Topic No. 312 Disclosure Authorizations

Checkbox Authority

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. The third party designee authority only lasts one year from the due date of the return, except for Form 709 which expires three years from the date of filing. For more information regarding third party designee, see the instructions to the individual income or business tax return you're filing.

This "Checkbox Authority" does not replace Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative (PDF) PDF or Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization (PDF) PDF. For more information on powers of attorney and Form 2848, refer to Topic No. 311 and to Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

Tax Information Authorization

You can use Form 8821 to allow the IRS to discuss your tax matters with designated third parties and, where necessary, to disclose your confidential tax return information to those designated third parties on matters other than just the processing of your current tax return. For example, this authorization allows a person you designate to access tax information needed for a background check or for applying for a loan. You cannot, however, use Form 8821 to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. For information on how to designate someone to represent you before the IRS, refer to Topic No. 311 and Publication 947.

Oral Authorization

In certain circumstances, the IRS can accept oral authorization from taxpayers to discuss their confidential tax return information with third parties. For example, if you bring another person with you, such as your return preparer, to an interview with the IRS or involve another person 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 issues or matters to be discussed and what confidential tax return information the IRS may disclose in order to enable the third party to assist you. An oral authorization is limited to the conversation in which the taxpayer provides the authorization. Unless it is stated otherwise, the oral authorization is automatically revoked once the conversation has ended. The IRS cannot subsequently discuss your confidential tax return information with any third party until it receives a new authorization from you. Form 8821 can be used for your authorization to disclose your confidential tax return information in situations where continued communication with your designated third party is necessary.