IRS Power of Attorney: How it Works for Taxes

What is IRS Power of Attorney Representation?

irs power of attorney

When dealing with a Federal tax matter you can either represent yourself or have someone else represent you. If you want someone else to represent you then it is required that you make the appropriate filing in order to authorize that person to legally represent you. Once you have made the appropriate filing, the person that you have designated will be allowed to represent you before the IRS and receive your tax information.

People that Can Legally Represent You

You cannot just appoint any type of person to represent you for tax matters, they will have to be qualified individuals. Below is a list of individuals that can legally represent you before the IRS.

When Should You File for Power of Attorney

You should file for power of attorney when you want to authorize an individual to be able to represent you before the IRS. There are two main reasons to file for a power of attorney which are listed below.

  • Representation: If you want someone to represent you at a meeting with the IRS. This person will handle dealings on your behalf
  • Prepare & File Written Response: If you want someone to prepare and file a written response or fill out certain documents on your behalf.

Not all situations require a power of attorney. Most typical IRS filings do not require it, like filing an annual tax return, but most of the more complex dealings will require it because there will likely be representation needed.

IRS Power of Attorney Forms

In order to authorize an individual to receive your tax information and/or represent you before the IRS you will need to file the proper documentation with the IRS. Below are the common forms that are used to file for IRS power of attorney.

  • File IRS Form 2848: This is the most typical form to use when filing for power of attorney. This form will authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS and receive confidential tax documentation. This form needs to be either faxed or mailed to the IRS. It is possible that the representative that you have chosen can file electronically with the IRS as well.
  • File IRS Form 8821: This form is not typically used. This form is used if you want to authorize an individual or organization to receive and inspect your tax information (record of account), but DO NOT want to allow them to represent you before the IRS.

How a Power of Attorney Works after I File for It

After the power of attorney has been filed and processed the IRS will recognize the person you have assigned to represent you and they will legally be able to respond to IRS requests on your behalf. Sometimes the IRS may go around the representative and go to you if your representative becomes unresponsive. Some things your representative can do for you are the following:

  • Receive & Respond to your confidential IRS tax information
  • Represent you for various IRS tax problems
  • Execute closing agreements
  • Setup tax settlement agreements
  • Receive cash and checks that are issued as a refund for your taxes (not allowed to cash them though)
  • Sign personal tax return documents

If you are having tax problems and need tax representation, we can help. We have partnered with a highly trained tax team that will be able to handle your tax situation on your behalf. Read more about how we can represent you through power of attorney.

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