New York Now Allowing Tax Return e-Signatures
Breaking news was announced in the State of New York this week. Senate Bill S8832 was signed into law by Governor Cuomo, formally allowing tax preparers in New York to file their clients’ state tax returns with an electronic signature. The new amendment takes effect immediately. Below is one section of the amendment, highlighting the purpose and justification of the new law.
This bill would make the use of electronic signatures on tax returns consistent by allowing tax preparers to file their client’s NYS tax returns with an electronic signature.
Under the current law, individual filers are able to use an electronic signature to file their own NYS tax returns. For federal tax returns, tax preparers are able to use an electronic signature to file a federal tax return to the IRS on behalf of their clients. However, tax preparers filing a NYS tax return on behalf of clients may not use an electronic signature, and must use a “wet” signature instead.
The use of electronic signatures, per the Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998, was intended to streamline the final step of the tax return preparation process. The partial adoption of electronic signatures for NYS tax returns is inconsistent with this guidance and direction. This bill would align the tax return process for tax preparers with what is already acceptable for federal tax returns.
How Will New York Tax Preparers Benefit from this Change?
This change permanently allows tax preparers to implement e-signature convenience and efficiency in their firms and eliminates the lingering questions over the need to capture “wet signatures” from clients. It also comes at a time when shelter in place COVID-19 guidelines and overall safety concerns have many firms operating remotely – staff working from home and clients being served electronically.
Further, this change allows firms and tax preparers in NY to take full advantage of SafeSend Returns™ to redefine the way they digitally assemble, deliver, and capture e-signatures from clients for completed tax returns prepared in CCH Axcess™ and ProSystem fx®, Thomson Reuters UltraTax CS® and GoSystem® Tax RS, and Intuit Lacerte®.
SafeSend Returns is a single, cloud-based solution that increases your firm’s efficiency, elevates client service, and mitigates security risks, all while driving down the total cost of delivering completed tax returns and capturing e-signatures. With SafeSend Returns, your staff can work from anywhere, and your clients fully served remotely.
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