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What Happens if I Forget to Sign My Tax Return?

Written by Nickel - 3 Comments

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With income tax returns due in less than a month, many of you are probably planning on working on your tax returns this weekend. While I realize that the majority of you (80% according to our recent poll) are planning on e-filing*, there are still a number of people out there who file paper returns.

If you’re amongst the paper filers, here’s a friendly reminder:

Don’t forget to sign you tax return!

According to IRS guidance, your return will not be considered valid unless you (and your spouse, if applicable) sign it. Note that this is true even if someone else prepares your return.

What if you forget to sign your return?

If you submitted your return without signing it, all is not lost. In all likelihood, the IRS will simply send you a letter requesting your signature. And once they receive your signature, they’ll go ahead and process your return. Thus, if you think (or know) that you submitted your return without signing it, you should probably just sit tight and wait to hear from the IRS.

*Note: If you are e-filing, you will have the option of signing your return electronically using a PIN code. If you choose not to do this, then you will have to complete and sign IRS Form 8453.

Published on March 25th, 2011 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Taxes

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I did that one year. It took a long time to get the forms submitted and my return but that was all that happened. I didn’t get fined or anything.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 25th 2011 @ 2:40 pm
  2. It’s surprisingly easy to omit the signature on the manual submission, I think we were guilty of that years ago. The IRS don’t seem to mind when there is an error, especially when you are expecting a return. They are happy to keep your money for a little while longer.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 26th 2011 @ 5:49 am
  3. IRS these days encourage to e-file. The question of signature should not arise then. The last two or three years I have e-filed. By the way, with e-file and direct deposit you can get refund in about 10 days. That’s how long it took in my case.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 26th 2011 @ 7:35 pm

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