How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

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Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:22 am

I have a small business and pay several 1099 contractors. I have to file them with the IRS plus a 1096 with totals and other information.

It can only be filed on paper, on the original red copy provided by the IRS, with an officer's original signature. I e-file everything else but this one form is a problem. The department of the IRS that processes them doesn't have phone contact, only mail, and doesn't respond to mail.

The form is due on Feb 28th, and I will be out of the country until then (my mom is in the office). I was thinking of having my mom sign it using a form 2848 (power of attorney), but if I put myself as the taxpayer, then I don't know if it would apply (since the company is the tax payer), and if I put the company as the taxpayer, then my mom wouldn't qualify as family of the taxpayer (she's not a CPA or any of the other categories that qualify for a POA).

I could have her fedex the form to me in the Philippines and fedex it back but it would cost about $150 and could get lost.

I could have her inkjet-print my signature on the form but then it wouldn't be original. Would the IRS be able to detect this, and would they even care?

I'm looking for suggestions on how to deal with this.

jminv
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by jminv » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:32 am

From the internet:
Regulations §1.6012-1(a)(5) permits you to rely on a POA as authorization to sign a return for another
person only if that person is unable to sign due to disease or injury, continuous absence from the United
States for at least 60 days prior to the due date for filing, or if specific permission has been granted by the
IRS.

Perhaps you've been out of the USA more than 60 days before filing?

Reading further, the POA has to state exactly what the person can sign, ie, whatever specific document is being filed. 'All' is not an option. I would guess the IRA POA 2848 you left with your mother doesn't include this? You have to include the POA with the filing.

If your POA doesn't include the form you want signed, the embassy in the Phillipines does offer notarial services by appointment so it's conceivable that you could have the POA notarized and then send back to your mother which would save on half the shipping. It seems that the $50 fee would be waived since it falls under the exemption for forms required by the US government.

The inkjet idea shouldn't be discussed here (or having someone else sign in your signature which is what this is) since that violates forum guidelines.

You could do the mailing for less than $150. Bit cheaper with DHL. I guess you wouldn't want to try your luck with the Phillipines postal service, even if it's priority mail coming from usa.

I'm in a similar situation and luckily have a reliable post system where I live. The unreliability is actually on the states side, sadly. I send back and forth when this occasionally is required. I don't do POA so can't say how that would go.

livesoft
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by livesoft » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:43 am

With the deadline February 28th, I don't see why you would pay Fedex $150. I can see sending by mail/courier another way and pay much much less.

For instance, your mom can send you the things to sign soon (electronically, you can print them out). Then you can mail the signed forms back to her and she can send them to the authorities. You can test NOW with something else how long this would take. I suspect airmail from the Philiipines takes only a few days. You can send 3 originals on three separate days in order to ensure that at least one of them works.
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Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:19 am

jminv wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:32 am
From the internet:
Regulations §1.6012-1(a)(5) permits you to rely on a POA as authorization to sign a return for another
person only if that person is unable to sign due to disease or injury, continuous absence from the United
States for at least 60 days prior to the due date for filing, or if specific permission has been granted by the
IRS.

Perhaps you've been out of the USA more than 60 days before filing?

Reading further, the POA has to state exactly what the person can sign, ie, whatever specific document is being filed. 'All' is not an option. I would guess the IRA POA 2848 you left with your mother doesn't include this? You have to include the POA with the filing.

If your POA doesn't include the form you want signed, the embassy in the Phillipines does offer notarial services by appointment so it's conceivable that you could have the POA notarized and then send back to your mother which would save on half the shipping. It seems that the $50 fee would be waived since it falls under the exemption for forms required by the US government.

The inkjet idea shouldn't be discussed here (or having someone else sign in your signature which is what this is) since that violates forum guidelines.

You could do the mailing for less than $150. Bit cheaper with DHL. I guess you wouldn't want to try your luck with the Phillipines postal service, even if it's priority mail coming from usa.

I'm in a similar situation and luckily have a reliable post system where I live. The unreliability is actually on the states side, sadly. I send back and forth when this occasionally is required. I don't do POA so can't say how that would go.
Yes, it will be more than 60 days. I could send the POA (form 2848) to the IRS electronically to print out (since they accept a FAX, it doesn't need to be an original signature). However, I'm not sure whether I or the corporation would be considered the "taxpayer" to enter on that form. If it's the corporation, she isn't eligible as "family" since a corporation doesn't have "family". She doesn't meet any of the other options (attorney, CPA, etc.)

I'm not sure why you're discussing notarization, form 2848 it doesn't need to be notarized.

I will do the shipping if I have to, but this comes up every year and I'd like a better solution.

Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:25 am

livesoft wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:43 am
With the deadline February 28th, I don't see why you would pay Fedex $150. I can see sending by mail/courier another way and pay much much less.

For instance, your mom can send you the things to sign soon (electronically, you can print them out). Then you can mail the signed forms back to her and she can send them to the authorities. You can test NOW with something else how long this would take. I suspect airmail from the Philiipines takes only a few days. You can send 3 originals on three separate days in order to ensure that at least one of them works.
I cannot print it out. It's required to be printed onto the physical red IRS form. Also, we only have 1 copy, prepared by our payroll company. While we could get a blank copy and do all the data entry and alignment to print it manually (the software isn't available for mac), this would be very difficult for my mother, who isn't good with computers, and would even be a big job for me.

Mail using the US and Philippines post offices takes about 3 weeks each way.

I just find it ridiculous that this is the only form, including the actual corporate tax return, which can't be e-filed or done in some other way.

livesoft
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by livesoft » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:02 pm

Do you have any friends traveling Phillipines <-> US in that time frame that can help you?
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Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:15 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:02 pm
Do you have any friends traveling Phillipines <-> US in that time frame that can help you?
No, I’ve tried to get my friends to come visit but they aren’t adventurous enough I guess.

But this will come up every year so I’m trying to find a legal/technical solution like a POA. I just don’t know whether form 2848 would work if I put my name as the taxpayer or If it needs to be the corporation.

talzara
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by talzara » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:41 pm

FlyingMoose wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:25 am
I cannot print it out. It's required to be printed onto the physical red IRS form. Also, we only have 1 copy, prepared by our payroll company. While we could get a blank copy and do all the data entry and alignment to print it manually (the software isn't available for mac), this would be very difficult for my mother, who isn't good with computers, and would even be a big job for me.
The IRS will accept a handwritten Form 1096.

Sign a blank form, and ask your mother to copy the numbers from the form prepared by the payroll provider.

RudyS
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by RudyS » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:47 pm

Can you make her an officer of the corporation/business?

JStephens
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:48 pm

Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by JStephens » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:04 pm

The 1096 form doesn't need to be signed by the tax payer. Just have your mother sign it and have her list the title as "Accountant" or something.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1096.pdf

vtjon
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by vtjon » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:07 pm

I think you can just use a 1099 filing service and not have to do anything on paper. I have sent out 1099 electronically the last few years using tax1099.com. I haven't filed any paper forms related to this.

Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:54 pm

RudyS wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:47 pm
Can you make her an officer of the corporation/business?
This is definitely an option.

Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:01 pm

JStephens wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:04 pm
The 1096 form doesn't need to be signed by the tax payer. Just have your mother sign it and have her list the title as "Accountant" or something.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1096.pdf
I can't find the instructions specifically for the 1096, only general information return instructions. They used to say that only an officer or board member could sign the form. We contacted the IRS several years ago and they confirmed that this was true. The form you linked doesn't specifically address who can sign. Do you know of a source that addresses this? I've been doing this form for many years and my accountant always sent it to me to sign because he couldn't do it, even though he e-filed everything else.

Topic Author
FlyingMoose
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by FlyingMoose » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:02 pm

vtjon wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:07 pm
I think you can just use a 1099 filing service and not have to do anything on paper. I have sent out 1099 electronically the last few years using tax1099.com. I haven't filed any paper forms related to this.
I just set it up to file on Monday, I hope it works. If it does, you've saved me lots of hassle for years to come. Thanks!

JStephens
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Re: How to sign business tax form (1096) if out of the country?

Post by JStephens » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:51 pm

FlyingMoose wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:01 pm
JStephens wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:04 pm
The 1096 form doesn't need to be signed by the tax payer. Just have your mother sign it and have her list the title as "Accountant" or something.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1096.pdf
I can't find the instructions specifically for the 1096, only general information return instructions. They used to say that only an officer or board member could sign the form. We contacted the IRS several years ago and they confirmed that this was true. The form you linked doesn't specifically address who can sign. Do you know of a source that addresses this? I've been doing this form for many years and my accountant always sent it to me to sign because he couldn't do it, even though he e-filed everything else.
Exactly, the signature isn't saying they're the tax payer or anything. I've been signing various entities 1096s for years now and have never heard back about who's signing it.

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