COVID-19: The IRS adds additional forms that can be signed electronically on or before 12-31-2020 in connection with the Pandemic

On August 28, the IRS announced that it would temporarily allow the use of digital signatures on certain forms that cannot be filed electronically. As of September 11, 2020, they added several more forms to that list.

According to the NJ Business and Industry Association, the IRS made this decision to help protect the health of taxpayers and tax professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The permission to file electronically is intended to reduce in-person contact and lessen the risk to taxpayers and tax professionals, allowing both groups to work remotely to timely file forms.

The IRS added the following forms to the list of those being accepted digitally:

Form 706, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
Form 706-NA, U.S. Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
Form 709, U.S. Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return;
Form 1120-ND, Return for Nuclear Decommissioning Funds and Certain Related Persons;
Form 3520, Annual Return To Report Transactions With Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts; and
Form 3520-A, Annual Information Return of Foreign Trust With a U.S. Owner.
The forms are available at and through tax professional’s software products. These forms cannot be e-filed and generally are printed and mailed.

Per the BIA, the below list was announced August 28, and all of these forms can be submitted with digital signatures if mailed by or on December 31, 2020:

Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method;
Form 8832, Entity Classification Election;
Form 8802, Application for U.S. Residency Certification;
Form 1066, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit;
Form 1120-RIC, U.S. Income Tax Return For Regulated Investment Companies;
Form 1120-C, U.S. Income Tax Return for Cooperative Associations;
Form 1120-REIT, U.S. Income Tax Return for Real Estate Investment Trusts;
Form 1120-L, U.S. Life Insurance Company Income Tax Return;
Form 1120-PC, U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Company Income Tax Return; and
Form 8453 series, Form 8878 series, and Form 8879 series regarding IRS e-file Signature Authorization Forms.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Michael Gillen (Head of TAG Group), Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.


From the Land of OZ: House Legislation Would Establish OZ Reporting Framework and Penalties; Senate Bill Would Limit Application of OZs

While impeachment discussions continue to garnering most of the headlines, Representatives Ron Kind, D-Wis., Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Terri Sewell, D-Ala., introduced legislation in the House to establish a reporting framework, disclosure requirements and a penalty structure for qualified opportunity funds (QOFs).

Read more on our new Opportunity Zones blog.

18 states and U.S. territories obtain Qualified Opportunity Zones for development investment

As a follow-up to our Alert from March 1, 2018, on April 9, the IRS and U.S. Treasury approved designated Opportunity Zones in 18 states and territories—including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin, as well as American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Designations are approved for 10 years and permit investors to defer tax on any prior gains until no later than December 31, 2026, so long as the gain is reinvested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund. A Qualified Opportunity Fund as an investment vehicle that is organized to make investments in the zones designated above as Qualified Opportunity Zones. Note, that while we still await draft regulations, it appears that if investors hold their investments in the Opportunity Fund for at least 10 years, the investor would be able to increase its basis to that of the fair market value of the investment on the date it is sold—in other words, their appreciation in the value of the asset would be tax free.

While sounding almost too good to be true, the rationale of allowing for this type of appreciation treatment is to attempt to incentivize additional or initial investment in the designated low-income areas in an effort to boost economic growth and job creation.

Read the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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