Corporate officers or other authorized corporate agents can now sign employment tax forms by facsimile, including alternative signature methods such as computer software programs or mechanical devices.

The new Internal Revenue Service rules, outlined in Revenue Procedure 2005-39, will reduce the burden on business taxpayers by simplifying employment tax filing and lowering the number of returns rejected by the IRS because of signature issues.

"The IRS is committed to reducing the burden on taxpayers whenever we can," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, in a statement. "Providing companies with new ways to sign official documents will help reduce the administrative burden and free up resources for other purposes."

The new procedure applies to the following forms:

* Any form in the 940 series;

* Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons;

* Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips;

* Form CT-1, Employer's Annual Railroad Retirement Tax Return; and,

* Any variant of these forms.

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