What Is Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative?

Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative is a document produced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used to authorize an individual or organization to represent a taxpayer before the IRS. The individual or organization must be eligible to practice before the IRS.

By filling out this form, the taxpayer allows the representative to receive and inspect his or her confidential tax information. This form is required by law, as federal law requires the IRS to keep confidential all the information that you supply on your tax return. (For related reading, see "The Purpose of IRS Form 2848")

Who Can File Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative?

Anyone who wishes to be represented by an authorized individual or organization before the IRS may fill out and submit this form.

Authorized individuals or organizations include attorneys or law firms, CPAs, and enrolled agents. These agents can fully represent taxpayers in front of the IRS.

The IRS also allows individuals who are related to the taxpayer, such as family members or fiduciaries, to act as a third-party representative. However, their access is limited and they may only represent taxpayers in front of customer service agents, revenue agents, or similar IRS employees. They cannot execute closing agreements, waivers, or refunds. In addition, they cannot sign documents for taxpayers.

How to File Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

An individual signs a Form 2848 in order to give a third party the authority to sign documents requesting additional time to assess the tax obligation, as well as extra time in order to agree to a tax adjustment. The form provides the representative with the power of attorney. It does not, however, relieve the taxpayer of any tax liability.

The form must include the taxpayer's information including name, address, and identification number such as a Social Security number. Information about the representative follows, including their name and address. The individual or firm must also identify what type of representative they are—attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, etc.

Taxpayers can revoke previously named representatives by writing "REVOKE" across the top of the new form, signing it, and sending it with a copy of the original power of attorney.

Form 2848 vs. Form 8821

While Form 2848 allows an individual to represent a taxpayer before the IRS, Form 8821: Tax Information Authorization can be used if a taxpayer wants to authorize someone—an individual or an organization—to request and inspect his or her confidential information without representation before the IRS. For example, when purchasing a home and applying for a mortgage, an individual may be required to share their tax information with their lender in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Download Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative

Click this link to download a copy of Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.

Key Takeaways

  • Form 2848 authorizes an individual or organization to represent a taxpayer before the IRS.
  • Authorized individuals or organizations include attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents.
  • Signing Form 2848 and authorizing representation does not relieve a taxpayer of any tax liability.