DEFINITION of 'Specific Use'

Specific use is a type of authorization for an individual with power of attorney (POA) to discuss certain private tax matters with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of a taxpayer. Specific use items are outside the blanket of the Centralized Authorization File (CAF), a computerized system of records containing third party authorizations for the purpose of resolving federal tax issues. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Specific Use'

Specific use items may be related to applications for employer identification numbers (EIN), tax withholding certificates, refund claims or abatement requests, corporate dissolutions or liquidations, mortgage interest statements, Form 1099 matters, elections for small businesses to be treated as S corporations, and applications to adopt or change a tax year. Other examples of specific uses not recorded in the CAF are requests to disclose information to loan companies or educational institutions and to federal or state agency investigators for background checks.

IRS Form 8821 ("Tax Information Authorization") and Form 2848 ("Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative") are where a taxpayer (or his or her representative) would check the "Specific use" boxes. The difference between Form 8821 and Form 2848 is that Form 2848 authorizes an individual to represent, or speak on behalf of, the taxpayer, whereas Form 8821 does not confer this legal authority. Form 2848 allows the representative to execute a request to disclose tax return information to a third party; execute waivers, consents and closing agreements; and argue for the taxpayer in disputes with the IRS.  The IRS does not record a power of attorney for a specific use in its CAF, so the representative with the power of attorney must bring Form 2848 to every meeting with the IRS. 

  1. Form 1098

    Form 1098 is a form filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ...
  2. Form 8949

    Form 8949 is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form used by individuals, ...
  3. Form 1040EZ

    The 1040 EZ tax form is the shortest version of form 1040 designed ...
  4. Form 1045: Application For Tentative ...

    Form 1045 is a tax form used to apply for a tentative refund.
  5. Trading Authorization

    Trading authorization refers to the level of power entrusted ...
  6. Tax Refund Anticipation Loan, RAL

    A loan provided by a third party against a taxpayer's expected ...
Related Articles
  1. Managing Wealth

    Got a Financial Windfall? Hire the Right Attorney

    Selecting the right attorney will help you protect your assets when you receive a sudden windfall.
  2. Retirement

    Power of Attorney: When You Need One

    Having a power of attorney ensures that you select who will act for you when you are unable to handle your affairs. Without one, the courts decide.
  3. Investing

    Attention Home Buyers: Why You Need a Lawyer

    Property transactions are complex and subject to specific state/local rules. Hiring a lawyer can simplify the process.
  4. Retirement

    Employers: Don't Forget IRS Form 941

    Your obligations as an employer include various employment taxes. Use this form to report them.
  5. Retirement

    Don't Give Away Control Over Your Assets Without Planning

    Most people don't realize what they agreed to when they signed a power of attorney, and are blissfully unaware of the possible harm from poor planning.
  6. Managing Wealth

    Why Keep Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney Separate?

    Representing your interests in financial matters is a very different job from communicating and advocating for your wishes with doctors.
  7. Taxes

    What IRS Form 1023 Is Used For

    To be treated as a tax-exempt organization, start by filling out this form.
  8. Taxes

    Don't Let Inaccurate Tax Forms Get You Audited!

    Copying in numbers directly from your tax forms can end up with you paying more (or less) taxes than you owe.
  9. Managing Wealth

    How & Where to File Form 1040 (And Which Version)

    All taxpayers need to know three things when filing a 1040: which form to use, how to file and where to file. After reading this, you'll know all three.
  10. Taxes

    Late with Your Taxes? Grab IRS Form 4868

    Fill out this form to get a few more months to file your tax return. But remember, April 15 (17, in 2018) is still the payment due date if you owe taxes.
  1. What is the 1003 mortgage application form?

    Learn about the 1003 mortgage application form, what information it requires and why this form is the industry standard for ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center