Who Must Sign

irs.gov -

Who Must Sign


The fiduciary, or an authorized representative, must sign Form 1041. If there are joint fiduciaries, only one is required to sign the return.

A financial institution that submitted estimated tax payments for trusts for which it is the trustee must enter its EIN in the space provided for the EIN of the fiduciary. Do not enter the EIN of the trust. For this purpose, a financial institution is one that maintains a Treasury Tax and Loan (TT&L) account. If you are an attorney or other individual functioning in a fiduciary capacity, leave this space blank. Do not enter your individual social security number (SSN).

If you, as fiduciary, fill in Form 1041, leave the Paid Preparer space blank. If someone prepares this return and does not charge you, that person should not sign the return.

Paid Preparer

Generally, anyone who is paid to prepare a tax return must sign the return and fill in the other blanks in the Paid Preparer Use Only area of the return.

The person required to sign the return must:

  • Complete the required preparer information,

  • Sign it in the space provided for the preparer's signature (a facsimile signature is acceptable), and

  • Give you a copy of the return for your records.

Paid Preparer Authorization

If the fiduciary wants to allow the IRS to discuss the estate's or trust's 2012 tax return with the paid preparer who signed it, check the “Yes” box in the signature area of the return. This authorization applies only to the individual whose signature appears in the Paid Preparer Use Only area of the estate's or trust's return. It does not apply to the firm, if any, shown in that section.

If the “Yes” box is checked, the fiduciary is authorizing the IRS to call the paid preparer to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of the estate's or trust's return. The fiduciary is also authorizing the paid preparer to:

  • Give the IRS any information that is missing from the estate's or trust's return,

  • Call the IRS for information about the processing of the estate's or trust's return or the status of its refund or payment(s), and

  • Respond to certain IRS notices that the fiduciary has shared with the preparer about math errors, offsets, and return preparation. The notices will not be sent to the preparer.

The fiduciary is not authorizing the paid preparer to receive any refund check, bind the estate or trust to anything (including any additional tax liability), or otherwise represent the estate or trust before the IRS.

The authorization will automatically end no later than the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing the estate's or trust's 2013 tax return. If the fiduciary wants to expand the paid preparer's authorization or revoke the authorization before it ends, see Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.