Power of Attorney and Other Authorizations

 

You can grant a third party authorization to help you with federal tax matters. The third party can be a family member or friend, a tax professional, attorney or business, depending on the authorization.

There are different types of third party authorizations:

  • Power of Attorney - Allow someone to represent you in tax matters before the IRS. Your representative must be an individual authorized to practice before the IRS.
  • Tax Information Authorization - Appoint anyone to review and/or receive your confidential tax information for the type of tax and years/periods you determine.
  • Third Party Designee - Designate a person on your tax form to discuss that specific tax return and year with the IRS. 
  • Oral Disclosure - Authorize the IRS to disclose your tax information to a person you bring into a phone conversation or meeting with us about a specific tax issue. 

You still must meet your tax obligations when you authorize someone to represent you.

Power of Attorney

You have the right to represent yourself before the IRS. You may also authorize someone to represent you before the IRS in connection with a federal tax matter. This authorization is called Power of Attorney.

With Power of Attorney, the authorized person can:

  • Represent, advocate, negotiate and sign on your behalf,
  • Argue facts and the application of law,
  • Receive your tax information for the matters and tax years/periods you specify, and
  • Receive copies of IRS notices and communications if you choose.

For details, see: Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

Your representative must be an individual eligible to practice before the IRS. This includes:

  • Attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents 
  • Enrolled retirement plan agents and enrolled actuaries with respect to Internal Revenue Code sections described in Circular 230
  • Unenrolled return preparers, family members, employees and students under special and limited circumstances.​​​​

For details, see: Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

If You Have a Low Income or Speak English as a Second Language

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and may be able to help you. LITCs represent eligible taxpayers before the IRS and in court. To locate a clinic near you, use the Taxpayer Advocate Service LITC Finder, check Publication 4134,  Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List, or call 800-829-3676.

Power of Attorney must be authorized with your signature. Here’s how to do it:

Your authorization for Power of Attorney is recorded on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) unless Line 4, Specific Use is checked. The record lets IRS assistors verify your permission to speak with your representative about your private tax-related information.

Power of Attorney stays in effect until you revoke the authorization or your representative withdraws it.

How to Revoke Authorization

When you revoke Power of Attorney, your representative will no longer receive your confidential tax information or represent you before the IRS for the matters and periods listed in the authorization.

There are 2 ways to revoke a Power of Attorney authorization:

  1. Authorize Power of Attorney for a new representative for the same tax matters and periods/years. A new authorization will automatically revoke the prior authorization.
  2. Send a revocation to the IRS. Follow Revocation Instructions, Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.

Tax Information Authorization

A Tax Information Authorization lets you:

  • Appoint a designee to review and/or receive your confidential information verbally or in writing for the tax matters and years/periods you specify.
  • Disclose your tax information for a purpose other than resolving a tax matter. For example: Income verification required by a lender or a background check.

For details, see: Form 8821 Tax Information Authorization.

In a Tax Information Authorization, you can appoint as your designee any:

  • Individual
  • Corporation
  • Firm
  • Organization
  • Partnership

For details, see: Instructions for Form 8821

You can grant Tax Information Authorization with your signature:

You can also grant oral Tax Information Authorization by calling the IRS.

​​​​​If you grant oral authorization and want your designee to receive copies of IRS notices and communications, you must make it known on the phone call.

Your Tax Information Authorization is recorded on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) unless Line 4, Specific Use is checked. The record lets IRS assistors verify your permission to speak with your representative about your private tax-related information.

Tax Information Authorization stays in effect until you revoke the authorization or your designee withdraws it.

How to Revoke Authorization

When you revoke Tax Information Authorization, your designee will no longer receive your confidential tax information for the matters and periods listed in the authorization.

There are 2 ways to revoke a Tax Information Authorization:

  1. Authorize Tax Information Authorization for a new designee for the same tax matters and periods/years. A new authorization will automatically revoke a prior authorization.
  2. Send a revocation to the IRS. Follow Revocation Instructions, Form 2848, Tax Information Authorization.

    Third Party Designee

    You can appoint on your tax form a person the IRS can contact about your tax return. This authorizes the IRS to call the designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of your return.

    A Third Party Designee can also:

    • Give the IRS any information that is missing from your tax return;
    • Call the IRS for information about the processing of your return or the status of your refund or payment(s);
    • Receive copies of notices or transcripts related to your return, upon request; and
    • Respond to certain IRS notices about math errors, offsets, and return preparation.

    Authority is limited to the specific tax form, period of the return and issues related to processing that specific return. 

    You can authorize your tax preparer, a friend, a family member, or any other person you choose as a third party designee.

    Check the “Yes” box and enter information on your designee in the “Third Party Designee” area of your tax return:

    • Individual - Form 1040 series (except amended returns)
    • Business - Forms 94X series and Forms 720, 1041, 1120, 2290 and CT-1

    Get details in the instructions to your tax form. Find forms and instructions.

    Your authorization of a third party designee is maintained in your tax record. This lets IRS assistors verify your permission to speak with your representative about your private tax-related information.

    This authorization automatically expires one year from the due date of the tax return (not counting extensions).

    Oral Disclosure

    If you bring another person into a phone conversation or an interview with the IRS, you can grant authorization for the IRS to disclose your confidential tax information to that third party.

    An oral authorization is limited to the conversation in which you provide the authorization.

    You can authorize your tax preparer, a friend, a family member, or any other person you choose to receive oral disclosure during a conversation with the IRS.

    After you state that you wish to authorize oral disclosure of your tax information to a third party during the conversation with us, we confirm:

    • Your identity and the identity of the third party,
    • The issues or matters to discuss, and
    • The tax return information we may disclose to allow the third party to assist you.

    Your authorization for oral disclosure during the conversation is recorded on your tax account.

    Unless you state 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 we receive a new authorization from you.

    If continued communication with your designated third party is necessary, consider granting a Tax Information Authorization.