As a taxpayer, you have several different ways of authorizing a representative to talk to the IRS on your behalf. In most cases, there needs to be written permission to do so, but there are many different forms that can be used to allow certain actions on your behalf. Below is a summary of the most common authorization forms and what they allow the representative to do for you.
Form 2848 – Power of Attorney
- Can be used by CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents
- Allows the representative to receive a copy of any notices sent to you by the IRS
- Allows the representative to pull IRS transcripts to aid in preparation of tax returns
- Authorizations include audit and appeal items, tax return items, collection issues, and penalty abatement requests
- You can also give the representative permission to substitute or add representatives as well as sign a return on your behalf
Form 8821 – Tax Information Authorization
- Can be used by an individual or a firm – if used by a firm, any employee in the firm can access the information
- Allows representative to receive and discuss your information
- Allows representative to receive copies of your transcript
- Does not allow the representative to advocate a tax position, execute waivers or closing agreements, or represent the taxpayer before the IRS
Form 4506-T – Request for Transcript of Tax Return
- Allows the representative to receive a copy of the tax transcript only
- The form must be mailed to different locations based on your residency
- The transcript will be mailed to your address, not directly to the representative
Form 56 – Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship
- Notifies the IRS of creation or termination of a fiduciary relationship
- Commonly used if you or a loved one dies or becomes severely disabled
- Filed with the current year tax return and often gets filed with a power of attorney
These forms can all be mailed or faxed to the IRS, but you need to look online to find the correct location to send them to. Form 2848 and Form 8821 can also be submitted online if the representative has a secure online account with the IRS. Before sending in any form, make sure it is fully completed with all applicable lines signed, dated, and filled out to ensure the form is accepted by the IRS.
If you have any questions, contact your Henry+Horne advisor for more information.
KC Kolb, CPA