Form 2848: IRS Power of Attorney

Any tax form can be intimidating if you don’t know where or how to get started and what it’s used for. Fortunately, we’ve outlined the details of IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you and how to file it correctly. Use the links below to skip to a specific section or keep reading for a closer look at Form 2848:

What Is IRS Form 2848?

IRS Form 2848 is a document provided by the IRS that authorizes an individual to appear before them on your behalf. Due to federal laws, the IRS is required to keep your taxpayer information confidential, so Form 2848 must be filed and approved before anyone else may inquire about your taxes or receive them. For an individual to be granted this authority, they must be an eligible representative. This includes:

  • Attorneys
  • Certified public accountants (CPA)
  • Enrolled actuaries
  • Enrolled agents
  • Company partners and employees

If you want to grant someone access to your private tax return information, but don’t need their representation, then file Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization.

What Is Form 2848 Used For?

There are numerous situations in which you would need to give an individual power of attorney (POA) using Form 2848. Here are a few of the most common examples:

  • If you’re audited by the IRS, granting a CPA access to your sensitive tax information would be beneficial because they’ll handle the situation with theauditor
  • A family member could be given IRS POA to access your taxes if you have a medical condition that hinders your ability to communicate
  • Lawyers can discuss and negotiate paying off any tax liabilities with the IRS on your behalf once authorized by Form 2848

Additionally, there are situations, such as being injured, experiencing a disease, or traveling outside of the United States, that would allow authorized tax professionals to sign your tax return.

What Is an IRS Power of Attorney?

A POA is a document that grants an agent or third party the legal right to act on your behalf. The situations and context in which the agent can act are contingent upon what is specified in the form.

For example, a third party who is granted power of attorney to make medical decisions for the principal (someone who has granted power of attorney), cannot also make financial decisions unless specified in the IRS POA document.

For financial and tax-related purposes, an IRS Power of Attorney Form 2848 may be drafted so that an agent may make tax-related decisions on someone else’s behalf with the IRS.

Who Can Be Granted Power of Attorney?

Many people may be an authorized representative on IRS Power of Attorneys, including a family member. However, it’s a good idea to select a credentialed tax professional such as an attorney, CPA, or Enrolled Agent who can represent a client before any department of the IRS.

It’s important to note that an unenrolled tax preparer can only represent clients before auditors and customer service representatives when discussing tax returns they prepared.

How Do I File Form 2848?

Form 2848 is the form that will need to be filed in order to create an IRS POA. The form is broken into 7 different sections that establish the various aspects of the agreement. Here’s a brief description of the Form 2848 instructions:

  • Section 1 (Taxpayer Information): In this section, you will provide your name, contact information, Social Security number, and tax ID number.
  • Section 2 (Representatives): This section will ask you to identify the individual(s) that will represent you. Up to four different individuals may be selected; their names, addresses, telephone, and fax numbers will be required as well. Representatives also need to include any CAF numbers or PTIN assigned by the IRS. Check the box at the bottom of the form if you would like your representatives to receive all copies of the documents the IRS sends.
    IRS Form 2848
  • Section 3 (Acts Authorized): Section 3 specifically states the issues that the authorized individual may handle. You are required to describe the nature of the issues, the types of forms involved, and the periods of time you will give the representatives authority. After the period of time has expired you will need to file a new form to extend it.
  • Section 4 (CAF): CAF stands for centralized authorization file—this is where the IRS typically records all of its power of attorney agreements. There are certain uses for the IRS power of attorney agreement that does not require CAF such as a private letter ruling.
  • Section 5 (Authorized Acts): This section provides a detailed account of the acts you’ll allow your representative(s) to perform and the acts that they cannot.
    • Section 5(a): This will allow for your representatives to appoint other third parties to perform acts on your behalf.
      IRS Form 2848
    • Section 5(b): The “Specific Acts Not Authorized” section explicitly states what your representatives cannot do on your behalf.
  • Section 6 (Retention/Revocation of Prior POA): When you file Form 2848, it automatically revokes and overrides any previously filed 2848 Forms that include the same issues and time periods specified on the new form. If you wish to retain a prior power of attorney, you would check this section and include a copy of the 2848 you wish to retain.
  • Section 7(Signatures): Finally, the form must be signed; if your spouse needs representation too, then your spouse must also fill out and sign their own Form 2848.

The best thing to do is to go through this form with a licensed tax professional so that the document is airtight and performs the exact duties you want it to. Granting power of attorney to someone, whether they are a loved one or tax professional, is a delicate and sensitive process. You don’t want to give too much or too little power—one way to avoid this is to have a CPA, Enrolled Agent, or tax attorney review your form before your file.

How To File Form 2848 Electronically

The IRS provides you with an easy and safe way to file Form 2848 electronically. Simply visit their online portal and log in using your Secure Access username, password, and security code. If you don’t have this, you’ll have to create an account.

The system will then prompt you to answer a few questions about the form you plan to submit. Note that only one form can be filed at a time. Once it verifies you and the information provided, you’ll be able to upload your signed POA Form 2848.

After you submit your documents, you’ll be sent a confirmation number to the email address you provided to the IRS. Do not file online if you’re planning on mailing or faxing Form 2848. Duplicate submissions will not get your form returned faster.

Before uploading your document, here are a few things to double-check:

  • Verify the identity of the individual you’re granting POA to
  • Make sure electronic signatures, yours and of those involved, are valid
  • Have your device ready to receive the two-factor authentication code provided by the system

Where To Mail Form 2848

If you decide to fill out a physical copy of Form 2848, you’ll have to submit it to the right IRS address. The IRS provides the following chart to help you determine where to file your completed Form 2848:

If you’re located in: Then send Form 2848 to the following address: Or fax to the following number:
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, or West Virginia Internal Revenue Service 5333 Getwell Road Stop 8423 Memphis, TN 38118 855-214-7519
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, or Wyoming Internal Revenue Service 1973 Rulon White Blvd., MS 6737 Ogden, UT 84201 855-214-7522
All APO and FPO addresses, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, a foreign country, or otherwise outside the United States. Internal Revenue Service International CAF Team 2970 Market Street MS: 4-H14.123. Philadelphia, PA 19104 855-772-3156 (Inside the United States)
304-707-9785 (Outside the United States)

Remember, the information stated above can change without notice. Frequently check the IRS Form 2848 page for the latest updates.

How To Revoke a Power of Attorney

If you need to revoke an IRS power of attorney agreement or withdraw a representative, you must first write “REVOKE” across the top of the first page and include a signature and date below the annotation. Then, you will need to mail or fax a copy of the document to the IRS.

If you need to file a Form 2848 with the IRS, Community Tax has the tools and resources to assist you. You should never file a document as important as Form 2848 without first having a tax professional examine and approve it first. The team at Community Tax is ready to help you, call us today at (844) 328-5857.

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