enter or generate it. Note that the PIN must be five digits other than all zeros.
  • Taxpayers must sign Form 8879 by handwritten signature, or electronic signature if supported by computer software and make sure they date it.
  • Taxpayers must return the completed Form 8879 to the ERO by hand delivery, U.S. mail, private delivery service, email, Internet website, or fax. Note that your return would not be transmitted to the IRS until the ERO receives the signed Form 8879.

When is the IRS Form 8879 completed?

The IRS Form 8879 is completed when certain criteria are followed and all the responsibilities of the taxpayer and the electronic return originator are met. One of these is when the Practitioner PIN method is used. In addition, the taxpayer must authorize the electronic return originator (ERO) to enter or generate the taxpayer’s personal identification number (PIN) on his or her e-filed individual income tax return.

Responsibilities for the electronic return originator

  • Fill in the name and social security number of the taxpayers at the beginning of the form.
  • Finish Part I using the amounts from the taxpayer’s tax return. Form 1040-SS filers leave lines 1 through 3 and line 5 blank.
  • Fill in, if authorized by the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s PIN, and enter it in the boxes provided in Part II.
  • Fill in on the authorization line in Part II the ERO firm name if the ERO is authorized to enter the taxpayer’s PIN. Note that this is not the name of the individual preparing the return
  • After completing preceding responsibilities, the taxpayer Form 8879 is given for completion and review. The acceptable delivery methods include hand delivery, U.S. mail, private delivery service, email, Internet website, and fax.
  • Fill in the 20-digit Submission Identification Number (SID) assigned to the tax return, or associate Form 9325, Acknowledgement, and General Information for Taxpayers Who File Returns Electronically, with Form 8879 after filing. If Form 9325 is used to provide the SID, it is NOT required to be physically attached to Form 8879.

In filing returns for their clients, tax preparers, or tax accountants typically use the practitioner PIN method above, which enables the ERO to enter a personal identification number (PIN) or generate a PIN for the taxpayer.

As discussed a completed Form 8879 contains a dated and signed taxpayer declaration affirming that he or she has reviewed the tax return and has ensured the information given is verifiable. This declaration and signature authorization on Form 8879 is what gives the ERO permission to electronically submit the return.

It is always beneficial to start tax processes early since tax preparers or tax accountants have very anxious clients who will be concerned about their tax returns deadlines. It may also be a good idea to request that the tax accountant send the Form 8879 electronically so that it can be signed and the return submitted expeditiously.

Some clients chose to present their tax information via email, fax, or a secure client portal. Interestingly, some EROs have novel software that simplifies the filing of IRS 8879 forms. Note that an ERO must guarantee that the stockpiling of returns does not transpire at its offices.

When do I Send IRS Form 8879?

The document should only be sent when it is requested. After filling out the parts of the form, it should be kept for a minimum of 3 years in case there is a need to confirm your e-signature. Also, if the document is in print, that should be kept too. EROs also store a confirmation document.