All taxpayers should know the types of authorizations for third-party representatives

IRS Tax Tip 2022-145, September 21, 2022

When working with the IRS, taxpayers have a right to represent themselves. They can also choose a third-party agent to represent them, like a tax professional or family member. Taxpayers should be sure that their representative is authorized to practice before the IRS.

Taxpayers who want to have a third party represent them must formally grant them permission to do so.

Here are different types of third-party authorizations:

  • Power of Attorney – Allows someone to represent a taxpayer in tax matters before the IRS. The representative must be an individual authorized to practice before the IRS.
  • Tax Information Authorization – Appoints anyone to review or receive a taxpayer's confidential tax information for the type of tax for a specified period.
  • Third Party Designee – Designates a person on the taxpayer's tax form to discuss that specific tax return and year with the IRS.
  • Oral Disclosure – Authorizes the IRS to disclose the taxpayer's tax info to a person the taxpayer brings into a phone call or meeting with the IRS about a specific tax issue. 

Even with an authorized third party representing them, taxpayers are ultimately responsible for meeting their tax obligations.

Low income representation

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics are independent from the Internal Revenue Service and the Taxpayer Advocate Service. LITCs represent individuals with income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. These clinics can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages. Services are free or may cost a small fee.

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