Most U.S. corporations with a global footprint use a third party to prepare their corporate tax returns. When the preparer completes its job, it will submit the return to the CFO, CEO, or other company officer for signature. Given the complexity of U.S. corporate tax returns—especially those involving foreign tax credits, foreign subsidiaries, and/or foreign parents—most people’s tendency to leave tasks to the last minute, and the ability of the preparer to file electronically, it’s typical for a company officer to receive the completed return just prior to the deadline. In many cases, he or she will get it on the very day the return is due.
Obtaining a company officer’s signature is the final step in the tax-return process before filing. By signing, the officer is stating that he or she has reviewed the return and approved it as accurate. But if he or she receives it on or shortly before the deadline, there won’t be enough time to thoroughly review it. Corporate tax returns are, after all, notoriously complicated, typically containing numerous forms and attachments. Many CFOs and CEOs must sign away with fingers crossed and hope the preparer has been diligent.
To help company officers in this situation, we’ve prepared a checklist of essential items to review before signing a U.S. corporate tax return. It helps show you’ve done your diligence in not filing a false or incorrect corporate tax return.
Read the full blog article here.