Form 8879

IRS e-file Signature Authorization

Understanding the intricate details of tax forms is essential for accurate and compliant tax filing. Among these forms, the IRS Form 8879 plays a crucial role in electronically filed tax returns. This comprehensive resource guide delves into the purpose, requirements, and steps to accurately manage your 8879 Form, ensuring a smoother tax filing experience.

What is a 8879 Form?

The 8879 Form, known as the IRS e-file Signature Authorization, is a critical document used in the electronic filing of federal income tax returns. It authorizes tax professionals to enter taxpayers' signatures on electronic returns. Essentially, Form 8879 acts as a formal agreement between taxpayers and the IRS, verifying that the taxpayer has reviewed their tax return and approves the information as accurate.

Purpose and Significance

  • Purpose: To authenticate the identity of the taxpayer and authorize the electronic filing of their tax returns.
  • Significance: It ensures the security and integrity of electronically filed tax returns, making the e-filing process efficient and secure.

Components of the Form

  • Taxpayer's information (name, SSN)
  • Tax year and form type
  • Declaration of taxpayer and ERO (Electronic Return Originator)
  • Tax return information summary
  • Signatures and dates

Who Needs a 8879 Form?

The use of Form 8879 is applicable to taxpayers who opt to file their tax returns electronically and have employed a tax professional to prepare their tax returns. Here are the criteria:

  • Criteria: Taxpayers who e-file their returns using a third-party preparer.
  • Obligations: Both the taxpayer and the preparer must retain a copy of the completed Form 8879 for their records.
  • Deadlines: The form should be completed and signed before the electronic filing of the tax return.

How to Read and Understand 8879 Form

Understanding Form 8879 involves knowing its various sections and their significance:

  • Part I: Contains taxpayer information and a declaration stating the tax return's approval.
  • Part II: Features a declaration by the Electronic Return Originator (ERO).
  • Common terms: ERO, PIN (Personal Identification Number), AGI (Adjusted Gross Income).

For more details on specific terms and their implications, tax filing tips can offer further insights.

How to Get Your 8879 Form

The IRS provides downloadable copies of Form 8879. To obtain Form 8879:

  • Visit the IRS website.
  • Select the appropriate tax year and download the form.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Filling out the 8879 Form can be prone to certain discrepancies:

  • Common Errors: Incorrect taxpayer information, unsigned forms, mismatched data with the IRS records.
  • Tips: Double-check all entries for accuracy, ensure both taxpayer and preparer sign the form, and align the tax return details with IRS records.

8879 Form and Tax Filing

  • Impact on Tax Filing: The completion and correct submission of Form 8879 are crucial for the legal e-filing of tax returns.
  • Role in Tax Returns and Possible Refunds: It expedites the e-filing process, potentially accelerating the refund process.

FAQ Section

1. Can I file my taxes electronically without Form 8879?

  • No, the IRS requires Form 8879 for authorization of electronic submissions by a third-party preparer.

2. How long does the tax preparer or taxpayer need to retain a copy of Form 8879?

  • Both parties must keep a copy for three years from the return due date or the date the IRS received the form, whichever is later.

3. Can Form 8879 be signed electronically?

  • Yes, taxpayers can use an electronic signature if the software used by the preparer allows it.

4. Is Form 8879 the same as the tax return?

  • No, Form 8879 is an authorization form and does not substitute for the tax return itself.

5. What happens if I discover an error on my tax return after filing with Form 8879?

  • You should file an amended return. Consult a tax professional or refer to employer's guide for further steps.


Form 8879 is a pivotal component of the e-filing process, ensuring the legality and security of electronically submitted tax returns. Understanding its purpose, requirements, and correct completion is essential for taxpayers and tax professionals alike. When in doubt, consulting with a tax professional can provide personalized guidance tailored to complex situations.

For authoritative information and the downloadable Form 8879:

Engaging with these resources and adhering to IRS guidelines can simplify the electronic filing process, ensuring compliance and hastening potential tax refunds.

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.