Taxes 101


What is Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative for IRS Representation

8 minute read

Understanding Form 2848: Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative for IRS Representation



Think of Form 2848 as a special key that lets someone else open your treasure chest of tax information safely. When you fill out this IRS form, it's like telling the Internal Revenue Service, "This trusted person can talk about my taxes for me."

Whether sorting out a tax return on Form 1040, checking on a refund, or dealing with other tax matters, Form 2848 gives your chosen preparer the power to act on your behalf. It's like picking a captain for your team who can make calls, ask about the game plan (your tax form), and ensure everything runs smoothly with the IRS. This way, you make sure your tax story is well-told and well-handled without you having to speak the tax language fluently yourself.

Want an easier way to file your taxes? Download our FREE tax guide for individual filers.

What is Form 2848 and How Does It Work?

Form 2848 is like a special permission slip that lets someone you trust talk to the IRS (the tax people) for you. It’s like if you needed a friend to pick up your report card from the office because you couldn’t do it yourself.

Overview of Form 2848

Form 2848 gives someone else the power to speak to the IRS for you. This person could be a tax preparer, an enrolled agent (a tax expert), or someone you trust. When you sign Form 2848, you say, "Hey, this person can ask questions, get information, and even agree to things about my taxes on my behalf." It’s like giving them the keys to your tax house, but only for what you say they can do.

When to Use Form 2848

You might need Form 2848 if you’re being audited (which means the IRS wants to take a closer look at your taxes) and you want someone else to deal with the IRS for you. Or, if you’re just really busy and need someone to handle tax stuff like asking about a refund check or submitting a new income tax return. It’s for times when you need a pro to represent you before the IRS.

Instructions for Completing Form 2848

Filling out Form 2848 involves writing down who you are, who you want to represent you, and what tax matters they can discuss. You have to be specific about what years and types of taxes they can deal with. You can’t use this form just to say "do everything for me" all time. The form needs your signature, and the person you authorize must also sign it. Then, you can send it to the IRS electronically or by fax, using the right fax number. Remember, Form 2848 cannot be used for everything. For some things, like just getting information and not making decisions, you might use a different form, like Form 8821.

Using Form 2848 is a big deal because you’re letting someone else take action on your taxes, so you want to fill it out carefully and pick the right person for the job.

Learn what you should know about IRS Form 2848.

Power of Attorney: Definition and Importance

Power of Attorney (POA) is like giving someone else a special key to your tax information and decisions treasure chest. It’s important because it lets someone you trust handle your IRS matters, especially when things get tricky or you can’t do it yourself.

Understanding Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is a legal way to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. This means you let someone else talk, make decisions, and take action about your taxes. It’s like if you were a knight going on a quest and you left someone you trust in charge of your castle.

How Does Power of Attorney Work in IRS Matters?

When you give someone a POA for IRS stuff, you say, “You can deal with the IRS for me.” This person, maybe a tax expert, can ask questions, get information, and even agree to things about your tax years and any tax liability you might have. But first, you must file a special form with the IRS to make this official. The IRS then has about 60 days to say okay and let this person start talking to IRS employees for you.

Designating a Power of Attorney for Tax Purposes

To designate a POA for your taxes, you must complete and sign the right form. This form tells the IRS exactly who is allowed to represent you and for which tax matters, like certain tax years. You also need to say what they can do, like sign your return (although there are some rules about this). Then, you send this form to the IRS, sometimes by writing to them or even putting it "across the top" of other tax documents you’re sending. Remember, granting power of attorney is a big deal because that person has a lot of control, so choose someone trustworthy and who knows a lot about taxes.

Giving someone Power of Attorney lets them step into your shoes for tax matters, ensuring everything is handled right, especially when you can’t do it yourself.

IRS Representation: Key Facts and Benefits

When dealing with the IRS, it can feel like you're navigating a giant maze. Like a professional representative, having the right guide can make all the difference. This part of our guide dives into why it’s smart to have someone knowledgeable by your side.

Importance of Professional Representation before the IRS

Asking the IRS for permission for someone to represent you is a big step. This person, whether a tax attorney, a certified public accountant, or another qualified individual, acts as your guide and shield. They know the maze well and can lead you through it, speaking on your behalf, and dealing with paperwork like the new Form 2848. This form is your ticket to let them officially take the lead in meetings with the IRS or help endorse or negotiate on issues related to your tax form and year.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Authorized Representative

An authorized representative, like a tax preparer with a preparer tax identification number, has specific roles. They must submit Form 2848, specifying the tax forms and years they’re dealing with. This isn’t about handing over your whole tax life; it’s about specifying tasks, like tackling a certain tax form number or handling a dispute. The original form lets them act on your behalf, fully prepped to defend you or clarify your taxpayer of any tax liability.

Benefits of Having an Attorney Represent You with the IRS

Having a tax attorney as your designated representative comes with big benefits. They’re not just your voice in a tough meeting but your expert negotiator and advisor. They can use the same representative powers to argue, negotiate, and even settle matters in a way that’s best for you. Form 2848 also allows them to be fully in charge of the situation, armed with all the legal and tax knowledge to protect and benefit you in every way possible.

Choosing the right representative means finding someone who can navigate the complex IRS system, protect your interests, and potentially save you a lot of stress and money. Whether it’s a certified public accountant, a tax attorney, or another qualified professional, having that expert support can make all the difference in your IRS dealings.

Common Issues and Questions about Form 2848

Dealing with Form 2848 can sometimes feel like trying to solve a puzzle. This part of our guide helps you understand some common problems and what to do about them, making sure you can give someone the authority to handle your taxes without a hitch.

Problems with Form 2848 Submission

Sometimes, when you try to give someone the power to handle your taxes on your behalf, things don’t go smoothly. Common issues include not providing enough information like the correct CAF number or mailing address, or forgetting to sign and date the form. It’s like when you forget a piece in a puzzle; the picture isn’t complete. The IRS needs all these details to process your form properly and give the person you chose the authority to do everything they need to for your taxes.

Dealing with Rejections of Form 2848

If the IRS doesn’t accept your Form 2848, it might feel like hitting a roadblock. This can happen if there’s a mistake on the form or if it looks like you’re trying to give a blanket grant of authority, which means letting someone take certain actions on your behalf without being specific about what they can do. The IRS wants to make sure that only the right actions are taken, so they may ask for more details or a clearer explanation.

What to Do If Power of Attorney Form Gets Rejected?

Getting a rejection can be frustrating, but it’s not the end of the road. If your Power of Attorney form gets rejected, the first step is to check the reason. Make sure you’ve filled everything out correctly, including the specific taxes and years your representative may deal with. You must submit a request again, giving yourself at least 60 days before the date that a return is required to be filed. It’s important to be clear and precise to relieve the IRS of any doubts about your form.

Remember, getting the form right means the person you trust can legally speak and take certain actions on your behalf, especially if you ca unable do so yourself due to a disease or injury. It’s all about ensuring that everything is set up correctly from the start, so your taxes are handled the way you want, with no puzzles left unsolved.

Revoking Power of Attorney and Changing Representation

Sometimes, just like deciding you want to play a different position in a game, you might need to change who can talk to the IRS for you. This part of our guide explains how to switch up or cancel the permission you gave someone to handle your taxes.

Steps to Revoke Power of Attorney with the IRS

If you decide you no longer want the person you chose to have the power to represent you to the IRS, you have to tell the IRS. To do this, you can write a request to the IRS. It’s like writing a letter to say, "I’ve changed my mind." Include your name, taxpayer ID (like your Social Security number), and a statement that you want to revoke the power of attorney. Also, if you know the form number you used to authorize them, include that too.

Changing or Updating a Power of Attorney Designation

Maybe your situation has changed, like if you got a new mortgage and need to share your tax information with someone else. To update your power of attorney, you'll need to sign a new form and file it with the IRS. It’s important to fill out the new form correctly and check the box on line 6 if you want to replace your old power of attorney with this new one. This tells the IRS that you have a new person helping you.

Legal Implications of Revoking Power of Attorney

Revoking or changing your IRS power of attorney is a big deal. It means that the person who used to be able to talk to the IRS and sign your tax documents on your behalf can't do that anymore. The IRS takes this seriously and will need time to assess your request. Once it’s done, the old power of attorney won’t be able to represent you or relieve you of any tax issues. It's like making sure that only the people you currently trust have the keys to your tax information castle.

Remember, whether you’re revoking an old power of attorney or setting up a new one, it’s all about making sure the right person has the authority to handle your taxes in a way that’s best for you. Always make sure to communicate clearly with the IRS and provide all the necessary information to make these changes smoothly.

Key takeaways:

  1. Form 2848 is a document used to authorize someone to represent you before the IRS, like a tax professional or attorney.
  2. You might need Form 2848 if you want someone to handle your taxes, communicate with the IRS, or sign documents on your behalf.
  3. It's essential to fill out Form 2848 correctly, including providing details about the taxes and years the representative can deal with.
  4. Form 2848 can't be used to endorse or negotiate refund checks or grant blanket authority to do everything on your behalf.
  5. If you need to authorize someone to deal with specific tax matters, you must specify them clearly on the form.

How can Taxfyle help?

Finding an accountant to manage your bookkeeping and file taxes is a big decision. Luckily, you don't have to handle the search on your own.

At Taxfyle, we connect small businesses with licensed, experienced CPAs or EAs in the US. We handle the hard part of finding the right tax professional by matching you with a Pro who has the right experience to meet your unique needs and will manage your bookkeeping and file taxes for you.

Get started with Taxfyle today, and see how finances can be simplified.

Legal Disclaimer

Tickmark, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, tax or accounting advice or recommendations. All information prepared on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on for legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, tax or accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The content on this website is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Leave your books to professionals. Click to connect with a Pro.Leave your books to professionals. Click to connect with a Pro.Leave your books to professionals. Click to connect with a Pro.
Was this post helpful?
Yes, thanks!
Not really
Thank you for your feedback
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Did you know business owners can spend over 100 hours filing taxes?
Is this article answering your questions?
Do you do your own bookkeeping?
Are you filing your own taxes?
How is your work-life balance?
Is your firm falling behind during the busy season?


March 28, 2024


Ralph Carnicer, CPA

Ralph Carnicer, CPA


by this author

Share this article