Last week in this spot I wrote about how the dealing with the IRS and getting 2020 taxes processed still involved a long waiting game for many. The agency does not get put in the best light when the conclusion is that all you can do is just shrug and continue twiddling your thumbs.
But when the IRS does things right, we should also give it credit and it recently has done that a couple times.
Almost as if in response to some of the waiting times involved with paper forms and phone calls mentioned last week, the IRS extended the ability to digitally sign a variety of forms. That ability is currently only slated to run through the end of this year but hopefully shows an increasing openness to allowing it more as a rule. If you are interested in what forms are included in this, you can find a list at the end of this article.
Of course, there are security concerns with such signatures as they are being placed on sensitive documents. It is obviously impossible to be able to guarantee nothing will ever go wrong. It is also impossible, however, to deny that digitally signing documents is only going to become more the norm in numerous areas in the future. It is a genie that can’t be put back into the bottle and as the IRS works through its backlog, further embracing of it is only going to help ease that situation. This is probably another area where we have to embrace the electronic world.
Also on the positive side of the IRS’s ledger is it instituting some help for victims of Hurricane Ida. The biggest headline here is that those affected by the storm now have until January 3, 2022 to file various tax returns and make some tax payments.
Granted, this is not the largest type of help that many need, but it is at least something and is what the IRS itself can directly provide. The agency has also put together a web page that gives more information on its own actions for the victims, and also directs those who need it to other resources that may be needed.
In the interest of doing good then, I want to close this week by urging anyone reading this who can help people affected by this disaster to do so. From the storm making landfall to dropping massive amounts of rain across various sections of the US, it upended life for many. Every little thing we can do to help others works to put them back on an even keel because enough little things add up to big ones.
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