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File free state tax return online Publication 947 - Main Content Table of Contents Practice Before the IRSWhat Is Practice Before the IRS? Who Can Practice Before the IRS? Who Cannot Practice Before the IRS? How Does an Individual Become Enrolled? What Are the Rules of Practice? Authorizing a RepresentativeWhat Is a Power of Attorney? When Is a Power of Attorney Required? When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required? How Do I Fill Out Form 2848? What Happens to the Power of Attorney When Filed? How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). File free state tax return online Practice Before the IRS The Office of Professional Responsibility and the Return Preparer Office generally are responsible for administering and enforcing the regulations governing practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online The Office of Professional Responsibility generally has responsibility for matters related to practitioner conduct and exclusive responsibility for discipline, including disciplinary proceedings and sanctions. File free state tax return online The Return Preparer Office is responsible for matters related to the authority to practice, including acting on applications for enrollment and administering competency testing and continuing education. File free state tax return online What Is Practice Before the IRS? Practice before the IRS covers all matters relating to any of the following. File free state tax return online Communicating with the IRS for a taxpayer regarding the taxpayer's rights, privileges, or liabilities under laws and regulations administered by the IRS. File free state tax return online Representing a taxpayer at conferences, hearings, or meetings with the IRS. File free state tax return online Preparing and filing documents, including tax returns, with the IRS for a taxpayer. File free state tax return online Providing a client with written advice which has a potential for tax avoidance or evasion. File free state tax return online Furnishing information at the request of the IRS or appearing as a witness for the taxpayer is not practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Who Can Practice Before the IRS? The following individuals can practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online However, any individual who is recognized to practice (a recognized representative) must be designated as the taxpayer's representative and file a written declaration with the IRS stating that he or she is authorized and qualified to represent a particular taxpayer. File free state tax return online Form 2848 can be used for this purpose. File free state tax return online Attorneys. File free state tax return online   Any attorney who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS and who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia may practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Certified public accountants (CPAs). File free state tax return online   Any CPA who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS and who is duly qualified to practice as a CPA in any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia may practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Enrolled agents. File free state tax return online   Any enrolled agent in active status who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Enrolled retirement plan agents. File free state tax return online   Any enrolled retirement plan agent in active status who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online The practice of enrolled retirement plan agents is limited to certain Internal Revenue Code sections that relate to their area of expertise, principally those sections governing employee retirement plans. File free state tax return online Enrolled actuaries. File free state tax return online   Any individual who is enrolled as an actuary by the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online The practice of enrolled actuaries is limited to certain Internal Revenue Code sections that relate to their area of expertise, principally those sections governing employee retirement plans. File free state tax return online Student. File free state tax return online    Under certain circumstances, a student who is supervised by a practitioner may request permission to represent another person before the IRS. File free state tax return online For more information, see Authorization for special appearances, later. File free state tax return online Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers. File free state tax return online   A registered tax return preparer is an individual who has passed an IRS competency test and is authorized to prepare and sign tax returns as the preparer. File free state tax return online An unenrolled return preparer is an individual other than an attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, or enrolled actuary 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. File free state tax return online   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 year or period covered by the tax return they prepared and signed. File free state tax return online 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. File free state tax return online 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. File free state tax return online   If the unenrolled return preparer does not meet the requirements for limited representation, you may file Form 8821 to allow the preparer to inspect your tax information and receive copies of notices sent to you by the IRS. File free state tax return online See Form 8821. File free state tax return online Practice denied. File free state tax return online   Any individual engaged in limited practice before the IRS who is involved in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action. File free state tax return online Disreputable conduct includes, but is not limited to, the list of items under Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct shown later under What Are the Rules of Practice. File free state tax return online Other individuals who may serve as representatives. File free state tax return online   Because of their special relationship with a taxpayer, the following individuals can represent the specified taxpayers before the IRS, provided they present satisfactory identification and, except in the case of an individual described in (1) below, proof of authority to represent the taxpayer. File free state tax return online An individual. File free state tax return online An individual can represent himself or herself before the IRS and does not have to file a written declaration of qualification and authority. File free state tax return online A family member. File free state tax return online An individual can represent members of his or her immediate family. File free state tax return online Immediate family includes a spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister of the individual. File free state tax return online An officer. File free state tax return online A bona fide officer of a corporation (including a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated corporation), association, or organized group can represent the corporation, association, or organized group. File free state tax return online An officer of a governmental unit, agency, or authority, in the course of his or her official duties, can represent the organization before the IRS. File free state tax return online A partner. File free state tax return online A general partner may represent the partnership before the IRS. File free state tax return online An employee. File free state tax return online A regular full-time employee can represent his or her employer. File free state tax return online An employer can be, but is not limited to, an individual, partnership, corporation (including a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliated corporation), association, trust, receivership, guardianship, estate, organized group, governmental unit, agency, or authority. File free state tax return online A fiduciary. File free state tax return online A fiduciary (trustee, executor, personal representative, administrator, receiver, or guardian) stands in the position of a taxpayer and acts as the taxpayer, not as a representative. File free state tax return online See Fiduciary under When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required, later. File free state tax return online Representation Outside the United States Any individual may represent an individual or entity, who is outside the United States, before personnel of the IRS when such representation occurs outside the United States. File free state tax return online See section 10. File free state tax return online 7(c)(1)(vii) of Circular 230. File free state tax return online Authorization for Special Appearances The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or delegate, can authorize an individual who is not otherwise eligible to practice before the IRS to represent another person for a particular matter. File free state tax return online The prospective representative must request this authorization in writing from the Office of Professional Responsibility. File free state tax return online However, it is granted only when extremely compelling circumstances exist. File free state tax return online If granted, the Commissioner, or delegate, will issue a letter that details the conditions related to the appearance and the particular tax matter for which the authorization is granted. File free state tax return online The authorization letter should not be confused with a letter from an IRS center advising an individual that he or she has been assigned a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number. File free state tax return online The issuance of a CAF number does not indicate that an individual is either recognized or authorized to practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online It merely confirms that a centralized file for authorizations has been established for the individual under that number. File free state tax return online Students in LITCs and the STCP. File free state tax return online   A student who works in a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) or Student Tax Clinic Program (STCP) who is supervised by a practitioner may request permission to represent another person before the IRS. File free state tax return online Authorization requests must be made to the Office of Professional Responsibility. File free state tax return online If granted, a letter authorizing the student's special appearance and detailing any conditions related to the appearance will be issued. File free state tax return online Students receiving an authorization letter generally can represent taxpayers before any IRS function or office subject to any conditions in the authorization letter. File free state tax return online If you intend to have a student represent you, review the authorization letter and ask your student, your student's supervisor, or the Office of Professional Responsibility if you have questions about the terms of the authorization. File free state tax return online Who Cannot Practice Before the IRS? In general, individuals who are not eligible or who have lost the privilege as a result of certain actions cannot practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online If an individual loses eligibility to practice, the IRS will not recognize a power of attorney that names the individual as a representative. File free state tax return online Corporations, associations, partnerships, and other persons that are not individuals. File free state tax return online   These organizations (or persons) are not eligible to practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Loss of Eligibility Generally, individuals lose their eligibility to practice before the IRS in the following ways. File free state tax return online Not meeting the requirements for renewal of enrollment (such as continuing professional education). File free state tax return online Requesting to be placed in inactive retirement status. File free state tax return online Being suspended or disbarred by the Office of Professional Responsibility for violating the regulations governing practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Failure to meet requirements. File free state tax return online   Individuals who fail to comply with the requirements for eligibility for renewal of enrollment will be notified by the IRS. File free state tax return online The notice will explain the reason for noncompliance and provide the individual with an opportunity to furnish information for reconsideration. File free state tax return online The individual has 60 days from the date of the notice to respond. File free state tax return online Inactive roster. File free state tax return online   An individual will be placed on the roster of inactive individuals for a period of three years, if he or she: Fails to respond timely to the notice of noncompliance with the renewal requirements, Fails to file timely the application for renewal, or Does not satisfy the requirements of eligibility for renewal. File free state tax return online The individual must file an application for renewal and satisfy all requirements for renewal after being placed in inactive status. File free state tax return online Otherwise, at the conclusion of the next renewal cycle, he or she will be removed from the roster and the enrollment or registration terminated. File free state tax return online Inactive retirement status. File free state tax return online   Individuals who request to be placed in an inactive retirement status will be ineligible to practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online They must continue to adhere to all renewal requirements. File free state tax return online They can be reinstated to an active enrollment status by filing an application for renewal and providing evidence that they have completed the required continuing professional education hours for the enrollment cycle or registration year. File free state tax return online Suspension and disbarment. File free state tax return online   Individuals authorized to practice before the IRS are subject to disciplinary proceedings and may be suspended or disbarred for violating any regulation governing practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online This includes engaging in acts of disreputable conduct. File free state tax return online For more information, see Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct under What are the Rules of Practice, later. File free state tax return online   Practitioners who are suspended in a disciplinary proceeding are not allowed to practice before the IRS during the period of suspension. File free state tax return online See What Is Practice Before the IRS, earlier. File free state tax return online   Practitioners who are disbarred in a disciplinary proceeding are not allowed to practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online However, a practitioner can seek reinstatement from the Office of Professional Responsibility five years after disbarment. File free state tax return online   If the practitioner seeks reinstatement, he or she may not practice before the IRS until the Office of Professional Responsibility authorizes reinstatement. File free state tax return online The Office of Professional Responsibility may reinstate the practitioner if it is determined that: The practitioner's future conduct is not likely to be in violation of the regulations, and Granting the reinstatement would not be contrary to the public interest. File free state tax return online How Does an Individual Become Enrolled? The Return Preparer Office can grant enrollment to practice before the IRS to an applicant who demonstrates special competence in tax matters by passing a written examination administered by the IRS. File free state tax return online Enrollment also can be granted to an applicant who qualifies because of past service and technical experience in the IRS. File free state tax return online In either case, certain application forms, discussed next, must be filed. File free state tax return online Additionally, an applicant must not have engaged in any conduct that would justify suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online See Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct, later. File free state tax return online Form 2587. File free state tax return online   Applicants can apply to take the special enrollment examination by filing Form 2587, Application for Special Enrollment Examination. File free state tax return online Form 2587 can be filed online, by mail, or by fax. File free state tax return online For more information, see instructions and fees listed on the form. File free state tax return online To get Form 2587, see How To Get Tax Help, later. File free state tax return online Form 23 and Form 23-EP. File free state tax return online   Individuals who have passed the examination or are applying on the basis of past service and technical experience with the IRS can apply for enrollment by filing Form 23, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, or Form 23-EP, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service as an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent. File free state tax return online The application must include a check or money order in the amount of the fee shown on Form 23 or Form 23-EP. File free state tax return online Alternatively, payment may be made electronically pursuant to instructions on the forms. File free state tax return online To get Form 23 or Form 23-EP, see How To Get Tax Help, later. File free state tax return online Form 5434. File free state tax return online   An individual may apply as an enrolled actuary on the basis of past employment with the IRS and technical experience by filing Form 5434, Application for Enrollment, with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. File free state tax return online The application must include a check or money order in the amount of the fee shown on Form 5434. File free state tax return online To get Form 5434, see How To Get Tax Help, later. File free state tax return online Period of enrollment. File free state tax return online   An enrollment card will be issued to each individual whose enrollment application is approved. File free state tax return online The individual is enrolled until the expiration date shown on the enrollment card or certificate. File free state tax return online To continue practicing beyond the expiration date, the individual must request renewal of the enrollment by filing Form 8554, Application for Renewal of Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, or Form 8554-EP, Application for Renewal of Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service as an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA). File free state tax return online What Are the Rules of Practice? The rules governing practice before the IRS are published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 31 C. File free state tax return online F. File free state tax return online R. File free state tax return online part 10 and reprinted in Treasury Department Circular No. File free state tax return online 230 (Circular 230). File free state tax return online An attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, registered tax return preparer, or enrolled actuary authorized to practice before the IRS (referred to hereafter as a practitioner) has the duty to perform certain acts and is restricted from performing other acts. File free state tax return online In addition, a practitioner cannot engage in disreputable conduct (discussed later). File free state tax return online Any practitioner who does not comply with the rules of practice or engages in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action. File free state tax return online Also, unenrolled preparers must comply with the rules of practice and conduct to exercise the privilege of limited practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online See Publication 470 for a discussion of the special rules for limited practice by unenrolled preparers. File free state tax return online Duties Practitioners must promptly submit records or information requested by officers or employees of the IRS, except when the practitioner believes on reasonable belief and good faith that the information is privileged. File free state tax return online Communications with respect to tax advice between a federally authorized tax practitioner and a taxpayer generally are confidential to the same extent that communication would be privileged if it were between a taxpayer and an attorney if the advice relates to: Noncriminal tax matters before the IRS, or Noncriminal tax proceedings brought in federal court by or against the United States. File free state tax return online Communications regarding corporate tax shelters. File free state tax return online   This protection of tax advice communications does not apply to any written communications between a federally authorized tax practitioner and any person, including a director, shareholder, officer, employee, agent, or representative of a corporation if the communication involves the promotion of the direct or indirect participation of the corporation in any tax shelter. File free state tax return online Duty to advise. File free state tax return online   A practitioner who knows that his or her client has not complied with the revenue laws or has made an error or omission in any return, document, affidavit, or other required paper, has the responsibility to advise the client promptly of the noncompliance, error, or omission, and the consequences of the noncompliance, error, or omission. File free state tax return online Due diligence. File free state tax return online   A practitioner must exercise due diligence when performing the following duties. File free state tax return online Preparing or assisting in the preparing, approving, and filing of returns, documents, affidavits, and other papers relating to IRS matters. File free state tax return online Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him or her to the Department of the Treasury. File free state tax return online Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him or her to clients with reference to any matter administered by the IRS. File free state tax return online Restrictions Practitioners are restricted from engaging in certain practices. File free state tax return online The following paragraphs discuss some of these restricted practices. File free state tax return online Delays. File free state tax return online   A practitioner must not unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the IRS. File free state tax return online Assistance from disbarred or suspended persons and former IRS employees. File free state tax return online   A practitioner must not knowingly, directly or indirectly, do the following. File free state tax return online Accept assistance from, or assist, any person who is under disbarment or suspension from practice before the IRS if the assistance relates to matters considered practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Accept assistance from any former government employee where provisions of Circular 230 or any federal law would be violated. File free state tax return online Performance as a notary. File free state tax return online   A practitioner who is a notary public and is employed as counsel, attorney, or agent in a matter before the IRS, or has a material interest in the matter, cannot engage in any notary activities related to that matter. File free state tax return online Negotiations of taxpayer refund checks. File free state tax return online   Practitioners must not endorse or otherwise negotiate (cash) any refund check (including directing or accepting payment by any means, electronic or otherwise, in an account owned or controlled by the practitioner or any firm or other entity with whom the practitioner is associated) issued to the taxpayer. File free state tax return online Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct Any practitioner or unenrolled return preparer may be disbarred or suspended from practice before the IRS, or censured, for incompetence or disreputable conduct. File free state tax return online The following list contains examples of conduct that is considered disreputable. File free state tax return online Being convicted of any criminal offense under the revenue laws or of any offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust. File free state tax return online Knowingly giving false or misleading information in connection with federal tax matters, or participating in such activity. File free state tax return online Soliciting employment by prohibited means as discussed in section 10. File free state tax return online 30 of Circular 230. File free state tax return online Willfully failing to file a federal tax return, evading or attempting to evade any federal tax or payment, or participating in such actions. File free state tax return online Misappropriating, or failing to properly and promptly remit, funds received from clients for payment of taxes or other obligations due the United States. File free state tax return online Directly or indirectly attempting to influence the official action of IRS employees by the use of threats, false accusations, duress, or coercion, or by offering gifts, favors, or any special inducements. File free state tax return online Being disbarred or suspended from practice as an attorney, CPA, public accountant, or actuary, by the District of Columbia or any state, possession, territory, commonwealth, or any federal court, or any federal agency, body, or board. File free state tax return online Knowingly aiding and abetting another person to practice before the IRS during a period of suspension, disbarment, or ineligibility of that other person. File free state tax return online Using abusive language, making false accusations and statements knowing them to be false, circulating or publishing malicious or libelous matter, or engaging in any contemptuous conduct in connection with practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Giving a false opinion knowingly, recklessly, or through gross incompetence; or following a pattern of providing incompetent opinions in questions arising under the federal tax laws. File free state tax return online Censure, Disbarments, and Suspensions The Office of Professional Responsibility may censure or institute proceedings to censure, suspend or disbar any attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent who has violated Circular 230. File free state tax return online A practitioner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the rules before any disciplinary action is taken. File free state tax return online Authorizing a Representative You may either represent yourself, or you may authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. File free state tax return online If you chose to have someone represent you, your representative must be a person eligible to practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online See Who Can Practice Before the IRS, earlier. File free state tax return online What Is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is your written authorization for an individual to act on your behalf. File free state tax return online If the authorization is not limited, the individual generally can perform all acts that you can perform. File free state tax return online The authority granted to a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled preparer is limited. File free state tax return online For information on the limits regarding registered tax return preparers, see Circular 230 §10. File free state tax return online 3(f). File free state tax return online For information on the limits regarding unenrolled preparers, see Publication 470. File free state tax return online Acts performed. File free state tax return online   Any representative, other than a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled return preparer, can usually perform the following acts. File free state tax return online Represent you before any office of the IRS. File free state tax return online Sign an offer or a waiver of restriction on assessment or collection of a tax deficiency, or a waiver of notice of disallowance of claim for credit or refund. File free state tax return online Sign a consent to extend the statutory time period for assessment or collection of a tax. File free state tax return online Sign a closing agreement. File free state tax return online Signing your return. File free state tax return online   The representative named under a power of attorney is not permitted to sign your income tax return unless: The signature is permitted under the Internal Revenue Code and the related regulations (see Regulations section 1. File free state tax return online 6012-1(a)(5)). File free state tax return online You specifically authorize this in your power of attorney. File free state tax return online For example, the regulation permits a representative to sign your return if you are unable to sign the return due to: Disease or injury. File free state tax return online Continuous absence from the United States (including Puerto Rico) for a period of at least 60 days prior to the date required by law for filing the return. File free state tax return online Other good cause if specific permission is requested of and granted by the IRS. File free state tax return online When a return is signed by a representative, it must be accompanied by a power of attorney (or copy) authorizing the representative to sign the return. File free state tax return online For more information, see the Form 2848 instructions. File free state tax return online Limitation on substitution or delegation. File free state tax return online   A recognized representative can substitute or delegate authority under the power of attorney to another recognized representative only if the act is specifically authorized by you on the power of attorney. File free state tax return online   After a substitution has been made, only the newly recognized representative will be recognized as the taxpayer's representative. File free state tax return online If a delegation of power has been made, both the original and the delegated representative will be recognized by the IRS to represent you. File free state tax return online Disclosure of returns to a third party. File free state tax return online   Your representative cannot execute consents that will allow the IRS to disclose tax return or return information to a third party unless you specifically delegate this authority to your representative on line 5 of Form 2848. File free state tax return online Incapacity or incompetency. File free state tax return online   A power of attorney is generally terminated if you become incapacitated or incompetent. File free state tax return online   The power of attorney can continue, however, in the case of your incapacity or incompetency if you authorize this on line 5 “Other” of the Form 2848 and if your non-IRS durable power of attorney meets all the requirements for acceptance by the IRS. File free state tax return online See Non-IRS powers of attorney, later. File free state tax return online When Is a Power of Attorney Required? Submit a power of attorney when you want to authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS, whether or not the representative performs any of the other acts cited earlier under What Is a Power of Attorney. File free state tax return online A power of attorney is most often required when you want to authorize another individual to perform at least one of the following acts on your behalf. File free state tax return online Represent you at a meeting with the IRS. File free state tax return online Prepare and file a written response to the IRS. File free state tax return online Form Required Use Form 2848 to appoint a recognized representative to act on your behalf before the IRS. File free state tax return online Individuals recognized to practice before the IRS are listed under Part II, Declaration of Representative, of Form 2848. File free state tax return online Your representative must complete that part of the form. File free state tax return online Non-IRS powers of attorney. File free state tax return online   The IRS will accept a non-IRS power of attorney, but a completed Form 2848 must be attached in order for the power of attorney to be entered on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) system. File free state tax return online For more information, see Processing a non-IRS power of attorney, later. File free state tax return online   If you want to use a power of attorney document other than Form 2848, it must contain the following information. File free state tax return online Your name and mailing address. File free state tax return online Your social security number and/or employer identification number. File free state tax return online Your employee plan number, if applicable. File free state tax return online The name and mailing address of your representative(s). File free state tax return online The types of tax involved. File free state tax return online The federal tax form number. File free state tax return online The specific year(s) or period(s) involved. File free state tax return online For estate tax matters, the decedent's date of death. File free state tax return online A clear expression of your intention concerning the scope of authority granted to your representative(s). File free state tax return online Your signature and date. File free state tax return online You also must attach to the non-IRS power of attorney a signed and dated statement made by your representative. File free state tax return online This statement, which is referred to as the Declaration of Representative, is contained in Part II of Form 2848. File free state tax return online The statement should read: I am not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the Internal Revenue Service or other practice of my profession by any other authority, I am aware of the regulations contained in Circular 230, I am authorized to represent the taxpayer(s) identified in the power of attorney, and I am an individual described in 26 CFR 601. File free state tax return online 502(b). File free state tax return online Required information missing. File free state tax return online   The IRS will not accept your non-IRS power of attorney if it does not contain all the information listed above. File free state tax return online You can sign and submit a completed Form 2848 or a new non-IRS power of attorney that contains all the information. File free state tax return online If you cannot sign an acceptable replacement document, your attorney-in-fact may be able to perfect (make acceptable to the IRS) your non-IRS power of attorney by using the procedure described next. File free state tax return online Procedure for perfecting a non-IRS power of attorney. File free state tax return online   Under the following conditions, the attorney-in-fact named in your non-IRS power of attorney can sign a Form 2848 on your behalf. File free state tax return online The original non-IRS power of attorney grants authority to handle federal tax matters (for example, general authority to perform any acts). File free state tax return online The attorney-in-fact attaches a statement (signed under penalty of perjury) to the Form 2848 stating that the original non-IRS power of attorney is valid under the laws of the governing jurisdiction. File free state tax return online Example. File free state tax return online John Elm, a taxpayer, signs a non-IRS durable power of attorney that names his neighbor and CPA, Ed Larch, as his attorney-in-fact. File free state tax return online The power of attorney grants Ed the authority to perform any and all acts on John's behalf. File free state tax return online However, it does not list specific tax-related information such as types of tax or tax form numbers. File free state tax return online Shortly after John signs the power of attorney, he is declared incompetent. File free state tax return online Later, a federal tax matter arises concerning a prior year return filed by John. File free state tax return online Ed attempts to represent John before the IRS but is rejected because the durable power of attorney does not contain required information. File free state tax return online If Ed attaches a statement (signed under the penalty of perjury) that the durable power of attorney is valid under the laws of the governing jurisdiction, he can sign a completed Form 2848 and submit it on John's behalf. File free state tax return online If Ed can practice before the IRS (see Who Can Practice Before the IRS, earlier), he can name himself as representative on Form 2848. File free state tax return online Otherwise, he must name another individual who can practice before the IRS. File free state tax return online Processing a non-IRS power of attorney. File free state tax return online   The IRS has a centralized computer database system called the CAF system. File free state tax return online This system contains information on the authority of taxpayer representatives. File free state tax return online Generally, when you submit a power of attorney document to the IRS, it is processed for inclusion on the CAF system. File free state tax return online Entry of your power of attorney on the CAF system enables IRS personnel, who do not have a copy of your power of attorney, to verify the authority of your representative by accessing the CAF. File free state tax return online It also enables the IRS to automatically send copies of notices and other IRS communications to your representative if you specify that your representative should receive those communications. File free state tax return online   You can have your non-IRS power of attorney entered on the CAF system by attaching it to a completed Form 2848 and submitting it to the IRS. File free state tax return online Your signature is not required; however, your attorney-in-fact must sign the Declaration of Representative (see Part II of Form 2848). File free state tax return online Preparation of Form — Helpful Hints The preparation of Form 2848 is illustrated by an example, later under How Do I Fill Out Form 2848. File free state tax return online However, the following will also assist you in preparing the form. File free state tax return online Line-by-line hints. File free state tax return online   The following hints are summaries of some of the line-by-line instructions for Form 2848. File free state tax return online Line 1—Taxpayer information. File free state tax return online   If a joint return is involved, the husband and wife each file a separate Form 2848 if they both want to be represented. File free state tax return online If only one spouse wants to be represented in the matter, that spouse files a Form 2848. File free state tax return online Line 2—Representative(s). File free state tax return online   Only individuals may be named as representatives. File free state tax return online If your representative has not been assigned a CAF number, enter “None” on that line and the IRS will issue one to your representative. File free state tax return online If the representative's address or phone number has changed since the CAF number was issued, you should check the appropriate box. File free state tax return online Enter your representative's fax number if available. File free state tax return online   If you want to name more than three representatives, attach additional Form(s) 2848. File free state tax return online The IRS can send copies of notices and communications to two of your representatives. File free state tax return online You must, however, check the boxes on line 2 of the Form 2848 if you want the IRS to routinely send copies of notices and communications to your representatives. File free state tax return online If you do not check the boxes, your representatives will not routinely receive copies of notices and communications. File free state tax return online Line 3—Tax matters. File free state tax return online   You may list any tax years or periods that have already ended as of the date you sign the power of attorney. File free state tax return online However, you may include on a power of attorney only future tax periods that end no later than 3 years after the date the power of attorney is received by the IRS. File free state tax return online The 3 future periods are determined starting after December 31 of the year the power of attorney is received by the IRS. File free state tax return online However, avoid general references such as “all years” or “all taxes. File free state tax return online ” Any Form 2848 with general references will be returned. File free state tax return online Line 4—Specific use not recorded on Centralized Authorization File (CAF). File free state tax return online   Certain matters cannot be recorded on the CAF system. File free state tax return online Examples of such matters include, but are not limited to, the following. File free state tax return online Requests for a private letter ruling or technical advice. File free state tax return online Applications for an employer identification number (EIN). File free state tax return online Claims filed on Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. File free state tax return online Corporate dissolutions. File free state tax return online Requests for change of accounting method. File free state tax return online Requests for change of accounting period. File free state tax return online Applications for recognition of exemption under sections 501(c)(3), 501(a), or 521 (Forms 1023, 1034, or 1028). File free state tax return online Request for a determination of the qualified status of an employee benefit plan (Forms 5300, 5307, or 5310). File free state tax return online Application for Award for Original Information under section 7623. File free state tax return online Voluntary submissions under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). File free state tax return online Freedom of Information Act requests. File free state tax return online If the tax matter described on line 3 of Form 2848 concerns one of these matters specifically, check the box on line 4. File free state tax return online If this box is checked, the representative should mail or fax the power of attorney to the IRS office handling the matter. File free state tax return online Otherwise, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS. File free state tax return online Where To File a Power of Attorney Generally, you can mail or fax a paper Form 2848 directly to the IRS. File free state tax return online To determine where you should file Form 2848, see Where To File in the instructions for Form 2848. File free state tax return online If Form 2848 is for a specific use, mail or fax it to the office handling that matter. File free state tax return online For more information on specific use, see the Instructions for Form 2848, line 4. File free state tax return online FAX copies. File free state tax return online   The IRS will accept a copy of a power of attorney that is submitted by facsimile transmission (fax). File free state tax return online If you choose to file a power of attorney by fax, be sure the appropriate IRS office is equipped to accept this type of transmission. File free state tax return online Your representative may be able to file Form 2848 electronically via the IRS website. File free state tax return online For more information, your representative can go to www. File free state tax return online irs. File free state tax return online gov and under the Tax Professionals tab, click on e-services–Online Tools for Tax Professionals. File free state tax return online If you complete Form 2848 for electronic signature authorization, do not file Form 2848 with the IRS. File free state tax return online Instead, give it to your representative, who will retain the document. File free state tax return online Updating a power of attorney. File free state tax return online   Submit any update or modification to an existing power of attorney in writing. File free state tax return online Your signature (or the signature of the individual(s) authorized to sign on your behalf) is required. File free state tax return online Do this by sending the updated Form 2848 or non-IRS power of attorney to the IRS office(s) where you previously sent the original(s), including the center where the related return was, or will be filed. File free state tax return online   A recognized representative may substitute or delegate authority if you specifically authorize your representative to substitute or delegate representation in the original power of attorney. File free state tax return online To make a substitution or delegation, the representative must file the following items with the IRS office(s) where the power of attorney was filed. File free state tax return online A written notice of substitution or delegation signed by the recognized representative. File free state tax return online A written declaration of representative made by the new representative. File free state tax return online A copy of the power of attorney that specifically authorizes the substitution or delegation. File free state tax return online Retention/Revocation of Prior Power(s) of Attorney A newly filed power of attorney concerning the same matter will revoke a previously filed power of attorney. File free state tax return online However, the new power of attorney will not revoke the prior power of attorney if it specifically states it does not revoke such prior power of attorney and either of the following are attached to the new power of attorney. File free state tax return online A copy of the unrevoked prior power of attorney, or A statement signed by the taxpayer listing the name and address of each representative authorized under the prior unrevoked power of attorney. File free state tax return online Note. File free state tax return online The filing of Form 2848 will not revoke any  Form 8821 that is in effect. File free state tax return online 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, or if the power of attorney is for a specific matter, to the IRS office handling the matter. File free state tax return online 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. File free state tax return online 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. File free state tax return online If you do not have a copy of the power of attorney you want to revoke or withdraw, send a statement to the IRS. File free state tax return online The statement of revocation or withdrawal must indicate that the authority of the power of attorney is revoked or withdrawn, list the matters and periods, and must be signed and dated by the taxpayer or representative as applicable. File free state tax return online If the taxpayer is revoking, list the name and address of each recognized representative whose authority is revoked. File free state tax return online 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. File free state tax return online If the representative is withdrawing, list the name, TIN, and address (if known) of the taxpayer. File free state tax return online To revoke a specific use power of attorney, send the power of attorney or statement of revocation to the IRS office handling your case, using the above instructions. File free state tax return online A power of attorney held by a student will be recorded on the CAF system for 130 days from the receipt date. File free state tax return online If you are authorizing a student to represent you after that time, you will need to submit a current and valid Form 2848. File free state tax return online When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required? A power of attorney is not required when the third party is not dealing with the IRS as your representative. File free state tax return online The following situations do not require a power of attorney. File free state tax return online Providing information to the IRS. File free state tax return online Authorizing the disclosure of tax return information through Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, or other written or oral disclosure consent. File free state tax return online Allowing the IRS to discuss return information with a third party via the checkbox provided on a tax return or other document. File free state tax return online Allowing a tax matters partner or person (TMP) to perform acts for the partnership. File free state tax return online Allowing the IRS to discuss return information with a fiduciary. File free state tax return online How Do I Fill Out Form 2848? The following example illustrates how to complete Form 2848. File free state tax return online The two completed forms for this example are shown on the next pages. File free state tax return online Example. File free state tax return online Stan and Mary Doe have been notified that their joint tax returns (Forms 1040) for 2009, 2010, and 2011 are being examined. File free state tax return online They have decided to appoint Jim Smith, an enrolled agent, to represent them in this matter and any future matters concerning these returns. File free state tax return online Jim, who has prepared returns at the same location for years, already has a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number assigned to him. File free state tax return online Mary does not want Jim to sign any agreements on her behalf, but Stan is willing to have Jim do so. File free state tax return online They want copies of all notices and written communications sent to Jim. File free state tax return online This is the first time Stan and Mary have given power of attorney to anyone. File free state tax return online They should each complete a Form 2848 as follows. File free state tax return online Line 1—Taxpayer information. File free state tax return online   Stan and Mary must each file a separate Form 2848. File free state tax return online On his separate Form 2848, Stan enters his name, street address, and social security number in the spaces provided. File free state tax return online Mary does likewise on her separate Form 2848. File free state tax return online Line 2—Representative(s). File free state tax return online   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each enters the name and current address of their chosen representative, Jim Smith. File free state tax return online Both Stan and Mary want Jim Smith to receive notices and communications concerning the matters identified in line 3, so on their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each checks the box in the first column of line 2. File free state tax return online They also enter Mr. File free state tax return online Smith's CAF number, his telephone number, and his fax number. File free state tax return online Mr. File free state tax return online Smith's address, telephone number, and fax number have not changed since the IRS issued his CAF number, so Stan and Mary do not check the boxes in the second column. File free state tax return online Line 3—Tax Matters. File free state tax return online   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each enters “income” for the type of tax, “1040” for the form number, and “2009, 2010, and 2011” for the tax years. File free state tax return online Line 4—Specific use not recorded on Centralized Authorization File (CAF). File free state tax return online   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary make no entry on this line because they do not want to restrict the use of their powers of attorney to a specific use that is not recorded on the CAF. File free state tax return online See Preparation of Form — Helpful Hints, earlier. File free state tax return online Line 5—Acts authorized. File free state tax return online   Mary wants to sign any agreement that reflects changes to her and Stan's joint 2009, 2010, and 2011 income tax liability, so she writes “Taxpayer must sign any agreement form” on line 5 of her Form 2848. File free state tax return online Stan does not wish to restrict the authority of Jim Smith in this regard, so he leaves line 5 of his Form 2848 blank. File free state tax return online If either Mary or Stan had chosen, they could have listed other restrictions on line 5 of their separate Forms 2848. File free state tax return online Line 6—Retention/revocation of prior power(s) of attorney. File free state tax return online   Stan and Mary are each filing their first powers of attorney, so they make no entry on this line. File free state tax return online However, if they had filed prior powers of attorney, the filing of this current power would revoke any earlier ones for the same tax matter(s) unless they checked the box on line 6 and attached a copy of the prior power of attorney that they wanted to remain in effect. File free state tax return online   If Mary later decides that she can handle the examination on her own, she can revoke her power of attorney even though Stan does not revoke his power of attorney. File free state tax return online (See Revocation of Power of Attorney/Withdrawal of Representative, earlier, for the special rules that apply. File free state tax return online ) Line 7—Signature of taxpayer. File free state tax return online   Stan and Mary each signs and dates his or her Form 2848. File free state tax return online If a taxpayer does not sign, the IRS cannot accept the form. File free state tax return online Part II—Declaration of Representative. File free state tax return online   Jim Smith must complete this part of Form 2848. File free state tax return online If he does not sign this part, the IRS cannot accept the form. File free state tax return online What Happens to the Power of Attorney When Filed? A power of attorney will be recognized after it is received, reviewed, and determined by the IRS to contain the required information. File free state tax return online However, until a power of attorney is entered on the CAF system, IRS personnel may be unaware of the authority of the person you have named to represent you. File free state tax return online Therefore, during this interim period, IRS personnel may request that you or your representative bring a copy to any meeting with the IRS. File free state tax return online This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. File free state tax return online Please click the link to view the image. File free state tax return online Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 1 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. File free state tax return online Please click the link to view the image. File free state tax return online Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 2 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. File free state tax return online Please click the link to view the image. File free state tax return online Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 1 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. File free state tax return online Please click the link to view the image. File free state tax return online Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 2 Processing and Handling How the power of attorney is processed and handled depends on whether it is a complete or incomplete document. File free state tax return online Incomplete document. File free state tax return online   If Form 2848 is incomplete, the IRS will attempt to secure the missing information either by writing or telephoning you or your representative. File free state tax return online For example, if your signature or signature date is missing, the IRS will contact you. File free state tax return online If information concerning your representative is missing and information sufficient to make a contact (such as an address and/or a telephone number) is on the document, the IRS will try to contact your representative. File free state tax return online   In either case, the power of attorney is not considered valid until all required information is entered on the document. File free state tax return online The individual(s) named as representative(s) will not be recognized to practice before the IRS, on your behalf, until the document is complete and accepted by the IRS. File free state tax return online Complete document. File free state tax return online   If the power of attorney is complete and valid, the IRS will take action to recognize the representative. File free state tax return online In most instances, this includes processing the document on the CAF system. File free state tax return online Recording the data on the CAF system enables the IRS to direct copies of mailings to authorized representatives and to readily recognize the scope of authority granted. File free state tax return online Documents not processed on CAF. File free state tax return online   Specific-use powers of attorney are not processed on the CAF system (see Preparation of Form – Helpful Hints, earlier). File free state tax return online For example, a power of attorney that is a one-time or specific-issue grant of authority is not processed on the CAF system. File free state tax return online These documents remain with the related case files. File free state tax return online In this situation, you should check the box on line 4 of Form 2848. File free state tax return online In these situations, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS. File free state tax return online Dealing With the Representative After a valid power of attorney is filed, the IRS will recognize your representative. File free state tax return online However, if it appears the representative is responsible for unreasonably delaying or hindering the prompt disposition of an IRS matter by failing to furnish, after repeated requests, nonprivileged information, the IRS can contact you directly. File free state tax return online For example, in most instances in which a power of attorney is recognized, the IRS will contact the representative to set up appointments and to provide lists of required items. File free state tax return online However, if the representative is unavailable, does not respond to repeated requests, and does not provide required items (other than items considered privileged), the IRS can bypass your representative and contact you directly. File free state tax return online If a representative engages in conduct described above, the matter can be referred to the Office of Professional Responsibility for consideration of possible disciplinary action. File free state tax return online Notices and other correspondence. File free state tax return online   If you have a recognized representative, you and the representative will routinely receive notices and other correspondence from the IRS (either the original or a copy) if you checked the box in the left column of line 2 of Form 2848. File free state tax return online If the power of attorney is processed on the CAF system, the IRS will send your representative(s) a duplicate of all computer-generated correspondence that is sent to you. File free state tax return online This includes notices and letters produced either at the Martinsburg Computing Center, or other IRS centers. File free state tax return online The IRS employee handling the case is responsible for ensuring that the original and any requested copies of each manually-generated correspondence are sent to you and your representative(s) in accordance with your authorization. File free state tax return online How To Get Tax Help You can get help with unresolved tax issues, order free publications and forms, ask tax questions, and get information from the IRS in several ways. File free state tax return online By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help. 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File free state tax return online Wait at least 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or 3 to 4 weeks after mailing a paper return. File free state tax return online If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). File free state tax return online Have your tax return available so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. File free state tax return online Download forms, including talking tax forms, instructions, and publications. File free state tax return online Order IRS products online. File free state tax return online Research your tax questions online. File free state tax return online Search publications online by topic or keyword. File free state tax return online Use the online Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. 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Understanding Your CP54B Notice

Your tax return shows a different name and/or ID number from the information we have for your account. Please provide more information to us in order to receive your refund.


What you need to do

  • Review your identifying information shown on this notice and compare it to your most recent social security card or taxpayer ID card.
  • Complete the CP54 response form to explain the discrepancies.
  • Include copies of documents to substantiate your name and identifying number.

You may want to

  • Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your records if any of the following occurred:
    • you recently married and are using your spouse’s last name and have not already contacted SSA,
    • you legally changed your name without contacting SSA,
    • or your social security number and/or name are different than on your  social security card.

 


Answers to Common Questions

Q. I sent you my information. When will I get my refund?

A. Once we receive your response form and verify the information you provided, you should receive your refund in 4 to 6 weeks. If you don’t hear from us after 4 to 6 weeks, call our “Where’s My Refund?” toll free line at 1-800-829-1954 to check on the status of your refund.

 


Tips for next year

Make sure you file using your name and taxpayer ID number as they appear on your social security card or taxpayer ID card.
 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 22-Jan-2014

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

 

 

How to get help

  • Call the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
  • Authorize someone (e.g., accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
     

The File Free State Tax Return Online

File free state tax return online 16. File free state tax return online   Rulings Program The IRS has a program for assisting taxpayers who have technical problems with tax laws and regulations. File free state tax return online The IRS will answer inquiries from individuals and organizations about the tax effect of their acts or transactions. File free state tax return online The National Office of the IRS issues rulings on those matters. File free state tax return online A ruling is a written statement to a taxpayer that interprets and applies tax laws to the taxpayer's specific set of facts. File free state tax return online There are also determination letters issued by IRS directors and information letters issued by IRS directors or the National Office. File free state tax return online There is a fee for most types of determination letters and rulings. File free state tax return online For complete information on the rulings program, see the first Internal Revenue Bulletin published each year. File free state tax return online Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications