Specific Instructions

Part I. Power of Attorney

Line 1. Taxpayer Information

Enter the information requested about you. Do not enter information about any other person, including your spouse, except as stated in the specific instructions below.

Address information provided on Form 2848 will not change your last known address with the IRS. To change your last known address, use Form 8822 for your home address and Form 8822-B to change your business address.

Individuals.   Enter your name, social security number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), and/or employer identification number (EIN), if applicable, and your street address or post office box. Do not enter your representative's address or post office box. If you file a tax return that includes a sole proprietorship business (Form 1040 (Schedule C)) and you are authorizing the listed representative(s) to represent you for your individual and business tax matters, including employment tax liabilities, enter both your SSN (or ITIN) and your business EIN as your taxpayer identification numbers. If you, your spouse, or former spouse are submitting powers of attorney in connection with a joint return that you filed, you must each submit separate Forms 2848 even if you are authorizing the same representative(s) to represent you.

Corporations, partnerships, or associations.   Enter the name, EIN, and business address. If you are preparing this form for corporations filing a consolidated tax return (Form 1120) and the representation concerns matters related to the consolidated return, do not attach a list of subsidiaries to this form. Only the parent corporation information is required on line 1. Also, for line 3 list only Form 1120 in the “Tax Form Number” column. A subsidiary must file its own Form 2848 for returns that must be filed separately from the consolidated return, such as Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return, and Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return.

Exempt organizations.   Enter the name, address, and EIN of the exempt organization.

Trusts.   Enter the name, title, and address of the trustee, and the name and EIN of the trust.

Deceased Individuals.   For Form 1040, enter the name and SSN (or ITIN) of the decedent as well as the name, title, and address of the decedent's executor or personal representative.

Estates.   Enter the name of the decedent as well as the name, title, and address of the decedent's executor or personal representative. For Forms 706, enter the decedent's SSN (or ITIN) for the taxpayer identification number. For all other IRS forms, enter the estate's EIN for the taxpayer identification number, or, if the estate does not have an EIN, enter the decedent's SSN (or ITIN).

Gifts.   Enter the name, address, and SSN (or ITIN) of the donor.

Employee plans.   Enter the name, address, and EIN or SSN of the plan sponsor. Also, enter the three-digit plan number. If the plan's trust is under examination, see Trusts above. If both the plan and trust are authorizing the same representative, separate Forms 2848 are required.

Line 2. Representative(s)

Enter the full name and mailing address of your representative(s). You may only name individuals who are eligible to practice before the IRS as representatives. Use the identical full name on all submissions and correspondence. If you want to name more than four representatives, write “See attached for additional representatives,” in the space to the right of line 2 and attach an additional Form(s) 2848.

If you want to authorize your representative to receive copies of all notices and communications sent to you by the IRS, you must check the box that is provided under the representative's name and address. No more than two representatives may receive copies of notices and communications sent to you by the IRS. Do not check the box if you do not want copies of notices and communications sent to your representative(s).

Note.

Representatives will not receive forms, publications, and other related materials with the correspondence.

Enter the nine-digit CAF number for each representative. If the IRS has not assigned a CAF number to the representative, enter “None,” and the IRS will issue one directly to the representative. The CAF number is a unique nine-digit identification number (not the SSN, EIN, PTIN, or enrollment card number) that the IRS assigns to representatives. The CAF number is not an indication of authority to practice. The representative should use the assigned CAF number on all future powers of attorney. The IRS will not assign CAF numbers for employee plan status determinations or exempt organization application requests.

Enter the PTIN, if applicable, for each representative. If the IRS has not assigned a PTIN, but the representative has applied for one, write “applied for” on the line. A PTIN is required for representatives that are registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers.

Check the appropriate box to indicate if the representative's address, telephone number, or fax number is new since the IRS issued the CAF number.

The postemployment restrictions contained in 18 U.S.C. 207 and in Circular 230, section 10.25, apply to a representative who is a former employee of the federal government. The Taxpayer Inspector General for Tax Administration may enforce criminal penalties for violations of the restrictions, and the Office of Professional Responsibility may take disciplinary action against the practitioner.

Students in LITCs and the STCP.   You must list the lead attorney or CPA as a representative. List the lead attorney or CPA first on line 2, then the student on the next line. Also see Part II. Declaration of Representative, later.

Line 3. Acts Authorized

In order for the power of attorney to be valid, you must enter the description of the matter, the tax form number (where applicable), and the year(s) or period(s) (where applicable). For example, you may list “Income, 1040” for calendar year “2010” and “Excise, 720” for “2010” (this entry covers all quarters in 2010). You may list consecutive multiple years or a series of inclusive periods, including quarterly periods, by using “through,” “thru,” or a hyphen. For example, “2008 thru 2010” or “2nd 2009 - 3rd 2010.” For fiscal years, enter the ending year and month, using the YYYYMM format. Do not use a general reference such as “All years,” “All periods,” or “All taxes.” The IRS will return any power of attorney with a general reference. Representation only applies for the years or periods listed on line 3. List on line 3 only tax forms directly related to the taxpayer listed on line 1.

You may list the current year/period and any tax years or periods that have already ended as of the date you sign the power of attorney. You may also list future tax years or periods. However, the IRS will not record on the CAF system future tax years or periods listed that exceed 3 years from December 31 of the year that the IRS receives the power of attorney. You must enter the description of the matter, the tax form number, and the future year(s) or period(s). If the matter relates to estate tax, enter the date of the decedent's death instead of the year or period. If the matter relates to an employee plan, include the plan number in the description of the matter.

If the matter is not a tax matter, or if the tax form number or years or periods do not apply to the matter (for example, representation for a penalty or filing a ruling request or a determination letter, or Application for Award for Original Information under section 7623, Closing Agreement on Final Determination Covering Specific Classification Settlement Program (CSP), Form 8952, Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), or FOIA), specifically describe the matter to which the power of attorney pertains (including, if applicable, the name of the employee benefit plan) and enter “Not Applicable” in the appropriate column(s).

Civil penalty representation (including the trust fund recovery penalty) and representation for certain healthcare-related payments.   Unless you specifically provide otherwise on line 5b, your authorization of tax matters on line 3 includes representation for penalties, payments, and interest related to a specific tax return. However, if the penalty or payment is not related to a return, you must enter “Civil Penalty,” “Section 4980H Shared Responsibility Payment,” or otherwise describe the specific penalty or payment for which you are authorizing representation in the “Description of Matter” column on line 3.

Example 1.

Joann prepares Form 2848 authorizing Margaret to represent her before the IRS in connection with the examination of her 2015 and 2016 Forms 1040. Margaret is authorized to represent Joann with respect to the accuracy-related penalty and the Section 5000A shared responsibility payment that the revenue agent is proposing for the 2015 tax year.

Example 2.

Diana authorizes John to represent her in connection with her Forms 941 and W-2 for 2012. John is authorized to represent her in connection with the penalty for failure to file Forms W-2 that the revenue agent is proposing for 2012.

Example 3.

Diana only authorizes John to represent her in connection with her Form 1040 for 2012. John is not authorized to represent Diana when the revenue agent proposes a trust fund recovery penalty against her in connection with the employment taxes owed by her closely-held corporation.

  If you are authorizing your representative to represent you only with respect to penalties and interest due on the penalties, enter “Civil Penalty” in the “Description of Matter” column and the year(s) or period(s) to which the penalty applies in the “Year(s) or Period(s)” column. Enter “Not Applicable” in the “Tax Form Number” column. You do not have to enter the specific penalty.

   Note. If the taxpayer is subject to penalties related to an individual retirement account (IRA) (for example, a penalty for excess contributions), enter “IRA Civil Penalty” on line 3.

Line 4. Specific Use Not Recorded on CAF

Generally, the IRS records powers of attorney on the CAF system. The CAF system is a computer file system containing information regarding the authority of individuals appointed under powers of attorney. The system gives IRS personnel quicker access to authorization information without requesting the original document from the taxpayer or representative. However, a specific-use power of attorney is a one-time or specific-issue grant of authority to a representative or is a power of attorney that does not relate to a specific tax period (except for civil penalties) that the IRS does not record on the CAF. Examples of specific uses not recorded include but are not limited to the following:

  • Requests for a private letter ruling or technical advice,

  • Applications for an EIN,

  • Claims filed on Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement,

  • Corporate dissolutions,

  • Circular 230 Disciplinary Investigations and Proceedings,

  • Requests to change accounting methods or periods,

  • Applications for recognition of exemption under sections 501(c)(3), 501(a), or 521 (Forms 1023, 1024, or 1028),

  • Request for a determination of the qualified status of an employee benefit plan (Forms 5300, 5307, 5316, or 5310),

  • Applications for an ITIN filed on Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,

  • Applications for an exemption from self-employment tax filed on Form 4361, Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners,

  • Application for Award for Original Information under section 7623,

  • Voluntary submissions under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), and

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Check the box on line 4 if the power of attorney is for a specific use or issue that the IRS will not record on the CAF. If you check the box on line 4, the representative should mail or fax the power of attorney to the IRS office handling the matter. Otherwise, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS.

A specific-use power of attorney will not revoke any prior powers of attorney recorded on the CAF or provided to the IRS in connection with an unrelated specific matter.

Line 5a. Additional Acts Authorized

Use line 5a to modify the acts that your named representative(s) can perform. Check the box for the additional acts authorized and provide details in the space provided (if applicable).

Substituting or adding a representative.   Your representative cannot substitute or add another representative without your written permission unless you specifically delegate this authority to your representative by checking the box on line 5a. If you authorize your representative to substitute another representative, the new representative can send in a new Form 2848 with a copy of the Form 2848 you are now signing, and you do not need to sign the new Form 2848.

Disclosure of returns to a third party.   A representative cannot execute consents that will allow the IRS to disclose your tax return or return information to a third party unless you specifically delegate this authority to the representative by checking the box on line 5a.

Authority to sign your return.   Treasury Regulations section 1.6012-1(a)(5) permits another person to sign an income tax return for you only in the following circumstances:  
(a) Disease or injury, 
(b) Continuous absence from the United States (including absence from Puerto Rico) for a period of at least 60 days prior to the date required by law for filing the return, or 
(c) Specific permission is requested of and granted by the IRS for other good cause.  
The IRS may grant authority to sign your income tax return to (1) your representative or (2) an agent (a person other than your representative).

Authorizing your representative.

Check the box on line 5a authorizing your representative to sign your income tax return and include the following statement on the lines provided: “This power of attorney is being filed pursuant to Treasury Regulations section 1.6012-1(a)(5), which requires a power of attorney to be attached to a return if a return is signed by an agent by reason of [enter the specific reason listed under (a), (b), or (c) under Authority to sign your return above].

Authorizing an agent.

To authorize an agent who is not your representative, you must do all four of the following:

  1. Complete lines 1-3.

  2. Check the box on line 4.

  3. Check the box on line 5a titled “Sign a return” and write the following statement on the lines provided:

    This power of attorney is being filed pursuant to Treasury Regulations section 1.6012-1(a)(5), which requires a power of attorney to be attached to a return if a return is signed by an agent by reason of [enter the specific reason listed under (a), (b), or (c) under Authority to sign your return above]. No other acts on behalf of the taxpayer are authorized.

  4. Sign and date the form. If your agent e-files your return, he or she should attach Form 2848 to Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, and mail it to the address listed in the instructions for Form 8453. If your agent files a paper return, he or she should attach Form 2848 to your return. See Line 7. Signature of Taxpayer, later, for more information on signatures. The agent does not complete Part II of Form 2848.

Other.   List any other acts you want your representative to be able to perform on your behalf.

Tax matters partner.   The tax matters partner (TMP) (as defined in section 6231(a)(7)) is authorized to perform various acts on behalf of the partnership. The following are examples of acts the TMP cannot delegate to the representative:
  • Binding nonnotice partners to a settlement agreement under section 6224 and, under certain circumstances, binding all partners to a settlement agreement under Tax Court Rule 248, and

  • Filing a request for administrative adjustment on behalf of the partnership under section 6227.

Line 5b. Specific Acts Not Authorized

List the act or acts you do not want your representative(s) to perform on your behalf.

Line 6. Retention/Revocation of Prior Power(s) of Attorney

If the IRS records this power of attorney on the CAF system, it generally will revoke any earlier power of attorney previously recorded on the system for the same matter. If this power of attorney is for a specific use or is not recorded on the CAF, this power of attorney will only revoke an earlier power of attorney that is on file with the same office and for the same matters.

Example.

You previously provided the IRS Office of Chief Counsel with a power of attorney authorizing Attorney A to represent you in a PLR matter. Now, several months later you decide you want to have Attorney B handle this matter for you. By providing the IRS Office of Chief Counsel with a power of attorney designating Attorney B to handle the same PLR matter, you are revoking the earlier power of attorney authorizing Attorney A to represent you.

If you do not want to revoke any existing power(s) of attorney, check the box on line 6 and attach a copy of the power(s) of attorney. Filing Form 2848 will not revoke any Form 8821 that is in effect.

Line 7. Signature of Taxpayer

Individuals.   You must sign and date the power of attorney. If you filed a joint return, your spouse must execute his or her own power of attorney on a separate Form 2848 to designate a representative.

Corporations or associations.   An officer with the authority to bind the corporation or association must sign and enter his or her exact title.

Partnerships.   All partners must sign and enter their exact titles. If one partner is authorized to act in the name of the partnership, only that partner is required to sign and enter his or her title. A partner is authorized to act in the name of the partnership if, under state law, the partner has authority to bind the partnership. A copy of such authorization must be attached. For purposes of executing Form 2848, the TMP is authorized to act in the name of the partnership. However, see Tax matters partner, earlier. For dissolved partnerships, see 26 CFR 601.503(c)(6).

Estates.    If there is more than one executor, only one co-executor having the authority to bind the estate is required to sign. See 26 CFR 601.503(d).

Employee plans.   If the plan is listed as the taxpayer on line 1, a duly authorized individual with the authority to bind the plan must sign and enter that individual's exact title. If the trust is the taxpayer listed on line 1, a trustee having the authority to bind the trust must sign with the title of trustee entered. Complete and attach Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, to identify the current trustee.

All others.   If the taxpayer is a dissolved corporation, deceased individual, insolvent, or a person for whom or by whom a fiduciary (a trustee, guarantor, receiver, executor, or administrator) has been appointed, see 26 CFR 601.503(d).

Note.   Generally the taxpayer signs first, granting the authority and then the representative signs, accepting the authority granted. In this situation, for domestic authorizations, the representative must sign within 45 days from the date the taxpayer signed (60 days for authorizations from taxpayers residing abroad).

  If the representative signs first, the taxpayer does not have a required time limit for signing.

Part II. Declaration of Representative

The representative(s) you name must sign and date this declaration and enter the designation (for example, items a-r) under which he or she is authorized to practice before the IRS. Representatives must sign in the order listed in line 2, earlier. In addition, the representative(s) must list the following in the “Licensing jurisdiction (state) or other licensing authority" and "Bar, license, certification, registration, or enrollment number” columns unless noted otherwise:

a Attorney—Enter the two-letter abbreviation for the state (for example, “NY” for New York) in which admitted to practice and associated bar or license number, if any.
b Certified Public Accountant—Enter the two-letter abbreviation for the state (for example, “CA” for California) in which licensed to practice and associated certification or license number, if any.
c Enrolled Agent—Enter IRS as the licensing jurisdiction and the enrollment card number in the block provided.
d Officer—Enter the title of the officer (for example, President, Vice President, or Secretary).
e Full-Time Employee—Enter title or position (for example, Comptroller or Accountant).
f Family Member—Enter the relationship to the taxpayer (generally, must be a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, step-child, step-brother, or step-sister).
g Enrolled Actuary—Enter the enrollment card number issued by the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.
h Unenrolled Return Preparer—Enter your PTIN.
i Registered Tax Return Preparer—Enter your PTIN.
k Student—Enter LITC or STCP.
r Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent—Enter the enrollment card number issued by the Return Preparer Office.

Students in LITCs and the STCP.   You must receive permission to represent taxpayers before the IRS by virtue of your status as a law, business, or accounting student working in a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic or the Student Tax Clinic Program under section 10.7(d) of Circular 230. Be sure to attach a copy of the letter from the Taxpayer Advocate Service authorizing practice before the IRS.

   Note. Students who have been granted the ability to practice by a special appearance authorization under section 10.7(d) of Circular 230 may, subject to any limitations set forth in the letter from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, fully represent taxpayers before any IRS office and are eligible to perform any and all acts listed on a properly executed Form 2848.

  For each separate representation, at the end of 130 days after the taxpayer's signature date, the CAF will automatically purge the student practitioner as the taxpayer's representative.

Any individual may represent an individual or entity before personnel of the IRS when such representation occurs outside the United States. Individuals acting as representatives must sign and date the declaration; leave the “Licensing jurisdiction (state) or other licensing authority” column blank. See section 10.7(c)(1)(vii) of Circular 230. 
 

Representative's powers of attorney recorded on the CAF.   Representatives may receive a list of their powers of attorney recorded on the CAF by following the instructions for submitting requests at www.irs.gov by clicking the link “Freedom of Information Act” at the bottom of the page, then clicking the link “Routine access to IRS Records,” and then clicking the link “CAF Client Listing Request.


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