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Instructions For Form 2848

The tax information of every American citizen is confidential. Your full name, current address, date of birth, and Social Security number are all very sensitive personal data found on your taxes. You should only share this information if you must. If you do share it, ensure the person is highly trustworthy. 

The IRS takes great lengths to protect your personal tax information. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is an extremely important document that defines the fundamental rights that every taxpayer is entitled to. 

The Right to Confidentiality is included in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and is crucial to maintaining the public’s trust in the IRS. This core principle states that the IRS will not disclose any tax information unless specifically authorized to do so by the taxpayer or by law. 

In order to allow your information to be disclosed by the IRS, you’ll need to file Form 2848. This Form permits tax attorneys and other professionals to access your confidential tax information.  

What Is Form 2848?

The official title of Form 2848 is the “Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.” By filling out this form, you will be allowing a third party to receive access to your tax information and speak on your behalf in front of the IRS. 

It’s common for a child to use this Form when a parent is no longer competent enough to represent themselves. You would also need to file this form if you hired a tax attorney to help you with audits, tax liens, appeals, or other issues with the IRS. 

It’s important to note that this authorization doesn’t relieve you of any tax obligations. Instead, the power granted by Form 2848 will allow a third party to receive confidential tax information, sign documents regarding your taxes, and legally represent you in matters involving the IRS. 

What Is the Difference Between Form 2848 and Form 8821?

It’s not uncommon for Form 2848 and Form 8821 to be confused for one another. While they share a few properties, they are far from the same thing. 

Form 8821, officially titled “Tax Information Authorization,” allows a third party to inspect or receive privileged information involving your taxes. It also allows you to remove prior tax authorizations. 

Filing Form 8821 will grant the third party the same access to confidential tax information as Form 2848 does. However, the key difference is that Form 8821 will not allow a third party to represent you in dealings with the IRS. 

In other words:

  • You would use Form 2848 if you wanted the assistance of a third party while appealing, negotiating, or disagreeing with the IRS.
  • You would use Form 8821 if you wanted the assistance of a third party when preparing or reviewing your tax returns. 

Where Can You File Form 2848?

The easiest way to file any IRS Forms is by using their secured website. You’ll have to create a Secure Access before you can file anything. 

The account will also allow you to view your specific tax information, make payments, and contact the IRS directly. If you prefer to mail or fax Form 2848, then it would depend on where you live:

  • Residents of 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, and West Virginia would use the mailing address of Internal Revenue Service, 5333 Getwell Road, Stop 8423, Memphis, TN, 38118 or the fax number 855-214-7519.
  • Residents of 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, and Wyoming would use the mailing address of Internal Revenue Services, 1973 Rulon White Blvd., MS 6737, Ogden, UT 84201 or the fax number 855-214-7522.
  • Residents of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, foreign countries, and anyone using APO or FPO addresses would use the mailing address of Internal Revenue Service, International CAF Team, 2970 Market Street, MS: 4-H14.123, Philadelphia, PA 19104 or the fax number 855-772-3156 for domestic taxpayers and 304-707-9785 for international taxpayers. 

How Do You Fill Out Form 2848?

Form 2848 is a very important document that the IRS takes very seriously. To be properly filed, you’ll need to include accurate and highly sensitive information. 

Form 2848 is a two-page document that includes two separate sections. Part I is information that you will be required to fill out, and Part II will be handled by the person that has agreed to represent you. Part I of Form 2848 includes the following lines:

  • Line 1: Taxpayer Information. Here is where you will list the personal data of the individual sharing access to their tax information. You will need to enter the full name, address, phone number, and individual taxpayer identification number (TIN). The TIN can either be a Social Security number or an employer number.
  • Line 2: Representative(s). There are four blanks listed in this section. You will need to fill out the person’s information or people given a power of attorney. The name, phone/fax number, and address of the individual will all be required. If the individual is a registered tax preparer, CPA, or attorney, you will need to supply their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) or Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number. 
  • Line 3: Acts Authorized. You will have to grant specific authorization for the person or people listed on Line 2. You will need to briefly describe each issue, the tax form number that it’s located on, and the appropriate year or period of time. You are only permitted to list up to three years in the future from the date that you file Form 2848. Unless you specifically say otherwise, the representative will discuss information regarding income tax payments, interest rates, and penalty charges. 
  • Line 4: Specific Use Not Recorded On CAF. You would mark this box if you only intend to use the power of attorney authorization one time or for a very specific purpose.
  • Line 5a: Additional Acts Authorized. Here is where you can grant any additional permissions to your representative. Common additional acts may include the ability to add in another representative,  relay tax information to another person, or sign your tax return. A representative can only perform these tasks if they are explicitly granted permission on this line.
  • Line 5b: Specific Acts Not Authorized. This line is the direct opposite of the previous line and allows you to restrict the powers of your representative. You can leave this line blank if there are no acts that you want to disallow. 
  • Line 6: Retention/Revocation Of Prior Power(s) Of Attorney. Filing Form 2848 will automatically revoke any power of attorney status. You may continue the permissions granted to a previous representative by checking the box and including a copy of their information.
  • Line 7: Taxpayer Declaration And Signature. The final line of Part I is where you will officially grant permission. You’ll need to sign your name, list the date, and include any applicable title. If this line is skipped, the IRS will deny the authorization, and power of attorney remains with the taxpayer.  

Part II of Form 2848 will have to be filled out by the person given power of attorney. The declaration includes a signed promise that the representative is:

  • Not currently suspended or disbarred from practice by the IRS.
  • Subjected to IRS government regulations found in Circular 230 (31 CFR, Subtitle A, Part 10).
  • Authorized to represent the taxpayer listed in Part I. 

The representative will also need to define their relationship with the taxpayer, granting them power of attorney. There are ten different designations available:

  • Attorney (a): must be in good standing of the bar and include jurisdiction and licensing authority information. 
  • Certified Public Accountant (b): must have an active license to practice as a CPA and include jurisdiction and licensing authority information.
  • Enrolled Agent (c): must be currently enrolled as an agent by the IRS and meets the requirements of Circular 230. 
  • Officer (d): must be a bona fide officer involved with a taxpayer organization and include appropriate title, position, and relationship to the taxpayer. 
  • Full-Time Employee (e): must be employed full-time by the taxpayer and include their employee information. 
  • Family Member (f): must be a member of the taxpayer’s immediate family such as their spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, or step-child.  
  • Enrolled Actuary (g): must be enrolled by the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries under 29 U.S.C. 1242. 
  • Unenrolled Return Preparer (h): This designation will come with limited authorizations being granted by the IRS. Form 2848 has a Special Rules and Requirements for Unenrolled Return Preparers section in their additional information instructions. 
  • Qualifying Student or Law Graduate (k): must receive specific permission to represent taxpayers before the IRS based on their tax or law qualifications.    
  • Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (r): must be enrolled as a retirement plan agent according to the requirements of Circular 230. 

You will find the designation letter and applicable information at the bottom of Part II. These fields will need to be filled out correctly, along with a signature and date. 

The Takeaway

Dealing with the IRS can be a little bit of a headache for an everyday citizen. If you have problems with the IRS, it might be a good idea to consult with a tax firm. 

The tax resolution experts at Coast One Tax Group can help you to navigate a multitude of common issues that arise with the IRS.  Depending on the nature of your tax issue, you may have to file Form 2848. 

Doing so will allow the tax experts to directly represent you in disagreements with the IRS instead of simply advising you.

Sources:

Taxpayer Bill of Rights 8: The Right to Confidentiality | Internal Revenue Service

About Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative | Internal Revenue Service

Taxpayer Bill Of Rights | Investopedia

IRS “Submit Forms 2848 and 8821 Online” | Internal Revenue Service

About Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization | Internal Revenue Service

Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative Definition | Investopedia

Instructions for Form 2848 | Internal Revenue Service