1997 Tax Help Archives  

Power of Attorney Information

This is archived information that pertains only to the 1997 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

If you want to authorize someone to receive confidential tax information, file Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, with the IRS office that will be providing the information. However, Form 8821 cannot be used to name an individual to represent you before the IRS.

If you want someone to represent you on a federal tax matter, file Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative with the IRS office where you want your representative to act for you.

Your signature on Form 2848 authorizes the individual or individuals named to receive tax information and to represent you before the IRS. This authority includes, but is not limited to, extending the time for assessing and collecting tax, signing a waiver agreeing to a tax assessment, and waiving restrictions on the assessment and collection of deficiencies of tax. The representative can also substitute another representative if you specifically permit this on the power of attorney. A representative can be authorized to sign an income tax return for you but only in limited circumstances.

If you want to limit what the representative may do on your behalf, indicate these limitations on the appropriate line of Form 2848.

When completing the Form 2848, you must show the type of tax, the tax form number, and the year or period for which the power is granted.

You can list returns for any number of specified years or periods that have already ended and returns for years or periods that will end no later than three years from the date the form is signed. For example, you may list income tax, Form 1040, for calendar year 1996 and employment tax, Form 941, for the first and second quarters of 1996. A general reference to "all years", "all periods", or "all taxes" is not acceptable. The Form 2848 will be returned to you for correction if you use such general references.

Form 2848 must be signed and dated by both husband and wife if a joint return is involved and both husband and wife will be represented by the same individual. If, however, a husband and wife who have filed a joint return wish to be represented by different individuals, each spouse must complete his or her own power of attorney form.

In Part II of Form 2848, the representative must declare that he or she is authorized to represent the taxpayer and must declare that he or she is one of the listed individuals (such as attorney or Certified Public Accountant) that can practice before the Internal Revenue Service. If the representative is licensed as an attorney or Certified Public Accountant, he or she must also list the state that issued the license.

More detailed information is contained in the instructions to Form 2848. Additional information is also provided in Publication 947, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney.

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