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.

BREAKING DOWN 'Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative'

Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative is a tax form distributed by the IRS. Form 2848 allows a taxpayer to identify another individual to represent them before the IRS. 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.

When a taxpayer files a Form 2848 and permits a representative to represent them in front of the IRS, the taxpayer also grants their representative access to their personal tax information, which otherwise is typically confidential. In order to qualify to represent a taxpayer in tax proceedings and act as power of attorney, the IRS must authorize the representative to practice in front of them. Authorized individuals include attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents.

Taxpayer Confidentiality

Federal law requires the IRS to keep confidential all the information that you supply on your tax return. This means the IRS cannot share any of your information, but there are many situations in which you may need to share this information. If you were to file a Form 2848, for example, you would share your information with a professional to represent you in tax proceedings. However, if you want to share your income tax information with an individual or business entity for another purpose, and do not wish to grant them any representative authority, you can use a Form 8821. A taxpayer who wishes to provide a third party access to their confidential tax information but does not want that third party to represent them in any way in front of the IRS would use Form 8821. 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.

Who can represent you in your tax proceedings?

A Form 2848 gives power of attorney to a third party to represent an individual to the IRS, but the third party must be authorized to represent others in their tax process. The obvious authorized individuals include attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents, but the IRS fully defines who is allowed to act with power of attorney in their publication Circular 230. The IRS also allows individuals who have specific special relationships with the taxpayer, such as family members or fiduciaries, to act as the third-party representative.

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