is it illegal to sign with a date other than the date on which the doc is signed?

title, e.g., yesterday’s, 4 wednesdays from today, any other date.

also, are there prohibitions on dating a form on behalf of someone who authentically signed and gave it to someone else to date? lastly, if a gov agency accepts faxed in docs, are there restrictions on giving a photocopy?

Anyone seen my checkbook?

Sounds like you’re talking about the textbook definition of fraud (“In criminal law…an intentional deception made for personal gain”).

no, not a checkbook. nothing involving monetary transfer. in any event, if the above fits fraud, does that mean today’s date must accompany any signature, and only the form with the original ink is acceptabe? is it fraud if the person inks an authentic sig and says -date it whenever?

The purpose of the date on a contract or form is to indicate the date on which the signature was written onto the contract. So it is supposed to be written at the same time as the signature, and giving the current date.

Anything else is dishonest.
It may also be illegal, if that dishonesty is used for personal gain at the expense of others, or otherwise violates the law in a specific jurisdiction.

the form in question is an irs request for copy of return. would signing and dating later be illegal, as it’s merely informational, not pecuniary?

Look, you know damn well the intent is for the form to be dated when signed…if you’re trying to get away with something by doing otherwise and want to know the potential consequences of same you should talk to a lawyer, not us.

The fact that you are concerned about this tends to lead me to believe that you feel that the date is somehow “material” in terms of how the document will be handled or whether or not they do or do not do something in response to the document.

If the IRS is requesting a copy of your tax return and you never filled one out to begin with, and you want to backdate the return you are sending to them so that it appears to have been filled out on the due date, you’d better talk to a lawyer before doing that.

If none of this applies, then why, may I ask, do you want to use a different date? For giggles? To see if anyone will catch it and call you and ask why?

It’s to get the IRS to furnish copies of filed returns, so obviously they’ve been filed. The IRS is not doing the requesting. However, the dating is somewhat an issue because the IRS needs to receive it within 120 days of the date next to the signature for the form to be effective. The returns won’t be needed until sometime later, but a signature might not be so easily obtainable then.

If there’s a legitimate reason the signature might not be obtainable, then why don’t you ask the IRS (or the organization wanting the returns) if there’s a solution to the problem?

And of course, if it’s not a legitimate reason, then see the advice above, about consulting a lawyer.
But in general, making false statements to a federal employee carrying out their duties is a federal crime. I believe – but don’t quote me on this – that filling out an official form is considered to be making a statement. There may also be particular laws regarding tax forms or statements to the IRS.

Are you certain that you will need the copies? If so, why not just order them now and keep them in your safe deposit box? Do the copies expire?

Bank officer: “I’m sorry, these IRS ‘Official Facsimile of Tax Return’ documents are two years old. We need copies that are from the last six months.”

You: “But the return hasn’t changed!”

Bank officer: “Sorry, I don’t make the rules.”

Not this year’s, but next year’s. Most other mistakes on the form lead to rejection and return of the form. Are you sure making a materially false statement is a crime when made to all federal employees, and not just law enforcement?

Is there a law requiring a date to always accompany a signature? If it’s left blank, and later completed with a date that is indeed the date on which the form was completed with the dating, neither the signature nor the dating is materially false, or no?

At this point, it sounds like you want to make sure that sometime down the road, you will be able to obtain copies of tax returns other than your own, but expect that the or an authorized requestor will be unable or unwilling to sign a document to give you a copy sometime in the future (e.g. you are planning to quit an organization, but want to make sure that you get copies of future returns, or you are planning to file for divorce and want to make sure that you will receive copies of your ex’s future tax returns (e.g. to make sure that you are getting the right alimony or child support)). We’ve reached the point where you should be getting competent legal assistance who can determine whether or not you really need those documents to begin with, and if there is a 100% legal way to obtain them.