The Internal Revenue Service has revised its guidance on electronic signatures, with updated information on the currently acceptable electronic signature methods, identity verification requirements and electronic record requirements.

Publication 1345, "Handbook for Authorized IRS e-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns," has been revised with new electronic signature guidance for both the IRS e-file Signature Authorization Forms, 8878 and 8879

The IRS noted that electronic signatures are optional, and therefore taxpayers can continue to sign these forms with a handwritten signature.

The revision information in the publication is also available in Web form. The IRS said the publication provides important information for tax professionals and Authorized IRS e-file Providers regarding applying and participating in IRS e-file, and all participants should read the publication to become familiar with the requirements for continued participation.

Separately, CCH announced Wednesday that it has added eSign capability for Form 8879 in its ProSystem fx Tax software (see CCH Adds eSign to ProSystem fx Tax). The software also supports the CCH eSign function for other forms that allow electronic signatures.