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.

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 use your representative's address or post office box for your own. If you file a tax return that includes a sole proprietorship business (Schedule C) and the matters that you are authorizing the listed representative(s) to represent you include 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 to the CAF in connection with a joint return that you filed, you must 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 this form is being prepared 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 only list 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 organization.   Enter the name, address, and EIN of the exempt organization.

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

Deceased Individual.   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.

Estate.   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 plan.   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 the instructions relating to trust above. If both the plan and trust are being represented by the same representative, separate Forms 2848 are required.

Line 2. Representative(s)

Enter your representative's full name. Only individuals who are eligible to practice before the IRS may be named as representatives. Use the identical full name on all submissions and correspondence. If you want to name more than three representatives, indicate so on this line and attach an additional Form(s) 2848.

Enter the nine-digit CAF number for each representative. If a CAF number has not been assigned, enter “None,” and the IRS will issue one directly to your 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. CAF numbers will not be assigned for employee plans and exempt organizations application requests.

Enter the PTIN, if applicable, for each representative. If a PTIN has not been assigned, but one has been applied for, then write "applied for" on the line.

Check the appropriate box to indicate if either the address, telephone number, or fax number is new since a CAF number was assigned.

Check the box on the line for up to two representatives to indicate that you want original and other written correspondence to be sent to you and a copy to the indicated representative(s). You must check the box next to a representative's name and address if you want to authorize this representative to receive copies of all notices and communications sent to you by the IRS. If you do not want any notices sent to your representative(s) then do not check the box. By checking this box you are not changing your last known address with the IRS. To change your last known address, use Form 8822 for your home address and use Form 8822-B to change your business address. Both forms are available at IRS.gov. Also, by checking this box, you are replacing any prior designation of a different representative to receive copies of written correspondence related to the matters designated on line 3.

Note.

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

If the representative is a former employee of the federal government, he or she must be aware of the postemployment restrictions contained in 18 U.S.C. 207 and in Circular 230, section 10.25. Criminal penalties are provided for violation of the statutory restrictions, and the Office of Professional Responsibility is authorized to take disciplinary action against the practitioner.

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

Line 3. Description of Matters

Enter the description of the matter, and where applicable, the tax form number, and the year(s) or period(s) in order for the power of attorney to be valid. For example, you may list “Income, 1040” for calendar year “2010” and “Excise, 720” for “2010” (this covers all quarters in 2010). For multiple years or a series of inclusive periods, including quarterly periods, you may list 2008 through (thru or a hyphen) 2010. 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.” Any power of attorney with a general reference will be returned. Representation only applies for the years or periods listed on line 3. Only tax forms directly related to the taxpayer may be listed on line 3.

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. However, you may include on a power of attorney only future tax periods that end no later than 3 years after the date the power of attorney is received by the IRS. The 3 future periods are determined starting after December 31 of the year the power of attorney is received by the IRS. 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 does 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 (VSCP), 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).   Unless you specifically provide otherwise on line 5, representation for return-related penalties and interest is presumed to be included when representation is authorized for the related tax return on line 3. However, if the penalty is not related to a return, you must reference “civil penalties” or the specific penalties for which representation is authorized on line 3. For example, Joann prepares Form 2848 authorizing Margaret to represent her before the IRS in connection with the examination of her 2009 and 2010 Forms 1040. Margaret is authorized to represent Joann with respect to the accuracy-related penalty that the revenue agent is proposing for the 2009 tax year. Similarly, if Diana authorizes John to represent her in connection with his Forms 941 and W-2 for 2010, John is authorized to represent in connection with the failure to file Forms W-2 penalty that the revenue agent is considering imposing for 2010. However, if Diana only authorizes John to represent her in connection with her Form 1040 for 2010, he is not authorized to represent her when the revenue agent proposes to impose a trust fund recovery penalty against her in connection with the employment taxes owed by the Schedule C business she owns.

How to complete line 3.

If you are authorizing this representative to represent you only with respect to penalties and interest due on the penalties, enter “civil penalties” on line 3. The description of matter column and the year(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 Uses 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 is not recorded in the CAF. Examples of specific issues 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),

  • Application for Award for Original Information under section 7623,

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

  • Freedom of Information Act requests.

Check the box on line 4 if the power of attorney is for a use that will not be listed on the CAF. If the box on line 4 is checked, 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 5. Acts Authorized

Use line 5 to modify the acts that your named representative(s) can perform. Check the box for the acts authorized that you intend to authorize or specifically not authorize your representative to perform on your behalf. In the space provided, describe any specific additions or deletions.

Substituting or adding a representative .   Your representative cannot substitute or add another representative without your written permission unless this authority is specifically delegated to your representative on line 5. 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 attached 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 this authority is specifically delegated to the representative on line 5.

Authority to sign your return.   Treasury regulations section 1.6012-1(a)(5) permits another person to sign a return for you only in the following circumstances:  
(a) Disease or injury, 
(b) Continuous absence from the United States (including 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.  
Authority to sign your income tax return may be granted to (1) your representative or (2) an agent (a person other than your representative).

Authorizing your representative.

Check the box on line 5 authorizing your representative to sign your income tax return and include the following statement on the line 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, earlier]. No other acts on behalf of the taxpayer are authorized."

Authorizing an agent.

To authorize an agent you must do all four of the following:

  1. Complete lines 1-3.

  2. Check the box on line 4.

  3. Write the following statement on line 5:

    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, earlier]. No other acts on behalf of the taxpayer are authorized.

  4. Sign and date the form. If your return is electronically filed, your representative should attach Form 2848 to Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, and send to the address listed in the instructions for Form 8453. If you file a paper return, Form 2848 should be attached to your return. See the instructions for line 7 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 performed by the TMP that cannot be delegated 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.

  Check the box for deletions and list the act or acts you do not want your representative to perform on your behalf.

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

If this power of attorney is filed 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 filed on the CAF, this power of attorney only will revoke an earlier power of attorney that is on file with the same office and for the same matters. For example, you previously provided the IRS's 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 given to Attorney A. If you do not want to revoke any existing power(s) of attorney check the box on this line and attach a copy of the power(s) of attorney. The filing of a Form 2848 will not revoke any Form 8821 that is in effect.

Line 7. Signature of Taxpayer(s)

Individuals.   You must sign and date the power of attorney. If a joint return has been filed, 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 having authority to bind the taxpayer must sign.

Partnerships.   All partners must sign unless one partner is authorized to act in the name of the partnership. 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).

Estate.    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 plan.   If the plan is listed as the taxpayer on line 1, a duly authorized individual having authority to bind the taxpayer must sign and that individual's exact title must be entered. 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. A Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, must also be completed to identify the current trustee.

All others.   If the taxpayer is a dissolved corporation, decedent, 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. The date between when the taxpayer signs and when the representative subsequently signs must be within 45 days for domestic authorizations and within 60 days for authorization from taxpayers residing abroad. If the taxpayer signs after the representative signs, there is no time requirement.

PIN number.    If you are submitting this form electronically through the IRS's e-services portal, enter the PIN number you used to sign the form you submitted electronically on the copy of the form you retain. You should not provide your PIN number to your representative(s) or include it on the copy of the form your representative(s) will retain.

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:

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 the enrollment card number issued by the Office of Professional Responsibility.
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 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 Office of Professional Responsibility.

Students in LITCs and the STCP.   You must receive permission to practice 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 Office of Professional Responsibility authorizing practice before the IRS.

   Note. In many cases, the student practitioner's authority is limited (for example, they may only practice under the supervision of another practitioner). At the end of 130 days after input to the CAF, they are automatically purged from the CAF.

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. 
 


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