Frequently Asked Questions: Deceased Tax Professionals


When a tax professional dies, what actions should be taken to close out their IRS authorities?

The Return Preparer Office checks the National Accounts Profile (NAP) monthly and changes Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) statuses to “deceased” as appropriate. There is no need to notify the Return Preparer Office when a PTIN holder is deceased.

To close out a deceased tax professional’s Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number, a surviving member of the professional’s firm/business or - in the event of a sole proprietor or single member LLC, the executor of that person’s estate - must send a written request (fax or mail) to the CAF unit identified in the ‘Where to File” chart on Form 2848 and Form 8821 instructions.  Once the CAF function receives the notice of the deceased tax professional in writing, action is taken to mark the CAF # owner as deceased. This action nullifies any and all authorizations listed on the CAF for the decedent.

To close out a deceased tax professional's EIN, follow the directions for Canceling an EIN - Closing Your Account.  For closing out a business filing requirements see Closing a Business, and for closing out the individual 1040 filing requirements of a decedent see Deceased Persons – Filing the Final Return(s) of a Deceased Person. For information on disclosure or use of taxpayer information upon the death of a tax professional see Information for Tax Professionals.

For e-file provider privileges and an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN), if there are more Principals on the application, they can remove the deceased individual from the application. If the death of this individual changes the structure of the business, the EFIN location must be closed and a new application submitted with the new structure indicated. If the business is a sole-proprietorship with only one person on the application, the fiduciary (personal representative, executor, or estate administrator) can contact e-Help at 866-255-0654 to have the individual removed and the location closed. Documentation proving that the individual is deceased is required.

What should be done with taxpayer information received from a deceased tax professional?

Personal representatives (including executors, administrators, and anyone else appointed or authorized to dispose of the decedent’s property) and heirs of a deceased tax professional, acting for the estate of a deceased tax professional who operate or sell a decedent’s tax return preparation business are subject to the same use and disclosure laws as the decedent. See Section 7216 Information Center for more information.

Personal representatives and heirs of a deceased tax professional should safeguard any taxpayer information they receive from or in connection with the decedent’s estate. For general guidance on safeguarding taxpayer information, see IRS Publication 4600, Safeguarding Taxpayer Information (Quick Reference Guide for Business)PDF, and Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data (A Guide for Your Business)PDF.

For more specific guidance, please consult legal counsel.