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Free tax filing for 2012 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). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The Office of Professional Responsibility generally has responsibility for matters related to practitioner conduct and exclusive responsibility for discipline, including disciplinary proceedings and sanctions. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 What Is Practice Before the IRS? Practice before the IRS covers all matters relating to any of the following. Free tax filing for 2012 Communicating with the IRS for a taxpayer regarding the taxpayer's rights, privileges, or liabilities under laws and regulations administered by the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Representing a taxpayer at conferences, hearings, or meetings with the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Preparing and filing documents, including tax returns, with the IRS for a taxpayer. Free tax filing for 2012 Providing a client with written advice which has a potential for tax avoidance or evasion. Free tax filing for 2012 Furnishing information at the request of the IRS or appearing as a witness for the taxpayer is not practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Who Can Practice Before the IRS? The following individuals can practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Form 2848 can be used for this purpose. Free tax filing for 2012 Attorneys. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Certified public accountants (CPAs). Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Enrolled agents. Free tax filing for 2012   Any enrolled agent in active status who is not currently under suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS may practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Enrolled retirement plan agents. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Enrolled actuaries. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Student. Free tax filing for 2012    Under certain circumstances, a student who is supervised by a practitioner may request permission to represent another person before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information, see Authorization for special appearances, later. Free tax filing for 2012 Registered tax return preparers and unenrolled return preparers. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 See Form 8821. Free tax filing for 2012 Practice denied. Free tax filing for 2012   Any individual engaged in limited practice before the IRS who is involved in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Other individuals who may serve as representatives. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 An individual. Free tax filing for 2012 An individual can represent himself or herself before the IRS and does not have to file a written declaration of qualification and authority. Free tax filing for 2012 A family member. Free tax filing for 2012 An individual can represent members of his or her immediate family. Free tax filing for 2012 Immediate family includes a spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister of the individual. Free tax filing for 2012 An officer. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 A partner. Free tax filing for 2012 A general partner may represent the partnership before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 An employee. Free tax filing for 2012 A regular full-time employee can represent his or her employer. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 A fiduciary. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 See Fiduciary under When Is a Power of Attorney Not Required, later. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 See section 10. Free tax filing for 2012 7(c)(1)(vii) of Circular 230. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The prospective representative must request this authorization in writing from the Office of Professional Responsibility. Free tax filing for 2012 However, it is granted only when extremely compelling circumstances exist. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The issuance of a CAF number does not indicate that an individual is either recognized or authorized to practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 It merely confirms that a centralized file for authorizations has been established for the individual under that number. Free tax filing for 2012 Students in LITCs and the STCP. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Authorization requests must be made to the Office of Professional Responsibility. Free tax filing for 2012 If granted, a letter authorizing the student's special appearance and detailing any conditions related to the appearance will be issued. Free tax filing for 2012 Students receiving an authorization letter generally can represent taxpayers before any IRS function or office subject to any conditions in the authorization letter. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If an individual loses eligibility to practice, the IRS will not recognize a power of attorney that names the individual as a representative. Free tax filing for 2012 Corporations, associations, partnerships, and other persons that are not individuals. Free tax filing for 2012   These organizations (or persons) are not eligible to practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Loss of Eligibility Generally, individuals lose their eligibility to practice before the IRS in the following ways. Free tax filing for 2012 Not meeting the requirements for renewal of enrollment (such as continuing professional education). Free tax filing for 2012 Requesting to be placed in inactive retirement status. Free tax filing for 2012 Being suspended or disbarred by the Office of Professional Responsibility for violating the regulations governing practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Failure to meet requirements. Free tax filing for 2012   Individuals who fail to comply with the requirements for eligibility for renewal of enrollment will be notified by the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 The notice will explain the reason for noncompliance and provide the individual with an opportunity to furnish information for reconsideration. Free tax filing for 2012 The individual has 60 days from the date of the notice to respond. Free tax filing for 2012 Inactive roster. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 The individual must file an application for renewal and satisfy all requirements for renewal after being placed in inactive status. Free tax filing for 2012 Otherwise, at the conclusion of the next renewal cycle, he or she will be removed from the roster and the enrollment or registration terminated. Free tax filing for 2012 Inactive retirement status. Free tax filing for 2012   Individuals who request to be placed in an inactive retirement status will be ineligible to practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 They must continue to adhere to all renewal requirements. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Suspension and disbarment. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 This includes engaging in acts of disreputable conduct. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information, see Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct under What are the Rules of Practice, later. Free tax filing for 2012   Practitioners who are suspended in a disciplinary proceeding are not allowed to practice before the IRS during the period of suspension. Free tax filing for 2012 See What Is Practice Before the IRS, earlier. Free tax filing for 2012   Practitioners who are disbarred in a disciplinary proceeding are not allowed to practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 However, a practitioner can seek reinstatement from the Office of Professional Responsibility five years after disbarment. Free tax filing for 2012   If the practitioner seeks reinstatement, he or she may not practice before the IRS until the Office of Professional Responsibility authorizes reinstatement. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Enrollment also can be granted to an applicant who qualifies because of past service and technical experience in the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 In either case, certain application forms, discussed next, must be filed. Free tax filing for 2012 Additionally, an applicant must not have engaged in any conduct that would justify suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 See Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct, later. Free tax filing for 2012 Form 2587. Free tax filing for 2012   Applicants can apply to take the special enrollment examination by filing Form 2587, Application for Special Enrollment Examination. Free tax filing for 2012 Form 2587 can be filed online, by mail, or by fax. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information, see instructions and fees listed on the form. Free tax filing for 2012 To get Form 2587, see How To Get Tax Help, later. Free tax filing for 2012 Form 23 and Form 23-EP. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 The application must include a check or money order in the amount of the fee shown on Form 23 or Form 23-EP. Free tax filing for 2012 Alternatively, payment may be made electronically pursuant to instructions on the forms. Free tax filing for 2012 To get Form 23 or Form 23-EP, see How To Get Tax Help, later. Free tax filing for 2012 Form 5434. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 The application must include a check or money order in the amount of the fee shown on Form 5434. Free tax filing for 2012 To get Form 5434, see How To Get Tax Help, later. Free tax filing for 2012 Period of enrollment. Free tax filing for 2012   An enrollment card will be issued to each individual whose enrollment application is approved. Free tax filing for 2012 The individual is enrolled until the expiration date shown on the enrollment card or certificate. Free tax filing for 2012 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). Free tax filing for 2012 What Are the Rules of Practice? The rules governing practice before the IRS are published in the Code of Federal Regulations at 31 C. Free tax filing for 2012 F. Free tax filing for 2012 R. Free tax filing for 2012 part 10 and reprinted in Treasury Department Circular No. Free tax filing for 2012 230 (Circular 230). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 In addition, a practitioner cannot engage in disreputable conduct (discussed later). Free tax filing for 2012 Any practitioner who does not comply with the rules of practice or engages in disreputable conduct is subject to disciplinary action. Free tax filing for 2012 Also, unenrolled preparers must comply with the rules of practice and conduct to exercise the privilege of limited practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 See Publication 470 for a discussion of the special rules for limited practice by unenrolled preparers. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Communications regarding corporate tax shelters. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Duty to advise. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Due diligence. Free tax filing for 2012   A practitioner must exercise due diligence when performing the following duties. Free tax filing for 2012 Preparing or assisting in the preparing, approving, and filing of returns, documents, affidavits, and other papers relating to IRS matters. Free tax filing for 2012 Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him or her to the Department of the Treasury. Free tax filing for 2012 Determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by him or her to clients with reference to any matter administered by the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Restrictions Practitioners are restricted from engaging in certain practices. Free tax filing for 2012 The following paragraphs discuss some of these restricted practices. Free tax filing for 2012 Delays. Free tax filing for 2012   A practitioner must not unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Assistance from disbarred or suspended persons and former IRS employees. Free tax filing for 2012   A practitioner must not knowingly, directly or indirectly, do the following. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Accept assistance from any former government employee where provisions of Circular 230 or any federal law would be violated. Free tax filing for 2012 Performance as a notary. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Negotiations of taxpayer refund checks. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The following list contains examples of conduct that is considered disreputable. Free tax filing for 2012 Being convicted of any criminal offense under the revenue laws or of any offense involving dishonesty or breach of trust. Free tax filing for 2012 Knowingly giving false or misleading information in connection with federal tax matters, or participating in such activity. Free tax filing for 2012 Soliciting employment by prohibited means as discussed in section 10. Free tax filing for 2012 30 of Circular 230. Free tax filing for 2012 Willfully failing to file a federal tax return, evading or attempting to evade any federal tax or payment, or participating in such actions. Free tax filing for 2012 Misappropriating, or failing to properly and promptly remit, funds received from clients for payment of taxes or other obligations due the United States. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Knowingly aiding and abetting another person to practice before the IRS during a period of suspension, disbarment, or ineligibility of that other person. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 A practitioner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the rules before any disciplinary action is taken. Free tax filing for 2012 Authorizing a Representative You may either represent yourself, or you may authorize an individual to represent you before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 If you chose to have someone represent you, your representative must be a person eligible to practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 See Who Can Practice Before the IRS, earlier. Free tax filing for 2012 What Is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is your written authorization for an individual to act on your behalf. Free tax filing for 2012 If the authorization is not limited, the individual generally can perform all acts that you can perform. Free tax filing for 2012 The authority granted to a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled preparer is limited. Free tax filing for 2012 For information on the limits regarding registered tax return preparers, see Circular 230 §10. Free tax filing for 2012 3(f). Free tax filing for 2012 For information on the limits regarding unenrolled preparers, see Publication 470. Free tax filing for 2012 Acts performed. Free tax filing for 2012   Any representative, other than a registered tax return preparer or an unenrolled return preparer, can usually perform the following acts. Free tax filing for 2012 Represent you before any office of the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Sign a consent to extend the statutory time period for assessment or collection of a tax. Free tax filing for 2012 Sign a closing agreement. Free tax filing for 2012 Signing your return. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 6012-1(a)(5)). Free tax filing for 2012 You specifically authorize this in your power of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012 For example, the regulation permits a representative to sign your return if you are unable to sign the return due to: Disease or injury. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Other good cause if specific permission is requested of and granted by the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information, see the Form 2848 instructions. Free tax filing for 2012 Limitation on substitution or delegation. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012   After a substitution has been made, only the newly recognized representative will be recognized as the taxpayer's representative. Free tax filing for 2012 If a delegation of power has been made, both the original and the delegated representative will be recognized by the IRS to represent you. Free tax filing for 2012 Disclosure of returns to a third party. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Incapacity or incompetency. Free tax filing for 2012   A power of attorney is generally terminated if you become incapacitated or incompetent. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 See Non-IRS powers of attorney, later. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Represent you at a meeting with the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Prepare and file a written response to the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Form Required Use Form 2848 to appoint a recognized representative to act on your behalf before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Individuals recognized to practice before the IRS are listed under Part II, Declaration of Representative, of Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 Your representative must complete that part of the form. Free tax filing for 2012 Non-IRS powers of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information, see Processing a non-IRS power of attorney, later. Free tax filing for 2012   If you want to use a power of attorney document other than Form 2848, it must contain the following information. Free tax filing for 2012 Your name and mailing address. Free tax filing for 2012 Your social security number and/or employer identification number. Free tax filing for 2012 Your employee plan number, if applicable. Free tax filing for 2012 The name and mailing address of your representative(s). Free tax filing for 2012 The types of tax involved. Free tax filing for 2012 The federal tax form number. Free tax filing for 2012 The specific year(s) or period(s) involved. Free tax filing for 2012 For estate tax matters, the decedent's date of death. Free tax filing for 2012 A clear expression of your intention concerning the scope of authority granted to your representative(s). Free tax filing for 2012 Your signature and date. Free tax filing for 2012 You also must attach to the non-IRS power of attorney a signed and dated statement made by your representative. Free tax filing for 2012 This statement, which is referred to as the Declaration of Representative, is contained in Part II of Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 502(b). Free tax filing for 2012 Required information missing. Free tax filing for 2012   The IRS will not accept your non-IRS power of attorney if it does not contain all the information listed above. Free tax filing for 2012 You can sign and submit a completed Form 2848 or a new non-IRS power of attorney that contains all the information. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Procedure for perfecting a non-IRS power of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012   Under the following conditions, the attorney-in-fact named in your non-IRS power of attorney can sign a Form 2848 on your behalf. Free tax filing for 2012 The original non-IRS power of attorney grants authority to handle federal tax matters (for example, general authority to perform any acts). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Example. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The power of attorney grants Ed the authority to perform any and all acts on John's behalf. Free tax filing for 2012 However, it does not list specific tax-related information such as types of tax or tax form numbers. Free tax filing for 2012 Shortly after John signs the power of attorney, he is declared incompetent. Free tax filing for 2012 Later, a federal tax matter arises concerning a prior year return filed by John. Free tax filing for 2012 Ed attempts to represent John before the IRS but is rejected because the durable power of attorney does not contain required information. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If Ed can practice before the IRS (see Who Can Practice Before the IRS, earlier), he can name himself as representative on Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 Otherwise, he must name another individual who can practice before the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Processing a non-IRS power of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012   The IRS has a centralized computer database system called the CAF system. Free tax filing for 2012 This system contains information on the authority of taxpayer representatives. Free tax filing for 2012 Generally, when you submit a power of attorney document to the IRS, it is processed for inclusion on the CAF system. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Your signature is not required; however, your attorney-in-fact must sign the Declaration of Representative (see Part II of Form 2848). Free tax filing for 2012 Preparation of Form — Helpful Hints The preparation of Form 2848 is illustrated by an example, later under How Do I Fill Out Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 However, the following will also assist you in preparing the form. Free tax filing for 2012 Line-by-line hints. Free tax filing for 2012   The following hints are summaries of some of the line-by-line instructions for Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 1—Taxpayer information. Free tax filing for 2012   If a joint return is involved, the husband and wife each file a separate Form 2848 if they both want to be represented. Free tax filing for 2012 If only one spouse wants to be represented in the matter, that spouse files a Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 2—Representative(s). Free tax filing for 2012   Only individuals may be named as representatives. Free tax filing for 2012 If your representative has not been assigned a CAF number, enter “None” on that line and the IRS will issue one to your representative. Free tax filing for 2012 If the representative's address or phone number has changed since the CAF number was issued, you should check the appropriate box. Free tax filing for 2012 Enter your representative's fax number if available. Free tax filing for 2012   If you want to name more than three representatives, attach additional Form(s) 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 The IRS can send copies of notices and communications to two of your representatives. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If you do not check the boxes, your representatives will not routinely receive copies of notices and communications. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 3—Tax matters. Free tax filing for 2012   You may list any tax years or periods that have already ended as of the date you sign the power of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The 3 future periods are determined starting after December 31 of the year the power of attorney is received by the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 However, avoid general references such as “all years” or “all taxes. Free tax filing for 2012 ” Any Form 2848 with general references will be returned. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 4—Specific use not recorded on Centralized Authorization File (CAF). Free tax filing for 2012   Certain matters cannot be recorded on the CAF system. Free tax filing for 2012 Examples of such matters include, but are not limited to, the following. Free tax filing for 2012 Requests for a private letter ruling or technical advice. Free tax filing for 2012 Applications for an employer identification number (EIN). Free tax filing for 2012 Claims filed on Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. Free tax filing for 2012 Corporate dissolutions. Free tax filing for 2012 Requests for change of accounting method. Free tax filing for 2012 Requests for change of accounting period. Free tax filing for 2012 Applications for recognition of exemption under sections 501(c)(3), 501(a), or 521 (Forms 1023, 1034, or 1028). Free tax filing for 2012 Request for a determination of the qualified status of an employee benefit plan (Forms 5300, 5307, or 5310). Free tax filing for 2012 Application for Award for Original Information under section 7623. Free tax filing for 2012 Voluntary submissions under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). Free tax filing for 2012 Freedom of Information Act requests. Free tax filing for 2012 If the tax matter described on line 3 of Form 2848 concerns one of these matters specifically, check the box on line 4. Free tax filing for 2012 If this box is checked, the representative should mail or fax the power of attorney to the IRS office handling the matter. Free tax filing for 2012 Otherwise, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Where To File a Power of Attorney Generally, you can mail or fax a paper Form 2848 directly to the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 To determine where you should file Form 2848, see Where To File in the instructions for Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 If Form 2848 is for a specific use, mail or fax it to the office handling that matter. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information on specific use, see the Instructions for Form 2848, line 4. Free tax filing for 2012 FAX copies. Free tax filing for 2012   The IRS will accept a copy of a power of attorney that is submitted by facsimile transmission (fax). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Your representative may be able to file Form 2848 electronically via the IRS website. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information, your representative can go to www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov and under the Tax Professionals tab, click on e-services–Online Tools for Tax Professionals. Free tax filing for 2012 If you complete Form 2848 for electronic signature authorization, do not file Form 2848 with the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Instead, give it to your representative, who will retain the document. Free tax filing for 2012 Updating a power of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012   Submit any update or modification to an existing power of attorney in writing. Free tax filing for 2012 Your signature (or the signature of the individual(s) authorized to sign on your behalf) is required. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 A written notice of substitution or delegation signed by the recognized representative. Free tax filing for 2012 A written declaration of representative made by the new representative. Free tax filing for 2012 A copy of the power of attorney that specifically authorizes the substitution or delegation. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Note. Free tax filing for 2012 The filing of Form 2848 will not revoke any  Form 8821 that is in effect. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If you do not have a copy of the power of attorney you want to revoke or withdraw, send a statement to the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If the taxpayer is revoking, list the name and address of each recognized representative whose authority is revoked. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If the representative is withdrawing, list the name, TIN, and address (if known) of the taxpayer. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 A power of attorney held by a student will be recorded on the CAF system for 130 days from the receipt date. Free tax filing for 2012 If you are authorizing a student to represent you after that time, you will need to submit a current and valid Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 The following situations do not require a power of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012 Providing information to the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Authorizing the disclosure of tax return information through Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, or other written or oral disclosure consent. Free tax filing for 2012 Allowing the IRS to discuss return information with a third party via the checkbox provided on a tax return or other document. Free tax filing for 2012 Allowing a tax matters partner or person (TMP) to perform acts for the partnership. Free tax filing for 2012 Allowing the IRS to discuss return information with a fiduciary. Free tax filing for 2012 How Do I Fill Out Form 2848? The following example illustrates how to complete Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 The two completed forms for this example are shown on the next pages. Free tax filing for 2012 Example. Free tax filing for 2012 Stan and Mary Doe have been notified that their joint tax returns (Forms 1040) for 2009, 2010, and 2011 are being examined. Free tax filing for 2012 They have decided to appoint Jim Smith, an enrolled agent, to represent them in this matter and any future matters concerning these returns. Free tax filing for 2012 Jim, who has prepared returns at the same location for years, already has a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number assigned to him. Free tax filing for 2012 Mary does not want Jim to sign any agreements on her behalf, but Stan is willing to have Jim do so. Free tax filing for 2012 They want copies of all notices and written communications sent to Jim. Free tax filing for 2012 This is the first time Stan and Mary have given power of attorney to anyone. Free tax filing for 2012 They should each complete a Form 2848 as follows. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 1—Taxpayer information. Free tax filing for 2012   Stan and Mary must each file a separate Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 On his separate Form 2848, Stan enters his name, street address, and social security number in the spaces provided. Free tax filing for 2012 Mary does likewise on her separate Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 2—Representative(s). Free tax filing for 2012   On their separate Forms 2848, Stan and Mary each enters the name and current address of their chosen representative, Jim Smith. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 They also enter Mr. Free tax filing for 2012 Smith's CAF number, his telephone number, and his fax number. Free tax filing for 2012 Mr. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 3—Tax Matters. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 4—Specific use not recorded on Centralized Authorization File (CAF). Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 See Preparation of Form — Helpful Hints, earlier. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 5—Acts authorized. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 Stan does not wish to restrict the authority of Jim Smith in this regard, so he leaves line 5 of his Form 2848 blank. Free tax filing for 2012 If either Mary or Stan had chosen, they could have listed other restrictions on line 5 of their separate Forms 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 Line 6—Retention/revocation of prior power(s) of attorney. Free tax filing for 2012   Stan and Mary are each filing their first powers of attorney, so they make no entry on this line. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 (See Revocation of Power of Attorney/Withdrawal of Representative, earlier, for the special rules that apply. Free tax filing for 2012 ) Line 7—Signature of taxpayer. Free tax filing for 2012   Stan and Mary each signs and dates his or her Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 If a taxpayer does not sign, the IRS cannot accept the form. Free tax filing for 2012 Part II—Declaration of Representative. Free tax filing for 2012   Jim Smith must complete this part of Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 If he does not sign this part, the IRS cannot accept the form. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Therefore, during this interim period, IRS personnel may request that you or your representative bring a copy to any meeting with the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Free tax filing for 2012 Please click the link to view the image. Free tax filing for 2012 Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 1 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Free tax filing for 2012 Please click the link to view the image. Free tax filing for 2012 Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 2 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Free tax filing for 2012 Please click the link to view the image. Free tax filing for 2012 Filled-in Form 2848 - Page 1 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Free tax filing for 2012 Please click the link to view the image. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Incomplete document. Free tax filing for 2012   If Form 2848 is incomplete, the IRS will attempt to secure the missing information either by writing or telephoning you or your representative. Free tax filing for 2012 For example, if your signature or signature date is missing, the IRS will contact you. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012   In either case, the power of attorney is not considered valid until all required information is entered on the document. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Complete document. Free tax filing for 2012   If the power of attorney is complete and valid, the IRS will take action to recognize the representative. Free tax filing for 2012 In most instances, this includes processing the document on the CAF system. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Documents not processed on CAF. Free tax filing for 2012   Specific-use powers of attorney are not processed on the CAF system (see Preparation of Form – Helpful Hints, earlier). Free tax filing for 2012 For example, a power of attorney that is a one-time or specific-issue grant of authority is not processed on the CAF system. Free tax filing for 2012 These documents remain with the related case files. Free tax filing for 2012 In this situation, you should check the box on line 4 of Form 2848. Free tax filing for 2012 In these situations, the representative should bring a copy of the power of attorney to each meeting with the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Dealing With the Representative After a valid power of attorney is filed, the IRS will recognize your representative. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Notices and other correspondence. Free tax filing for 2012   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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 This includes notices and letters produced either at the Martinsburg Computing Center, or other IRS centers. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 By selecting the method that is best for you, you will have quick and easy access to tax help. Free tax filing for 2012 Free help with your return. Free tax filing for 2012   Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Free tax filing for 2012 The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low and moderate income taxpayers and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Free tax filing for 2012 Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Free tax filing for 2012 To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, visit IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 gov or call 1-800-906-9887 or 1-800-829-1040. Free tax filing for 2012   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. Free tax filing for 2012 To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit AARP's website at www. Free tax filing for 2012 aarp. Free tax filing for 2012 org/money/taxaide. Free tax filing for 2012   For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 gov and enter keyword “VITA” in the upper right-hand corner. Free tax filing for 2012 Internet. Free tax filing for 2012 You can access the IRS website at IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 gov 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to: E-file your return. Free tax filing for 2012 Find out about commercial tax preparation and e-file services available free to eligible taxpayers. Free tax filing for 2012 Check the status of your refund. Free tax filing for 2012 Go to IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 gov and click on Where's My Refund. Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 Download forms, including talking tax forms, instructions, and publications. Free tax filing for 2012 Order IRS products online. Free tax filing for 2012 Research your tax questions online. Free tax filing for 2012 Search publications online by topic or keyword. Free tax filing for 2012 Use the online Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. Free tax filing for 2012 View Internal Revenue Bulletins (IRBs) published in the last few years. Free tax filing for 2012 Figure your withholding allowances using the withholding calculator online at www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/individuals. Free tax filing for 2012 Determine if Form 6251 must be filed by using our Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Assistant available online at www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/individuals. Free tax filing for 2012 Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email. Free tax filing for 2012 Get information on starting and operating a small business. Free tax filing for 2012 Phone. Free tax filing for 2012 Many services are available by phone. Free tax filing for 2012   Ordering forms, instructions, and publications. Free tax filing for 2012 Call 1-800-TAX -FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, and publications, and prior-year forms and instructions. Free tax filing for 2012 You should receive your order within 10 days. Free tax filing for 2012 Asking tax questions. Free tax filing for 2012 Call the IRS with your tax questions at 1-800-829-1040. Free tax filing for 2012 Solving problems. Free tax filing for 2012 You can get face-to-face help solving tax problems every business day in IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Free tax filing for 2012 An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your account, or help you set up a payment plan. Free tax filing for 2012 Call your local Taxpayer Assistance Center for an appointment. Free tax filing for 2012 To find the number, go to www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Free tax filing for 2012 TTY/TDD equipment. Free tax filing for 2012 If you have access to TTY/TDD equipment, call 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or to order forms and publications. Free tax filing for 2012 TeleTax topics. Free tax filing for 2012 Call 1-800-829-4477 to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics. Free tax filing for 2012 Refund information. Free tax filing for 2012 To check the status of your refund, call 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477 (automated refund information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If you filed Form 8379 with your return, wait 14 weeks (11 weeks if you filed electronically). Free tax filing for 2012 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. Free tax filing for 2012 If you check the status of your refund and are not given the date it will be issued, please wait until the next week before checking back. Free tax filing for 2012 Other refund information. Free tax filing for 2012 To check the status of a prior-year refund or amended return refund, call 1-800-829-1040. Free tax filing for 2012 Evaluating the quality of our telephone services. Free tax filing for 2012 To ensure IRS representatives give accurate, courteous, and professional answers, we use several methods to evaluate the quality of our telephone services. Free tax filing for 2012 One method is for a second IRS representative to listen in on or record random telephone calls. Free tax filing for 2012 Another is to ask some callers to complete a short survey at the end of the call. Free tax filing for 2012 Walk-in. Free tax filing for 2012 Many products and services are available on a walk-in basis. Free tax filing for 2012   Products. Free tax filing for 2012 You can walk in to many post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Free tax filing for 2012 Some IRS offices, libraries, grocery stores, copy centers, city and county government offices, credit unions, and office supply stores have a collection of products available to print from a CD or photocopy from reproducible proofs. Free tax filing for 2012 Also, some IRS offices and libraries have the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, Internal Revenue Bulletins, and Cumulative Bulletins available for research purposes. Free tax filing for 2012 Services. Free tax filing for 2012 You can walk in to your local Taxpayer Assistance Center every business day for personal, face-to-face tax help. Free tax filing for 2012 An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. Free tax filing for 2012 If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you are more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local Taxpayer Assistance Center where you can spread out your records and talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. Free tax filing for 2012 No appointment is necessary—just walk in. Free tax filing for 2012 If you prefer, you can call your local Center and leave a message requesting an appointment to resolve a tax account issue. Free tax filing for 2012 A representative will call you back within 2 business days to schedule an in-person appointment at your convenience. Free tax filing for 2012 If you have an ongoing, complex tax account problem or a special need, such as a disability, an appointment can be requested. Free tax filing for 2012 All other issues will be handled without an appointment. Free tax filing for 2012 To find the number of your local office, go to  www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/localcontacts or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Free tax filing for 2012 Mail. Free tax filing for 2012 You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. Free tax filing for 2012 You should receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Free tax filing for 2012  Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Free tax filing for 2012 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Taxpayer Advocate Service. Free tax filing for 2012   The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly, and that you know and understand your rights. Free tax filing for 2012 We offer free help to guide you through the often-confusing process of resolving tax problems that you haven’t been able to solve on your own. Free tax filing for 2012 Remember, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Free tax filing for 2012   TAS can help if you can’t resolve your problem with the IRS and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. Free tax filing for 2012 You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. Free tax filing for 2012 You have tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS has not responded to you by the date promised. Free tax filing for 2012   If you qualify for our help, we’ll do everything we can to get your problem resolved. Free tax filing for 2012 You will be assigned to one advocate who will be with you at every turn. Free tax filing for 2012 We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Free tax filing for 2012 Although TAS is independent within the IRS, our advocates know how to work with the IRS to get your problems resolved. Free tax filing for 2012 And our services are always free. Free tax filing for 2012   As a taxpayer, you have rights that the IRS must abide by in its dealings with you. Free tax filing for 2012 Our tax toolkit at www. Free tax filing for 2012 TaxpayerAdvocate. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov can help you understand these rights. Free tax filing for 2012   If you think TAS might be able to help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your phone book and on our website at www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/advocate. Free tax filing for 2012 You can also call our toll-free number at 1-877-777-4778 or TTY/TDD 1-800-829-4059. Free tax filing for 2012   TAS also handles large-scale or systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. Free tax filing for 2012 If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System at www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/advocate. Free tax filing for 2012 Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). Free tax filing for 2012   Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS. Free tax filing for 2012 Some clinics serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve a tax problem. Free tax filing for 2012 These clinics provide professional representation before the IRS or in court on audits, appeals, tax collection disputes, and other issues for free or for a small fee. Free tax filing for 2012 Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in many different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Free tax filing for 2012 For more information and to find a clinic near you, see the LITC page on www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/advocate or IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. Free tax filing for 2012 This publication is also available by calling 1-800-829-3676 or at your local IRS office. Free tax filing for 2012 Free tax services. Free tax filing for 2012   Publication 910, IRS Guide to Free Tax Services, is your guide to IRS services and resources. Free tax filing for 2012 Learn about free tax information from the IRS, including publications, services, and education and assistance programs. Free tax filing for 2012 The publication also has an index of over 100 TeleTax topics (recorded tax information) you can listen to on the telephone. Free tax filing for 2012 The majority of the information and services listed in this publication are available to you free of charge. Free tax filing for 2012 If there is a fee associated with a resource or service, it is listed in the publication. Free tax filing for 2012   Accessible versions of IRS published products are available on request in a variety of alternative formats for people with disabilities. Free tax filing for 2012 DVD for tax products. Free tax filing for 2012 You can order Publication 1796, IRS Tax Products DVD, and obtain: Current-year forms, instructions, and publications. Free tax filing for 2012 Prior-year forms, instructions, and publications. Free tax filing for 2012 Tax Map: an electronic research tool and finding aid. Free tax filing for 2012 Tax law frequently asked questions. Free tax filing for 2012 Tax Topics from the IRS telephone response system. Free tax filing for 2012 Internal Revenue Code—Title 26 of the U. Free tax filing for 2012 S. Free tax filing for 2012 Code. Free tax filing for 2012 Links to other Internet based Tax Research Materials. Free tax filing for 2012 Fill-in, print, and save features for most tax forms. Free tax filing for 2012 Internal Revenue Bulletins. Free tax filing for 2012 Toll-free and email technical support. Free tax filing for 2012 Two releases during the year. Free tax filing for 2012  – The first release will ship the beginning of January. Free tax filing for 2012  – The final release will ship the beginning of March. Free tax filing for 2012 Purchase the DVD from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) at www. Free tax filing for 2012 irs. Free tax filing for 2012 gov/cdorders for $30 (no handling fee) or call 1-877-233-6767 toll free to buy the DVD for $30 (plus a $6 handling fee). Free tax filing for 2012 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Appeals Mediation Programs

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Mediation is an informal, confidential, and flexible dispute resolution process in which an Appeals Officer trained in mediation techniques serves as an impartial third party facilitating negotiations between the disputing parties.


The Appeals mediators help resolve disputes by identifying the core issues, possible obstacles to settlement, and working with the parties to develop resolution strategies. The Appeals mediator has no power to render a decision or to force either party to accept a settlement. With our Fast Track Settlement program, however, the Appeals mediator may suggest settlement proposals.


Our various mediation programs are designed to serve different types of taxpayers at specific stages of the IRS examination or collection process.

 

If you’re an experienced tax practitioner and know which mediation program you’re interested in, the links in the table below will take you to pages with information, including the application process. If this is all new to you and you have a disagreement with IRS but are not sure whether mediation is right for you, please check out the Appeals Mediation Programs Online Self-Help Tool, which is designed to:

  • Help you understand when to discuss mediation with the IRS person assigned to your case
  • Help you navigate to the mediation program that best fits your needs
  • Explain each program
  • Provide you with the steps, forms and information needed to apply for each program
Type of Taxpayer Stage of IRS Process
Pre-Filing Examination Collection Appeals
Large Business and International

Compliance Assurance Process

Fast Track Settlement
 

Early Referral

 

Post Appeals Mediation

Small Business/Self-Employed  

Fast Track Settlement
 

Early Referral

Fast Track Mediation

Tax Exempt/Government Entities  

Fast Track Settlement
 

Early Referral

 

 

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The Free Tax Filing For 2012

Free tax filing for 2012 Index A Administrative adjustment requests, Amended Returns and Administrative Adjustment Requests (AARs) Allocations Built-in gain or loss, Allocations to account for built-in gain or loss. Free tax filing for 2012 Installment sale, Installment reporting for sale of partnership interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Amended returns, Amended Returns and Administrative Adjustment Requests (AARs) Assistance (see Tax help) B Built-in gain or loss, Allocations to account for built-in gain or loss. Free tax filing for 2012 C C corporation, TEFRA, Small Partnerships and the Small Partnership Exception Capital interest, Capital interest. Free tax filing for 2012 , Capital interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Comments on publication, Comments and suggestions. Free tax filing for 2012 Contribution Basis of property, Basis of contributed property. Free tax filing for 2012 Built-in gain or loss, Allocations to account for built-in gain or loss. Free tax filing for 2012 Distribution of property, Distribution of contributed property to another partner. Free tax filing for 2012 Net precontribution gain, Net precontribution gain. Free tax filing for 2012 Property, Contribution of Property Services, Contribution of Services D Definition, partnership, Forming a Partnership Determining ownership, More than 50% ownership. Free tax filing for 2012 Distributions Gain or loss, Partner's Gain or Loss Partner's debt, Distribution of partner's debt. Free tax filing for 2012 Partnership, Partnership Distributions Distributive share Adjusted basis, Adjusted Basis Guaranteed payments, Guaranteed Payments E e-file, IRS e-file (Electronic Filing) Electronic filing, IRS e-file (Electronic Filing) F Family partnership, Family Partnership Form 8275, Form 8275 required. Free tax filing for 2012 8308, Information return required of partnership. Free tax filing for 2012 8832, Organizations formed after 1996. Free tax filing for 2012 8865, Contribution to foreign partnership. Free tax filing for 2012 G Guaranteed payments, Guaranteed Payments I Insurance, self-employed health, Self-employed health insurance premiums. Free tax filing for 2012 Inventory items, substantially appreciated, Substantially appreciated inventory items. Free tax filing for 2012 L Liability Assumption of, Assumption of liability. Free tax filing for 2012 Partner's assumed by partnership, Partner's liabilities assumed by partnership. Free tax filing for 2012 Partnership's, Effect of Partnership Liabilities Limited liability company, Limited liability company. Free tax filing for 2012 Liquidation Constructive, Constructive liquidation. Free tax filing for 2012 Partner's interest, Complete liquidation of partner's interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Partner's retirement or death, Liquidation at Partner's Retirement or Death Losses Sales or exchanges, Losses. Free tax filing for 2012 M Marketable securities, Marketable securities treated as money. Free tax filing for 2012 N Notice group, TEFRA, Notice group. Free tax filing for 2012 Notice partner, TEFRA, Notice partner. Free tax filing for 2012 P Partner's Basis Distributed property, Partner's Basis for Distributed Property Partnership interest, Basis of Partner's Interest Interest Acquired by gift, Interest acquired by gift, etc. Free tax filing for 2012 Alternative rule, adjusted basis, Alternative rule for figuring adjusted basis. Free tax filing for 2012 Basis, Basis of Partner's Interest Basis adjustments, Adjusted Basis Book value, Book value of partner's interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Liquidation of, Complete liquidation of partner's interest. Free tax filing for 2012 , Liquidation at Partner's Retirement or Death Mandatory basis adjustment, Mandatory adjustment. Free tax filing for 2012 Sale, exchange, transfer, Sale, Exchange, or Other Transfer Special basis adjustment, Special adjustment to basis. Free tax filing for 2012 Transactions with partnership, Transactions Between Partnership and Partners Partnership Abandoned or worthless interest, Abandoned or worthless partnership interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Agreement, Partnership Agreement Basis, contributed property, Basis of contributed property. Free tax filing for 2012 Capital interest, Capital interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Defined, Forming a Partnership Exclusion from rules, Exclusion From Partnership Rules Family, Family Partnership Forming, Forming a Partnership Liabilities, Effect of Partnership Liabilities Terminating, Terminating a Partnership Transactions with partner, Transactions Between Partnership and Partners Partnership item, TEFRA, Partnership Item. Free tax filing for 2012 Precontribution gain, Net precontribution gain. Free tax filing for 2012 Profits interest, Profits interest. Free tax filing for 2012 Publications (see Tax help) R Related person, Related person. Free tax filing for 2012 S Self-employed health insurance, Self-employed health insurance premiums. Free tax filing for 2012 Short period return, Short period return. Free tax filing for 2012 Small partnership exception to TEFRA, Small Partnerships and the Small Partnership Exception, Small Partnership TEFRA Election Statute of Limitations and TEFRA, Statute of Limitations and TEFRA Substantially appreciated inventory items, Substantially appreciated inventory items. Free tax filing for 2012 Suggestions for publication, Comments and suggestions. Free tax filing for 2012 T Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Tax matters partner, Role of Tax Matters Partner (TMP) in TEFRA Proceedings Tax withholding, foreign person or firm, Withholding on foreign partner or firm. Free tax filing for 2012 TEFRA, Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) Terminating a partnership, Terminating a Partnership TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help U Uniform Limited Partnership ACT (ULPA), Role of Tax Matters Partner (TMP) in TEFRA Proceedings Unrealized receivables, Unrealized receivables. Free tax filing for 2012 Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications