Knowing When a ‘Wet Signature’ Is Needed on Corporate Tax Forms

March 14, 2023Article
Bloomberg Tax

Zack Nolan, Sally James, and Michael Wiener published the article "Knowing When a ‘Wet Signature’ Is Needed on Corporate Tax Forms" to Bloomberg Tax.


The question of whether the federal government requires a “wet signature” when submitting an Election by a Small Business Corporation (S election) or a Qualified Subchapter S Subsidiary Election (QSub election) has confused taxpayers and tax practitioners alike—with good reason.

The question comes up frequently—for example, when forming a new S corporation, forming a new QSub, or structuring an F reorganization pursuant to Rev. Rul. 2008-18. But there is little to no guidance that clarifies the signature requirements for such forms. Historically, the IRS has required hand-written, or original, signatures to make such tax elections, but it’s been unclear whether original signatures were required to be wet.

But is a wet signature required, or would a faxed signature, photocopied signature, or an electronic signature be sufficient? If a taxpayer signed a QSub election, faxed it to its tax lawyer, and the tax lawyer printed and mailed the election to the IRS, would the signature meet the requirements of Treas. Reg. 1.1362-6(a)(1)? The tax code and regulations are silent on this issue.

Read the full article here.