4.11.55  Power of Attorney Rights and Responsibilities

4.11.55.1  (04-20-2010)
Power of Attorney and Tax Information Authorization

  1. References for Power Of Attorney And Tax Information Authorization:

    • IRM 11.3.3 - Disclosure to Designees and Practitioners

    • IRM 4.10.1.5.5 - Representation/Power-of-Attorney Requirements

    • IRM 4.10.3.2.1.1 - Powers of Attorney

    • IRM 21.3.7 - Processing Third Party Authorizations onto the Centralized Authorization File (CAF)

    • Code of Federal Regulations (26 CFR 601.501 through 509) - Conference and Practice Requirements

    • Circular 230 (31 CFR 10.0 through 10.93) - Rules Covering Practice of Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries before the IRS

    • Rev. Proc. 81-38 - Unenrolled Preparer

    • Rev. Proc. 68-29 - The extent to which employees of the Internal Revenue Service may accord recognition to persons acting on behalf of taxpayers as a "witness"

    • Publication 216 - Conference and Practice Requirements

    • Publication 470 - Limited Practice Without Enrollment (Rev. Proc. 81-38)

    • Publication 947 - Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney

    • Publication 4019 - Third Party Authorization, Levels of Authority

4.11.55.1.1  (04-20-2010)
Overview

  1. This section is intended to provide uniform guidelines to employees who deal with representatives and/or who receive and inspect Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (POA), Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization (TIA), and similar documents.

  2. When working with someone other than the taxpayer, the examiner must remember the following items:

    1. Disclosure of taxpayer and return information is strictly prohibited;

    2. Practice before IRS is restricted to properly qualified persons; and

    3. A valid power-of-attorney submitted by a taxpayer must be recognized unless the criteria for bypassing the power-of-attorney have been met.

4.11.55.1.2  (04-20-2010)
Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

  1. Practice before the IRS covers all matters connected with a presentation to the IRS relating to a taxpayer's rights, privileges, or liabilities under laws and regulations administered by the IRS. Such presentations include, but are not limited to:

    1. Corresponding and communicating with the IRS;

    2. Representing a taxpayer at conferences, hearings, or meetings with the IRS; and

    3. Preparing and filing documents with the IRS for a taxpayer.

    Note:

    Generally, any person may prepare a tax return, furnish information at the request of the IRS, or appear as a witness for the taxpayer.

4.11.55.1.2.1  (04-20-2010)
Who May Represent a Taxpayer?

  1. Per Treasury Department Circular No. 230, a practitioner can represent a taxpayer and practice before the IRS. It defines a practitioner as any of the individuals listed below:

    1. Attorney (A member in good standing of the highest court in the jurisdiction claimed on the Power of Attorney Form 2848 or its equivalent)

    2. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) (Qualified to practice as a CPA in the jurisdiction claimed on the Power of Attorney Form 2848 or its equivalent)

    3. Enrolled Agent

    4. Enrolled Actuary

    5. Enrolled Retirement Plan Administrator (Representation limited to retirement plan issues only)

  2. In general, individuals cannot practice before the IRS if they are not eligible or they have lost the privilege as a result of certain actions. If an individual loses eligibility to practice, a power of attorney designating him/her as a representative will not be recognized by the IRS. ( See IRM 4.11.55.1.2.2.)

  3. Corporations, associations, partnerships, and other persons that are not individuals are not eligible to practice before the IRS.

4.11.55.1.2.1.1  (04-20-2010)
Authorized Representation by Persons Other Than a Practitioner

  1. Any individual other than an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, or enrolled actuary who prepares a return and signs the return may represent the taxpayer before the IRS as an “unenrolled return preparer.” Unenrolled return preparers may represent the taxpayer before revenue agents, customer service representatives, or similar officers and employees of the IRS. Their representation is limited to representing the taxpayer during an examination of the taxable year or period covered by the return they prepared. Unenrolled return preparers may not sign claims for refund, receive refund checks, sign consents to extend the statutory period for assessment or collection of tax, sign closing agreements regarding a tax liability, or sign waivers of restriction on assessment or collection of a tax deficiency.

    Note:

    An unenrolled return preparer may not represent a taxpayer, regardless of the circumstances, before appeals officers, revenue officers, counsel, or similar officers or employees of the IRS.

  2. Because of their special relationship with the taxpayer, the following unenrolled individuals can represent the specified taxpayer before the IRS regardless of whether they prepared the tax return in question. They must provide satisfactory identification and documented authority (e.g., Form 2848) to represent the taxpayer:

    1. A family member - an individual may represent members of his/her immediate family. Immediate family includes a spouse, child, parent, brother or sister of the individual.

    2. An officer - a bona fide officer of a corporation (including a parent subsidiary or other affiliated corporation), association or organized group may represent the corporation, association or organized group. An officer of a governmental unit, agency, or authority in the course of his/her official duties, may represent the organization before the IRS.

    3. A partner - a general partner may represent the partnership before the IRS.

    4. An employee - a regular full-time employee may represent his/her employer. An employer may be, but is not limited to, an individual, partnership, corporation (including a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated corporation), association, trust, receivership, guardianship, estate, organized group, governmental unit, agency, or authority.

    5. A fiduciary (trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, or guardian) - a fiduciary stands in the position of a taxpayer and acts as the taxpayer, not as a representative. Fiduciaries should file Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, rather than Form 2848.

    Note:

    An individual may represent himself/herself before the IRS by presenting satisfactory identification. The individual does not have to file a written declaration of authority.

4.11.55.1.2.2  (04-20-2010)
POA Not Authorized to Practice Before the IRS

  1. If a taxpayer designates someone who is not authorized to practice before the IRS as his or her representative on the Form 2848 and the designated individual did not prepare the taxpayer's tax return for the tax year or period at issue, he/she may not represent the taxpayer before the IRS. See IRM 4.11.55.1.5.).

    Caution:

    As of March 2004, the IRS no longer accepts a Form 2848 signed by an individual not qualified to sign Part II of this form as authority for that individual to receive tax information.

  2. Although the IRS generally may rely, in good faith, on Part II, Declaration of Representative, on Form 2848 concerning the eligibility of an individual to practice before the IRS, there may be circumstances where an individual completes Part II of Form 2848 indicating that they are an attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, etc., when they never had such status or were no longer entitled to claim such status.

    Note:

    To check on the status of a taxpayer's representative, you can perform an Internet search for CPA license holders, state bar members, etc. Current license or bar membership information is available on the internet at http://www.aicpa.org/yellow/ypsboa.htm and http://www.llrx.com/features/lawyerlicenses.htm. Not all states provide online information; therefore, a phone call to the appropriate state may be required.

  3. The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) provides search features on its website for enrolled agents and to indicate whether a practitioner has been suspended or disbarred from practice before the IRS. ( http://nhq.no.irs.gov/opr/ ).

4.11.55.1.2.3  (04-20-2010)
Privileges Afforded a Practitioner

  1. If authorized on a power of attorney, CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries, and enrolled retirement plan administrators are entitled to:

    1. Practice anywhere in the country,

    2. Sign consents, reports, waivers, and claim disallowance reports,

    3. Represent taxpayers in Appeals,

    4. File a written response to a 30-day letter,

    5. Sign returns if specifically authorized,

    6. Receive and inspect confidential tax return information,

    7. Discuss proposed adjustments, and

    8. Receive (but not negotiate) a refund check for the taxpayer.

  2. A taxpayer's rights include the right to have the taxpayer's representative present whenever the taxpayer is interviewed, interrogated, or requested to furnish information to the IRS. This right should be respected by IRS personnel at all times. The taxpayer may waive this right. The examiner should document in the workpapers that this right was waived.

  3. If a representative has unreasonably delayed or hindered an examination, collection or investigation by failing to furnish non-privileged information after repeated requests, the IRS employee may request his or her immediate supervisor's permission to contact the taxpayer directly to request the non-privileged information (See IRM 4.11.55.3, Bypass of Representative.)

4.11.55.1.3  (04-20-2010)
Rules of Practice

  1. Practitioners have the duty to perform certain acts and are restricted from performing other acts.

  2. A practitioner cannot engage in disreputable conduct. Any practitioner who does not comply with the rules of practice or engages in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action.

  3. Circular 230 provides the regulations governing the practice of attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries and appraisers before the IRS and should be consulted regarding rules of practice.

  4. Unenrolled return preparers must comply with the rules of practice and conduct to exercise the privilege of limited practice before the IRS. Rev. Proc. 81-38 also provides additional rules for limited practice by unenrolled return preparers.

4.11.55.1.3.1  (04-20-2010)
Submit Records and Information

  1. A practitioner must promptly submit records or information requested by employees of the IRS unless the practitioner believes in good faith and on reasonable grounds that the information requested is privileged see IRM 4.11.55.2.3.

4.11.55.1.3.2  (04-20-2010)
Duty to Advise

  1. A practitioner who knows that his/her client has not complied with the revenue laws or has made an error or omission in any return, document, affidavit, or other required paper, has the responsibility to advise the client promptly of the noncompliance, error, or omission.

  2. The practitioner also must advise the client of any consequences as provided under the IRC and regulations of such noncompliance, error, or omission.

4.11.55.1.3.3  (04-20-2010)
Due Diligence

  1. A practitioner must exercise due diligence when performing the following duties:

    1. Preparing or assisting in preparing, approving, and filing returns, documents, affidavits, and other papers relating to IRS matters;

    2. Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him/her to the Department of the Treasury; and

    3. Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him/her to clients with reference to any matter administered by the IRS.

4.11.55.1.3.4  (04-20-2010)
Restrictions

  1. A practitioner must not unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the IRS.

  2. A practitioner must not knowingly, directly or indirectly, do the following:

    1. Employ or accept assistance from any person who is under disbarment or suspension from practice before the IRS, if the assistance relates to a matter or matters constituting practice before the IRS.

    2. Accept employment as an associate, correspondent, or subagent from, or share fees with, any person under disbarment or suspension from practice before the IRS if the employment, correspondence, or sub-agency, or fee sharing relates to a matter or matters constituting practice before the IRS.

    3. Accept assistance from any former government employee where provisions of Treasury Department Circular No. 230 (10.25) or any federal law would be violated.

  3. A practitioner who is a notary public and is employed as counsel, attorney, or agent in a matter before the IRS, or has a material interest in the matter, cannot engage in any notary activities related to that matter.

  4. Practitioners who are income tax return preparers must not endorse or otherwise negotiate (cash) any refund check issued to the taxpayer.

  5. Any practitioner may be disbarred or suspended from practice before the IRS for incompetence or disreputable conduct. Circular 230 (31 CFR 10.51) provides examples of incompetence and disreputable conduct of a representative.

    Note:

    Unenrolled return preparers are ineligible to exercise the privilege of limited practice before the IRS under Circular 230 (31 CFR 10.7) if the unenrolled return preparer has engaged in any conduct (including incompetence) prohibited by Revenue Procedure 81-38.

  6. For referrals to the Office of Professional Responsibility see IRM 4.11.55.4.

4.11.55.1.4  (04-20-2010)
Power of Attorney

  1. A power of attorney is a taxpayer's written authorization for an individual to perform certain specified acts on the taxpayer's behalf.

  2. The power of attorney must provide:

    1. Name and mailing address of the represented party;

    2. Identification number of the represented party (i.e., social security number and/or employer identification number);

    3. Employee plan number (if applicable);

    4. Name and address of the recognized representative(s);

    5. Description of the matter(s) for which representation is authorized ;

    6. A clear expression of the taxpayer’s intention concerning the scope of authority granted to the recognized representative(s); and

    7. Declaration of Representative.

  3. Unless limited by the taxpayer, the authorized individual generally can:

    1. Negotiate with the IRS on behalf of the taxpayer

    2. Advocate the taxpayer’s position to IRS official or employees

    3. Offer or execute a waiver of restriction on assessment or collection of a deficiency in tax

    4. Offer or execute a waiver of notice of claim disallowance

    5. Execute a consent to extend the period of assessment or collection of tax

    6. Execute a closing agreement

    7. Receive, but not endorse, a check drawn on the United States Treasury with respect to a tax

    8. Sign a tax return

  4. The authority granted to an unenrolled return preparer cannot exceed that allowed under the special rules of limited practice described in Revenue Procedure 81-38, 1981-2 C.B. 592.

4.11.55.1.4.1  (04-20-2010)
Special Situations

  1. This subsection describes power of attorney (POA) requirements under special situations, including special language that may be required to be included in the Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative..

4.11.55.1.4.1.1  (04-20-2010)
TEFRA Examinations

  1. A Tax Matters Person (TMP) may appoint an attorney-in-fact to represent the TEFRA entity partners before the IRS and to perform various acts on their behalf. However, it is recommended that the IRS obtain the signature of the TMP for the execution of certain legally significant documents. The term legally significant documents include, but is not limited to:

    • A settlement agreement entered into pursuant to IRC section 6224(c)(3) that is intended to bind non-notice partners, including a formal closing agreement under IRC section 7121; and

    • An extension of the limitation period for assessment with respect to the entity items.

  2. Other situations in which it is necessary to deal directly with the duly designated TMP rather than the POA include, but are not limited to, the mailing of required notices, such as NBAP or FPAA. However, a copy of the notice will also be mailed to the POA, though it should not be sent via certified mail.

  3. Form 2848 should be completed as follows:

    1. The TMP should execute the Form 2848 in his/her capacity as TMP;

    2. The name and address of the entity should be clearly set forth;

    3. Under the heading "Type of Tax" insert " TEFRA partnership proceedings" ; and

    4. Under the heading "Federal Tax Form Number" , enter "1065 and consequential adjustments" .

  4. The POA for a TEFRA entity becomes null and void upon the death of the duly designated TMP. A new TMP must be designated and a new Form 2848 executed.

  5. A Form 2848 for a TEFRA investor must specifically identify the TEFRA entity by name.

  6. If the representative is going to represent the TEFRA investor (partner) with respect to TEFRA-related issues, to include signing a consent to extend the period of time for assessment or waiver of restriction on assessment which covers TEFRA partnership items and/or affected items, then Form 2848, Part 1, Line 5 must specifically state that the acts authorized by the Form 2848 include representation for purposes of Subchapter C of Chapter 63 of the Internal Revenue Code and identify the entity by name. See Treas. Reg. section 301.6223(c)-1(e).

    Note:

    Correspondence may only be sent to a TEFRA investor's POA if the Form 2848 meets the requirements of Treas. Reg. section 301.6223(c)-1(e). This identification is in addition to the regular taxpayer identification by name, address, SSN, and tax year of the investor.

  7. No TEFRA letters (i.e., 60-day letter, FPAA) may be issued to a TEFRA investor's POA unless the TEFRA entity issue is specifically stated on the Form 2848. The partnership control system (PCS) will not generate any PCS letters to anyone listed on the CAF. No other system should be used to generate any PCS letters to a taxpayer's POA unless the specific TEFRA issue being examined is specifically stated on the Form 2848.

4.11.55.1.4.1.2  (01-15-2005)
Representative Appointing Another Representative

  1. A representative can substitute a representative or delegate authority to another representative if the taxpayer specifies this on Line 5 of Form 2848.

  2. Title 26 CFR 601.505 provides procedures for a taxpayer or a representative in revoking, changing, substituting or delegating a representative.

4.11.55.1.4.1.3  (04-20-2010)
Signature of the Representative(s)

  1. The Form 2848 should be signed by each of the representatives listed on the form.

  2. If more than one representative is shown, but only one representative signed the declaration, the power of attorney is valid only for the signing representative.

  3. If the tax periods are changed or new ones are added on Page 1 of the Form 2848, then a new page 2 of the Form 2848 is required with the signature of the taxpayer. See IRM 4.11.55.1.4.1.6.

    Note:

    The Form 2848 cannot be modified without written taxpayer approval. Therefore, if any modification is made Form 2848, the taxpayer must re-sign page 2 after the modification or you must secure a new Form 2848.

4.11.55.1.4.1.4  (04-20-2010)
Representative of a Decedent Appointing a Representative

  1. The personal representative of a decedent's estate may appoint a different representative. Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship , and a copy of the letters of administration, trust agreement, letters testamentary or court order must be attached to the POA whenever the signature is that of an administrator, executor, trustee, or other fiduciary.

4.11.55.1.4.1.5  (04-20-2010)
Representative Calls the Examiner Without a POA

  1. If a preparer, CPA, attorney, or enrolled agent calls to make an appointment or to discuss a case and the IRS does not have a Form 2848 on file, the examiner must NOT discuss the examination, including acknowledging that an examination is underway or schedule an appointment with the individual before a Form 2848 is received to avoid any possibility of an unauthorized disclosure. To facilitate the process, examiners should remind representatives that a Form 2848 can be sent by FAX.

  2. If the taxpayer's representative calls to obtain taxpayer account or return information, the examiner must ensure that he/she is, in fact, speaking with the representative designated on the Form 2848 by asking for the taxpayer's name and TIN, and representative's name and identification number.

  3. The CAF system should also be reviewed to determine the extent of the authority of the third party requester to receive information.

4.11.55.1.4.1.6  (04-20-2010)
Picking Up Additional Periods Not Covered On the POA

  1. The examiner should notify the taxpayer if the scope of the examination is expanded to include additional tax periods. Consequently, the taxpayer should be given time to secure a POA to cover the additional periods before any examination action is taken on those periods.

4.11.55.1.4.2  (04-20-2010)
POA Not Required

  1. A POA is not always required when working with a third party.

    Example:

    A third party may provide information to the IRS without a POA. ( See IRM 4.11.55.1.5.)

4.11.55.1.4.2.1  (04-20-2010)
Witness

  1. Under Rev. Proc. 68-29, the taxpayer also has the right in cases involving issues or controversies to have any person who has knowledge of pertinent facts accompany him or his duly authorized representative to conferences. However, if the IRS employee plans to discuss return or return information at the conference, the taxpayer must provide the IRS with a disclosure authorization for the witness.

4.11.55.1.4.2.2  (01-15-2005)
Tax Matters Partner

  1. A tax matters partner or person is not required to file a power of attorney to perform various acts on behalf of the partnership or subchapter S corporation.

4.11.55.1.4.2.3  (01-15-2005)
Fiduciary

  1. A fiduciary (trustee, executor, administrator, receiver or guardian) of a taxpayer is deemed to be the taxpayer and thus, is not required to file a power of attorney. However, a fiduciary must file Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, to notify the IRS of the fiduciary relationship.

4.11.55.1.4.2.4  (04-20-2010)
Verbal Requests

  1. The IRS is allowed under Treas. Reg. section 301.6103(c)-1(c)(2), [26 CFR 301.6103(c)-1] to discuss with a third party designee, tax return or return information after receiving a taxpayer's non-written (oral) consent.

  2. These regulations also clarify that the taxpayer can verbally approve IRS disclosures to someone who accompanies the taxpayer at in-person meetings with the IRS, or someone participating in a telephone conversation.

    Note:

    It is no longer necessary for the taxpayer to stay in the room or on the telephone after giving a verbal authorization to disclose his or her return information. The designee does not have to be present or on the telephone when the taxpayer gives consent.

  3. Examiners must confirm the identity of the taxpayer, the identity of the designee and the date, nature, and extent of the assistance requested. The designee might be a friend, relative, witness, or translator.

  4. Details of the oral consent should be recorded on the case history sheet. Verbal requests or consent for disclosure DO NOT take the place of a POA to represent the taxpayer before the IRS.

4.11.55.1.4.2.5  (04-20-2010)
Third Party Designee - Form 1040

  1. A taxpayer can authorize the IRS to discuss a return with a friend, family member, or any other person if the "Yes" box in the third party designee area of the tax return was checked and the required information was provided.

  2. The authorization allows the designee to:

    1. Give the IRS information missing from the taxpayer’s return,

    2. Call the IRS for information about the processing of the taxpayer’s return, or the status of a refund or payment(s),

    3. Receive copies of notices or transcripts related to your return, upon request, and

    4. Respond to certain IRS notices about math errors, offsets, and return preparation.

  3. The designee cannot receive refund checks, bind the taxpayer to any agreements, or represent the taxpayer before the IRS.

  4. The authorization cannot be revoked, but will automatically terminate no later than the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing the subsequent tax year’s return.

    Example:

    If an individual checks the box on his/her 2008 Form 1040, U. S. Individual Income Tax Return, to appoint a third party designee, the designation expired on April 15, 2010.

4.11.55.1.5  (04-20-2010)
Tax Information Authorization

  1. A tax information authorization (TIA) is a disclosure authorization that conforms to the requirements of IRC section 6103.

  2. Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, authorizes any individual, corporation, firm or partnership the taxpayer designates to inspect and/or receive confidential information in any office of the IRS for the type of tax matters listed on the form. ( See IRM 4.11.55.1.7.2.)

  3. Use of Form 8821 itself is not mandatory; however, this is the only TIA that will be processed to the CAF. Authorizations not on Form 8821 will be accepted for release of information, provided they conform to IRC section 6103 requirements. A copy of the non-IRS TIA document should be retained in the case file.

  4. An appointee cannot sign a closing agreement or tax return, or receive a refund check.

4.11.55.1.6  (01-15-2005)
Individual Authorized to Sign POA

  1. The signature of the taxpayer is required in order to appoint a representative. The person required to sign the POA is dependent upon the type of entity involved.

4.11.55.1.6.1  (04-20-2010)
Joint Tax Return

  1. When only one party of a joint return desires to execute a power of attorney, only one name should be shown on the POA.

  2. If both names are shown on Line 1 but only one spouse signs the form, the non-signing spouse's name should be lined out. The absence of the signature of one spouse on the POA will not prevent the IRS from recognizing the signing spouse's representative.

    Caution:

    The POA does not represent the non-signing spouse. Thus, the representative may not bind the non-signing spouse and cannot execute documents, including a waiver of restrictions on assessment or a consent extending the statutory period for assessment for the non-signing spouse.

  3. If a joint return was filed, the taxpayers may each have his/her own representative. When this occurs, two separate POAs would be filed.

4.11.55.1.6.2  (04-20-2010)
TEFRA Partnership or S-Corporation

  1. The TMP (Tax Matters Partner/Person) of a TEFRA partnership or S-Corporation may sign the POA. The TMP should be carefully determined per IRC section 6231(a)(7) and the related Treasury Regulations. A general partner may also sign a POA, but the POA will only give the designated representative limited powers.

4.11.55.1.6.3  (04-20-2010)
Partnership

  1. The POA must be signed by a general partner duly authorized to act for the partnership. See Form 2848 instructions, Publication 216, Conference and Practice Requirements, and Treas. Reg. section 601.504(b)(1)(iii), [26 CFR 601.504]

4.11.55.1.6.4  (04-20-2010)
Corporation

  1. The POA is to be signed by an officer of the corporation having authority to bind the corporation. See Form 2848 instructions and section 601.504(b)(1)(iv) of the Conference and Practice Requirements Statement of Procedural Rules, [26 CFR 601.504] which are reprinted in Publication 216.

4.11.55.1.7  (04-20-2010)
Authorized Forms

  1. The IRS has available forms that a taxpayer can use to designate a representative or provide tax information authorization.

4.11.55.1.7.1  (04-20-2010)
Form 2848 - Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

  1. A Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, is used by a taxpayer to appoint a representative to perform specified acts on behalf of the taxpayer. Instructions for Form 2848 provide line by line instructions for completing the Form 2848. Also, Form 2848 is used to appoint an unenrolled return preparer to represent a taxpayer in limited circumstances. Therefore, examiners must ensure that the unenrolled return preparer identified on the Form 2848 with an " h" designation actually prepared the return.

  2. In order to process, the Form 2848 must contain:

    1. The taxpayer’s identity,

    2. The identity of the designee,

    3. The type of tax or tax form number,

    4. Tax periods,

    5. The taxpayers dated signature, AND

    6. The representative(s) designation, jurisdiction, and dated signature.

    Note:

    The use of terms such as "all years" or "all taxes" are not acceptable.

  3. The representative must complete Part II, "Declaration of Representative" of Form 2848.

    Caution:

    As of March 2004, the IRS no longer accepts Form 2848 signed by an individual not qualified to sign Part II of this form as authority for that individual to receive tax information.

  4. Form 2848 is valid for only the types of tax, tax forms, tax periods, and tax matters that the taxpayer specifies.

  5. Only a specific designated individual or individuals may represent the taxpayer. A firm or corporation cannot be designated a representative.

  6. In order for the representative to receive refund checks, sign returns, or appoint other representatives, Form 2848 must specifically state this authority in the entity information section.

  7. Form 2848 allows taxpayers to limit powers of their representative. The taxpayer may cross out any authorities that they do not want to grant to their representative on the form.

  8. All POAs should use the latest revision of the applicable form.

4.11.55.1.7.2  (04-20-2010)
Form 8821 - Tax Information Authorization

  1. Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, allows taxpayers to authorize individuals, corporations, firms, organizations, or partnerships to inspect and/or receive confidential tax information.

  2. Form 8821 is used only to authorize an individual to receive and inspect confidential tax return information of the taxpayer. It cannot be used to appoint a representative. If Form 8821 is for a joint return, only one spouse's signature is necessary.

  3. Form 8821 is valid only for the types of tax, tax forms, tax periods, and tax matters the taxpayer specifies on the form.

  4. In order to process, Form 8821 must contain:

    1. The taxpayer’s identity,

    2. The identity of the designee,

    3. Sufficient information to determine the tax return, or portion thereof, or tax return information to be disclosed, and

    4. The taxpayer’s signature and date.

    Note:

    The use of terms such as "all years" or "all taxes " are not acceptable. In estate matters, the decedent's date of death must be included on Form 8821.

  5. If any of the above items are missing, the Form 8821 is invalid. The taxpayer must make any additions/corrections to the Form 8821. This may be accomplished through face to face contact or correspondence with the taxpayer.

4.11.55.1.7.3  (04-20-2010)
Non-IRS Power of Attorney Document

  1. The IRS will accept a non-IRS POA document. A completed transmittal Form 2848 must be attached in order for the non-IRS POA document to be processed to the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) system. If a non-IRS POA document is used, it must contain the following information:

    1. The taxpayer's name and mailing address

    2. The taxpayer's social security number and/or employer identification number

    3. The taxpayer's employee plan number, if applicable

    4. The name and mailing address of the representative

    5. The type(s) of tax involved (i.e., income)

    6. The federal tax form number

    7. The specific year(s) or period(s) involved

    8. For estate tax matters, the decedent's date of death

    9. A clear expression of the taxpayer's intent concerning the scope of authority granted to the representative

    10. The taxpayer's signature and date

  2. A signed and dated statement made by the representative should also be attached to the non-IRS POA document. The statement must contain the same declarations contained in Part II of Form 2848.

4.11.55.1.8  (04-20-2010)
Receipt of POA or TIA Form

  1. Upon receipt of a POA (Form 2848) or TIA (Form 8821), the employee must ensure that all required elements are properly completed and the form must be date stamped.

    Note:

    Only documents which concern a tax period that ends no later than three years after the date a POA is received by the IRS will be processed to the CAF.

  2. Form 2848 or Form 8821 may be a FAX or a copy. If there are questions concerning forgery or its validity, the representative could be required to produce the original.

4.11.55.1.8.1  (04-20-2010)
Missing or Incorrect Information on Form 2848 or Form 8821

  1. A complete Form 2848 or Form 8821 with accurate information must be provided to the IRS before the representative or party designated to receive tax information is recognized in their respective capacities and before the forms are submitted to the CAF.

4.11.55.1.8.2  (04-20-2010)
Processing of the POA

  1. When a determination is made that the POA or TIA is valid and can be processed to CAF, the employee should take the following actions:

    1. Enter the name, telephone number, function of the person reviewing the POA or TIA, and the date of the review in the space provided on the first page;

    2. Fax a copy of the POA or TIA to the appropriate campus based on the "Where-to-File" chart contained in Instructions for Form 2848, or other instructions issued by the applicable business operating division. Campus fax numbers and addresses are provided in IRM 21.3.7.1.6.

    3. Note across the top of page 1 "Faxed to (Appropriate Campus) on (Date)" .

  2. Document the case activity record (Form 9984 or RGS equivalent) with the receipt and processing of the POA or TIA.

  3. The examiner should keep the original POA or TIA in the case file attached to the back of the first page of the return. If the POA or TIA covers more than one year, copies should be made and attached to all returns that the POA or TIA covers. A copy of subsequent POAs should be stapled to the top of the prior POAs in the same manner.

  4. The receipt, review, and forwarding of the POA or TIA to the CAF Unit must be completed within five workdays of the IRS receipt date.

    Note:

    Only documents which concern a tax period that ends no later than three years after the date a POA is received by the IRS will be processed to the CAF.

4.11.55.1.8.3  (04-20-2010)
POAs Received for Specific Issues

  1. POAs filed for specific issues are NOT to be detached from the related document that is sent to the CAF function in the Campus.

    Exception:

    The document authorizes recognition for a return in addition to the specific issue. In this case a copy of the original POA or TIA should be sent to the CAF function.

  2. Examples of specific issues are provided in IRM 21.3.7.9.15.


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