Form 8878

IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350

In the intricate world of tax filing, understanding each form's purpose and proper usage is paramount for taxpayers. Among these, the IRS Form 8878 holds a distinctive place. This guide is tailored to demystify the 8878 form, providing a pathway through its complexities and ensuring compliance with IRS guidelines.

What is an 8878 Form?

Form 8878, formally known as the IRS e-file Signature Authorization for Form 4868 or Form 2350, is a document used by taxpayers who opt to file their extensions for personal income tax returns electronically. The form serves as an authorization for an Electronic Return Originator (ERO) to e-file a tax extension on behalf of the taxpayer.

  • Purpose and significance: It acts as a verification mechanism, ensuring that the taxpayer agrees with the information submitted by the ERO. This form is crucial for maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the electronically filed extension requests.
  • Components of the form: It mainly comprises parts where taxpayers need to verify their identity, the tax form they are extending (either 4868 or 2350), and their agreement for the ERO to e-file the extension.

Who Needs a 8878 Form?

  • Criteria: Primarily, taxpayers seeking to extend their filing deadline for Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, or Form 2350 through an ERO must use this form.
  • Obligations: It is essential for these taxpayers to accurately complete and sign Form 8878 to authorize the electronic filing of their extension.
  • Deadlines: The form must be completed and submitted by the original due date of the tax return, typically April 15th, to avoid penalties.

How to Read and Understand 8878 Form

Understanding the 8878 form requires familiarity with its specific fields and what information they demand.

  • Detailed breakdown: The form is divided into sections for taxpayer information, tax form extension information, and the authorization statement that the taxpayer must sign and date.
  • Explanation of common terms and figures: Terms such as "ERO" refer to the authorized IRS e-file Provider that transmits the extension request. Understanding the distinction between Forms 4868 and 2350, which pertain to personal and specific foreign income situations, respectively, is also vital.

How to Get Your 8878 Form

Acquiring Form 8878 is a straightforward process:

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Errors on the 8878 form can delay processing. Common mistakes include:

  • Incorrect information: Ensuring all personal details and tax figures are accurate.
  • Unsigned forms: The form must be signed to be valid.
  • Tips: Double-check entries and consult with your ERO for clarity.

8878 Form and Tax Filing

The role of the 8878 form in tax filing is pivotal:

  • It enables taxpayers to legally extend their filing deadline, helping them avoid late filing penalties.
  • While it extends the filing time, it does not extend the time to pay any taxes due. Understanding this distinction is crucial for financial planning.

FAQ Section

  1. Who must sign the 8878 form? Both the taxpayer and spouse (if filing jointly) must sign the form.

  2. Can I file Form 8878 after the deadline? No, it must be filed by the original due date of your tax return.

  3. Does Form 8878 extend my payment deadline? No, it only extends the filing deadline. Taxes owed should still be paid by the original due date.

  4. How long does the extension last? Typically, the extension is for six months.

  5. Can I retract an 8878 form once submitted? No, once it's submitted, you cannot retract it. However, you can still file your taxes anytime before the extended deadline.


Understanding and accurately completing the 8878 form is essential for taxpayers seeking an extension on their tax filings through electronic means. While the process may seem daunting, this guide aims to simplify the complexities, offering clarity on each required step. Always remember, when in doubt, consult a tax professional to navigate more complex situations or questions about your specific circumstances.

For further information and to download Form 8878, visit the IRS's official website. Ensure to adhere to the latest tax year guidelines and IRS instructions when filling out your form. Adhering to these guidelines not only ensures compliance but aids in a smoother tax filing process.

Note: Always consult with a tax professional or the IRS directly for the most current and personalized tax advice.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.