What is Form 2848?
Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) document that authorizes an individual or organization to represent a taxpayer by appearing before the IRS.
Similar to the concept of giving someone the “power of attorney” in the context of giving a particular person the right to make legal and medical decisions on your behalf, a person may elect that an individual goes in their place as their representative before the IRS in many different situations. Some of the more common ones include:
- Negotiating a payment plan
- Signing documents on your behalf
- Receiving copies of IRS notices
- Responding to notices on your behalf
- Accessing transcripts from your IRS account
- Appealing a dispute with the IRS
The power of attorney granted by Form 2848 IRS, unlike the power of attorney, in legal or medical situations, is much more limited, even if its function is similar. The most important difference is that the IRS 2848 form only applies to representation before the IRS, and will not be honored for any other purpose. Form 2848 also allows a person to define the scope of authority that their representative(s) will have, up to and including what matters they are and are not allowed to act on behalf of the person filing Form 2848 for. Limiting the authority of the representative this way ensures that they are not able to discuss and make decisions on things that they are not supposed to.
Appointing a representative through Form 2848 allows them to act as your representative for the IRS for up to seven years. However, should you wish to revoke the appointed representative’s authority to represent you, you may file another form appointing another representative for the same purposes as the past one, or you may also write ‘REVOKE” across the top of the first page of the form with a current signature and date below the annotation, and submit the document to the IRS. Alternatively, if the representative themselves wishes to withdraw as a representative, they may write “WITHDRAW” across the top of the first page of the form, with a current signature and date below it.
Who needs to use Form 2848?
There are several reasons a person might want to appoint a representative through Form 2848. For example:
- If a person is being audited by the IRS, they may give their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) power of attorney in order to allow them to work directly with the auditor.
- If they have a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to communicate with the IRS, they may give a family member the authority to call the IRS to discuss any of their tax issues.
- If they have an unresolved tax debt, filing Form 2848 to designate their lawyer to negotiate payment arrangements.
How to fill out Form 2848?
Form 2848 is a very simple form to fill out, but it does necessitate having the person or people that you are appointing as your representatives for the IRS to be present in order to provide some of their information and signatures.
Also, keep in mind that Form 2848 may only be filed for one taxpayer at a time. Thus, if there are multiple people seeking to appoint the same people as their IRS representatives, they must fill out separate copies of this form.
Part I - Power of Attorney
Line 1 - Taxpayer Information
Taxpayer Name and Address
Enter the Taxpayer’s full legal name and home address.
Taxpayer Identification Numbers
Enter the Taxpayer’s Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN).
Daytime Telephone Number
Enter the Taxpayer’s telephone number.
Plan Number (If Applicable)
Enter the Taxpayer’s plan number, if they have one.
Line 2 - Representative (s)
Enter the following information in the necessary fields for each of your appointed representative(s). You may only have up to four appointed representatives, and only two of them will be sent copies of notices and communications sent to you by the IRS.
Name and Address
Enter the full legal name of the representative and their home address here.
[For the first two Representatives ONLY] Copies and Communications
Check the box if you wish for the representative to be provided with copies of notices and communications sent to you by the IRS.
Centralized Authorization File Number
Enter the Centralized Authorization File Number (CAF) of the representative.
Preparer Tax Identification Number
Enter the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) of the representative.
Enter the representative’s telephone number.
Enter the representative’s fax number
Check if New
If or more of the following information is new, check the appropriate box. You may choose from:
- Telephone Number
- Fax Number
Line 3 - Acts Authorized
This section outlines what acts you are authorizing your appointed representative(s) to perform on your behalf. Enter the following information in the spaces provided, and use another sheet of paper as necessary.
Description of Matter
Enter a short description of the matter(s) that you are authorizing your appointed representative(s) to cover on your behalf.
Tax Form Number
Enter the number of the tax form (ie. Form-1040, 941, 1041, et cetera) associated with the matter you are authorizing the representative(s) to resolve.
Year(s) or Period(s)
Enter the number of years or the period that the representatives will be authorized to act on the above matters on your behalf.
Line 4 - Specific Use Not Recorded on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF)
If the power of attorney is being granted for a specific use not recorded on the CAF, check this box.
Line 5a - Additional Acts Authorized
Check the appropriate boxes or fill in the space provided what acts the representative(s) are authorized to carry out besides the ones outlined in Line 3. You may choose from the following:
- Access to your IRS records via an Intermediate Service Provider
- Authorize disclosure to third parties
- Substitute or add representatives
- Sign a return
- Other acts authorized (Enter what other acts relating to the IRS that you are authorizing the representative(s) to carry out) on your behalf).
Line 5b - Specific Acts Not Authorized
Enter any acts that you are specifically not authorizing the representative(s) to carry out.
Line 6 - Retention or Revocation of Prior Power(s) of Attorney
Check this box if you do not want to revoke any prior power of attorney.
Line 7 - Taxpayer Declaration and Signature
Signature and Date
Have the taxpayer enter their signature on the space provided.
Enter any applicable titles that the taxpayer may have here, such as Dr., Prof., and et cetera.
Enter your full, legal name.
Print Name of Taxpayer
If the taxpayer was not the one to file this form, such as in the case of a representative filing this form in place of a taxpayer, write the name of the taxpayer as written on Line 1.
Part II - Declaration of Representative
Each representative must now fill in the following information in the given spaces.
Consult the information in the section above to determine which letter designation is most appropriate for the representative.
Licensing Jurisdiction (State) or Other Licensing Authority (If Applicable)
Enter the state or other authority that granted the appointed person any license to act as a representative, if any.
Bar, License, Certification, or Enrollment Number
For Lawyers and Law student representatives, enter their Bar, License, Certification, or Enrollment number.
Have the appointed representative enter their signature here.
Enter the date that the representative signed the form here.
Tips when filling out Form 2848
As with many forms regarding information that may be relevant to your tax information, it is important to keep Form 2848 safe, as it contains some sensitive information that may be used for identity theft. Make sure to avoid leaving this form in unsecured, crowded spaces, and to make sure that you deliver this form through secure and trustworthy means.
Make sure that your chosen representatives are trustworthy. This is highly important as, even though you are free to limit what they have authority to act on, they are still making important decisions that will affect you and your status as a taxpayer.
Practice good contract management. Keep a copy of this form in a safe and organized place for possible future legal purposes or as a backup. If you are confident that your chosen representatives are trustworthy, it may also be beneficial to give them a copy of this form as well.