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What is IRS Power of Attorney Representation?
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.
- Enrolled actuaries
- Student attorney
- Student CPA
- Unenrolled return preparers
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.
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.
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. When you are authorizing an individual to receive confidential tax information or authorizing them to act on your behalf regarding federal tax matters you must make the appropriate filing with IRS. There are two different ways to give authorization to a person. The way you choose depends on the amount of power you are willing to give that person that is going to be helping you. Power of attorney gives them the most power, they can act on your behalf for tax matters. You can limit their power by just authorizing them access to your confidential tax information by filling out and filing the tax information authorization form.
File IRS Form 2848
This is the most typical form to use when filing for power of attorney. This form gives power of attorney to the representative that is chosen. Once completed this form will authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS and allow the individual to receive and inspect confidential information about your taxes. The person authorized in this filing must be an eligible person to represent you. This is a two part form in which the taxpayer information must provide their personal information and the representative that was chosen must provide their name and CAF number, which is a number that is assigned by the IRS in order to identify representatives. The second part of this form is the declaration of representative. In this part the chosen representative must sign, date and enter the designation under which they are allowed to practice before the IRS.
This form is not typically used. This form is used to authorize any individual, corporation, firm, organization, or partnership to inspect and/or receive your private tax information. They can receive information from any IRS office for the tax information and years that are listed when the form is completed. When this form is completed it gives the appointee limited power over your financial information. Completing this form will NOT allow them to represent you to the IRS, execute waives, sign documents or closing agreements. If you want them to have the power to represent you then you must file for a power of attorney with form 2848 listed above.
How To Fill Out IRS Power of Attorney Form 2848
IRS Form 2848 is used to file for IRS power of attorney. This form is used by the taxpayer to authorize an individual to represent them before the IRS. Although the process of filing for IRS power of attorney is rather simple, the steps that you take when completing Form 2848 are very important.
Line 1: Taxpayer Information
Individuals need to include their name, social security number, or employer identification number, as well as their address. For a join return, your spouse must also include his/her name, social security number, and address if different from yours.
Corporations must include name, employer identification number, and address of the business.
Line 2: Representative
On this line you will enter your representative’s full name. Only individual persons can be named as a representative, not an entire company. It is important to use the same full name on all correspondence to avoid confusion and mistakes. You have the ability to name up to three representatives. If for some reason you need to add more, indicate this on line two and attach an additional Form 2848 with this information.
You must also enter the nine digit CAF for each named representative. If a CAF number has not been assigned to your representative write “none” and the IRS will issue one. Check the box to indicate if telephone number, fax number, or address has changed since the CAF was assigned.
Line 3: Tax Matters
This line is for the type of tax, form number, and year(s). For example, you may include “Income Tax, 1040, 2008” or something similar. It is important to be specific on this line. The IRS does not accept general references such as “all types of tax” or “all years.”
Line 4: Specific Uses Not Recorded on CAF
Check the box listed on Line 4 if the IRS power of attorney is for a use that will not be named on the CAF. An IRS power of attorney will not be recorded if it does not relate to a specific period.
Line 5: Acts Authorized
This line is used to modify the acts that the named representatives can perform on your behalf. Describe additions or deletions in detail. For example: substituting representatives, disclosure of returns to a third party, and authority to sign your return.
Line 6: Receipt of Refund Checks
If you want your representative to be able to receive refund checks, but not endorse them, you must make this clear on line 6 by initialing and filling in that person’s name.
Line 7: Notices and Communications
All notices and communication will be sent to you and the representative listed. There are two boxes that you can check:
Box A: The original will be forwarded to you, and subsequent copies to the first two listed representatives.
Copy B: The original will be forwarded to you, and no copies will be sent to any representatives.
Line 8: Retention/Revocation of Prior Power(s) of Attorney
If there is an existing IRS power of attorney that you do not want to revoke, check the box provided on this line and attach a copy of the power(s) of attorney.
Line 9: Signature of Taxpayers
Individuals must sign and date the IRS power of attorney. If a joint return is filed and both spouses are involved, both must sign.
IRS power of attorney for a corporation requires a signature from an organization officer with authority to bind the taxpayer.
Part II: Declaration of Representative
The second part of the IRS power of attorney is where your representative signs and dates, while also entering his designation – such as attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, officer, family member, etc.
With this information you should have a better understanding of how to file for IRS power of attorney. Most of the time the professional you choose to represent you will help you fill out this form properly, if you need representation, we can help, simply fill out the form below.
Address or Fax Number To Send Power of Attorney or Tax Info Authorization
These forms must be sent or faxed to the IRS within 60 days of the date they were signed by the taxpayer. The IRS has different address and phone numbers to send to based upon where you live. Below are the addresses and phone numbers:
AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MS, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, WV
Internal Revenue Service
P.O Box 268, Stop 8423
Memphis, TN 38101-0268
AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY
Internal Revenue Service
1973 N. Rulon White Blvd. MS 6737
Ogden, UT 84404