General Instructions

What's New

Joint returns.   Joint filers must now complete and submit separate Forms 2848 to have the power of attorney recorded on the IRS's Centralized Authorization File (CAF).

Copies of notices and communications.   You must check the box next to your representative's name and address if you want to authorize the IRS to send copies of all notices and communications to your representative.

Acts authorized.   Check boxes have been added to assist you in identifying certain specific acts that your representative may perform. The CAF no longer records authorizations allowing your representative to receive but not endorse your refund check; the check box authorizing this act has been eliminated.

Representative designations.   A new designation (i) has been added for registered tax return preparers. Also, the designations for student attorneys and student certified public accountants (CPA) have been combined into one designation (k). See the instructions for Part II.

Future developments.   The IRS has created a page on IRS.gov for Form 2848 and its instructions, at www.irs.gov/form2848. Information about any future developments affecting Form 2848 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page.

Purpose of Form

Use Form 2848 to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. See "Substitute Form 2848" for information about using a power of attorney other than a Form 2848 to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. The individual you authorize must be an individual eligible to practice before the IRS. Eligible individuals are listed in Part II, Declaration of Representative, items a-r. You may authorize a student who works in a qualified Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) or Student Tax Clinic Program (STCP) to represent you under a special order issued by the Office of Professional Responsibility, see the instructions for Part II, later. Your authorization of an eligible representative will also allow that individual to receive and inspect your confidential tax information. See the instructions for line 7.

Use Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, if you want to authorize an individual or organization to receive or inspect your confidential tax return information, but do not want to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. Use Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, if you want to authorize an individual or organization to receive or inspect transcripts of your confidential return information, but do not want to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. This form is often used by third parties to verify your tax compliance.

Use Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, to notify the IRS of the existence of a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary (trustee, executor, administrator, receiver, or guardian) stands in the position of a taxpayer and acts as the taxpayer, not as a representative. If a fiduciary wishes to authorize an individual to represent or perform certain acts on behalf of the entity, the fiduciary must file a power of attorney that names the eligible individual(s) as representative(s) for the entity. Because the fiduciary stands in the position of the entity, the fiduciary signs the power of attorney on behalf of the entity.

Note.

Authorizing someone to represent you does not relieve you of your tax obligations.

Where To File

Except as provided in this paragraph, completed Forms 2848 should be mailed or faxed directly to the IRS office identified in the Where To File Chart below. The exceptions are listed as follows:

  • If Form 2848 is for a specific use, mail or fax it to the office handling the specific matter. For more information on specific use, see the instructions for line 4.

  • Your representative may be able to file Form 2848 electronically via the IRS website. For more information, go to IRS.gov and under the Tax Professionals tab, click on e-services — for Tax Pros. If you complete Form 2848 for electronic signature authorization, do not file Form 2848 with the IRS. Instead, give it to your representative, who will retain the document. When a power of attorney is mailed or faxed to the IRS using the Where To File Chart, the power of attorney will be recorded on the CAF. Unless when the power of attorney is revoked or withdrawn earlier, a power of attorney recorded on the CAF generally will be deleted from the CAF seven years after it is first recorded. However, you may re-establish the record of the authorization for representation by resubmitting the power of attorney to the IRS using the Where To File Chart. In the case of a power of attorney held by a student of an LITC or an STCP, the CAF record will be deleted 130 days after it is received and you generally must submit a new power of attorney to the IRS if you want to authorize the same student or another student of an LITC or an STCP to represent you.

Where To File Chart

IF you live in... THEN use this address... Fax number*
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, or West Virginia Internal Revenue Service  
P.O. Box 268, Stop 8423 
Memphis, TN 38101-0268
901-546-4115
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, or Wyoming Internal Revenue Service  
1973 N. Rulon White Blvd. MS 6737 
Ogden, UT 84404
801-620-4249
All APO and FPO addresses, American Samoa, nonpermanent residents of Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands**, Puerto Rico (or if excluding income under Internal Revenue Code section 933), a foreign country: U.S. citizens and those filing Form 2555, 2555-EZ, or 4563. Internal Revenue Service  
International CAF Team 
2970 Market Street 
MS:3-E08.123.  
Philadelphia, PA 19104
267-941-1017
* These numbers may change without notice.
**Permanent residents of Guam should use Department of Taxation, Government of Guam, P.O. Box 23607, GMF, GU 96921; permanent residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands should use: V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue, 6115 Estate Smith Bay, Suite 225, St. Thomas, V.I. 00802.

Authority Granted

Except as specified below or in other IRS guidance, this power of attorney authorizes the listed representative(s) to receive and inspect confidential tax information and to perform all acts (that is, sign agreements, consents, waivers or other documents) that you can perform with respect to matters described in the power of attorney. However, this authorization, does not include the power to receive a check issued in connection with any liability for tax or any act specifically excluded on line 5 of the power of the attorney. Additionally, unless specifically provided in the power of attorney, this authorization does not include the power to substitute another representative or add another representative, the power to sign certain returns or the power to execute a request for disclosure of tax returns or return information to a third party. See instructions to line 5 for more information regarding specific authorities.

Note.

The power to sign tax returns only may be granted in limited situations. See instructions to line 5 for more information.

Special rules for registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers

Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers may only represent taxpayers before revenue agents, customer service representatives, or similar officers and employees of the Internal Revenue Service (including the Taxpayer Advocate Service) during an examination of the taxable period covered by the tax return they prepared and signed. Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers cannot represent taxpayers, regardless of the circumstances requiring representation, before appeals officers, revenue officers, counsel or similar officers or employees of the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Treasury. Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers cannot execute closing agreements, extend the statutory period for tax assessments or collection of tax, execute waivers, execute claims for refund, or sign any document on behalf of a taxpayer.

A registered tax return preparer is an individual who has passed an IRS competency test. A registered tax return preparer may prepare and sign Form 1040 series tax returns as a paid return preparer. An unenrolled return preparer is an individual other than an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, enrolled actuary, or registered tax return preparer who prepares and signs a taxpayer's return as the preparer, or who prepares a return but is not required (by the instructions to the return or regulations) to sign the return.

If a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled return preparer does not meet the requirements for limited representation, you may authorize the unenrolled return preparer to inspect and/or receive your taxpayer information, by filing Form 8821. Completing the Form 8821 will not authorize the unenrolled return preparer to represent you. See Form 8821.

Revocation of Power of Attorney/Withdrawal of Representative

If you want to revoke an existing power of attorney and do not want to name a new representative, or if a representative wants to withdraw from representation, mail or fax a copy of the previously executed power of attorney to the IRS, using the Where To File Chart, or if the power of attorney is for a specific matter, to the IRS office handling the matter. If the taxpayer is revoking the power of attorney, the taxpayer must write “REVOKE ” across the top of the first page with a current signature and date below this annotation. If the representative is withdrawing from the representation, the representative must write “WITHDRAW ” across the top of the first page with a current signature and date below this annotation. If you do not have a copy of the power of attorney you want to revoke or withdraw, send a statement to the IRS. The statement of revocation or withdrawal must indicate that the authority of the power of attorney is revoked, list the matters and periods, and must be signed and dated by the taxpayer or representative as applicable. If the taxpayer is revoking, list the name and address of each recognized representative whose authority is revoked. When the taxpayer is completely revoking authority, the form should state “remove all years/periods” instead of listing the specific tax matter, years, or periods. If the representative is withdrawing, list the name, TIN, and address (if known) of the taxpayer.

Substitute Form 2848

The IRS will accept a power of attorney other than Form 2848 provided the document satisfies the requirements for a power of attorney. See Pub. 216, Conference and Practice Requirements, section 601.503(a). These alternative powers of attorney cannot, however, be recorded on the CAF unless a completed Form 2848 is attached. See Instruction to Line 4 for more information. You are not required to sign the Form 2848 when it is attached to an alternative power of attorney that has been signed by you, but your representative must sign the Declaration of Representative on the Form 2848. See Pub. 216, Conference and Practice Requirements, section 601.503(b)(2).

Representative Address Change

If the representative's address has changed, a new Form 2848 is not required. The representative can send a written notification that includes the new information and the representative's signature to the location where the Form 2848 was filed.

Additional Information

Additional information concerning practice before the IRS may be found in:

  • Treasury Department Circular No. 230, Regulations Governing the Practice before the Internal Revenue Service (Circular 230), and

  • Pub. 216, Conference and Practice Requirements.

 
For general information about taxpayer rights, see Pub. 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer.


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