Topic 312 - Disclosure Authorizations

You can allow the IRS to discuss your tax return information with a third party by completing the Third Party Designee section of your tax return, often referred to as "Checkbox Authority." This will allow the IRS to discuss the processing of your current tax return, including the status of tax refunds, with the person you designate. This authorization is limited to matters concerning the processing of the tax return containing the completed Third Party Designee section. For more information regarding third party designee, see the instructions to the individual income tax return you are filing. This does not replace the Form 2848 (PDF), Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or Form 8821 (PDF), Tax Information Authorization. For more information on powers of attorney and Form 2848, refer to Topic 311 and to Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

You can use Form 8821 to allow discussions with third parties and disclosure of information to third parties on matters other than just the processing of your current tax return. You cannot use Form 8821 to name an individual to represent you before the IRS. For information on how to designate someone to represent you before the IRS, refer to Topic 311 and Publication 947.

In certain circumstances, the IRS can also accept oral authorization from taxpayers to discuss their confidential tax return information with a third party. For example, if you bring a third party to an interview with the IRS or involve a third party in a telephone conversation with the IRS, the IRS can disclose your confidential tax return information to that third party after confirming your identity and the identity of the third party, as well as confirming with you the issue or matters to be discussed to enable the third party to assist you and determine what confidential tax return information the IRS needs to disclose. An oral authorization is limited to the conversation in which the taxpayer provides such authorization and it is automatically revoked once the conversation has ended. The IRS cannot discuss confidential tax return information with a third party until it receives a new authorization.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: January 27, 2015