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DD is studying abroad in Florence, and won't be back until May. She has given me permission to file her taxes, and she'll be getting back everything that was withheld from both state and federal returns. I can file her federal form electronically, and just do an electronic signature because she has given me permission, but I won't file the state electronically because it is expensive, particularly relative to how much she is getting back. For that, I will need to mail in a paper copy. How does that get signed? Can I just sign it as her agent since she's said it is OK? Do I need something in writing, and if so, what is that? I'd have to get it from her electronically via email if that's the case.

Any ideas how I handle this since she is out of the country for a couple of months?
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You need a power of attorney to sign tax forms on behalf of another living adult. I'll assume your student daughter is over the age of majority in your state. That applies to an electronic signature on the federal return as well as the physical signature on your state return. If she's still a minor, you can sign her returns as her parent with no problem.

Since she's getting refunds, there would be no penalty for filing her returns after she returns. (Gotta love the English language sometimes!)

There's also a more practical answer, but since that is technically not legal, I won't spell it out. Just keep in mind that I don't believe the IRS or state tax agencies have a large staff of handwriting experts at their beck and call.

--Peter
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There's also a more practical answer, but since that is technically not legal, I won't spell it out. Just keep in mind that I don't believe the IRS or state tax agencies have a large staff of handwriting experts at their beck and call.

I'm shocked to find out that there's gambling in this establishment! Oh, sorry, wrong movie.

Many states allow you file online through their websites for free.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool

...who filed both Fed and State today for free through TCE. Yay!
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Many states allow you to file online through their websites for free.

Oh, good catch! TT Deluxe ($60) allowed me to prepare Fed'l & State, and efile Fed'l for no add'l charge; but to efile State would have been $20. So I efiled Fed'l, then printed and snail-mailed State.

Didn't occur to me to go directly to the state's web site.
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Filing online through the MA website is free-

https://wfb.dor.state.ma.us/webfile/wsi/

- Megan
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As a followup on Peter's comment - We happen to file returns for a friend who had a stroke several years ago. While we do have all the legally required Power of Attorney (POA) Forms, no one from the IRS or the state involved has asked for the POA forms or questioned signatures that read "Some Name" by "Another Name" Attorney in Fact.

Gordon
Atlanta
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You might consider asking for an extension so DD can sign when she returns. Tough to do when the return is otherwise simple and will be getting a refund.
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