Let’s say you’ve found someone you trust and you use IRS form 2848 to give him or her Power of Attorney with the IRS. You trust that person with your financial and other person matters, but do you trust everyone he or she knows or works with?
Use Line 5 to limit the Power of Attorney to just the person you have chosen, an no others. There are two check boxes, named below. Use the check box to limit authorization to the single person you have designated. Here’s the exact wording, and below that a similar way to control access to your info: no sharing with a third party.
Substituting or adding a representative.
This means after you grant power of attorney, your designee can’t pass it off to someone else or share the power.
Disclosure of returns to a third party.
Similar idea: your power of attorney can’t tell the IRS to share your info with a third party unless you say it’s OK.
By submitting IRS form 2848 you can assign Power of Attorney or declare a representative before the IRS. If you want to customize the form and authorize only certain acts, take a look at Line 5 on the form. Here, you can choose specific things you want your designee to do rather than giving him or her cart blanch to everything.
Line 5 of IRS Form 2848 allows you to specify acts your rep can perform, or specify certain acts he or she should not have power to perform.
- You can limit the Power of Attorney to just one person.
- You can prevent your representative from sharing your info with a third party.
- You can limit the authority to sign your tax return to only certain cases (if you are very sick, for example)
- You can write in your own limitations on the Power of Attorney, or expand on the authorized acts in you need to.
Line 4. Specific Uses Not Recorded on CAF
Want to grant your rep even more power? List it here.
Line 5. Acts Authorized
Want to keep your rep from sharing your info or passing power of Attorney to someone else? Use Line 5.
Line 6. Retention/Revocation of Prior Power(s) of Attorney
Using IRS form 2848 will cancel out any previous 2848s you’ve submitted unless it’s for a specific use or time frame not covered previously. You can check a box here that will tell the IRS not to revoke previous power, however.
Line 7. Signature of Taxpayer(s)
If it’s a corporation, have an officer sign. If it’s a partnership, all partners must sign unless one partner hass been authority to sign for all. If it’s an estate, only one executor has to sign.
For more information on How to Fill Out IRS Form 2848 see the IRS website page on this topic.
Line by line, here’s how to fill out IRS form 2848.
Line 1. Taxpayer Information
Here you are simply stating who is to be represented by IRS form 2848. If it’s a corporation, partnership, or association, enter the name and EIN rather than a person’s name and SSN. If it’s a trust, you will have to enter the name & SSN of the trustee as well as the name and EIN of the trust.
Line 2. Representative(s)
This is where you tell the IRS who will be your representative. It must be a person’s name, not a company’s name. It also must be a person who is registered and certified to represent people before the IRS. He or she will have a CAF number. CAF is the Centralized Authorization File, which is a database kept by the IRS. The CAF keeps track of who is authorized to do what and for whom.
You will have to enter the CAF number of your chosen representative and that number will be used on all future forms and letters with the IRS.
You can designate two or more representatives if you like.
Line 3. Description of Matters
Tell the IRS what issue, tax form, or period of time you are asking your representative to deal with. For example, if you want him or her to represent you concerning a tax matter on your 1040EZ from 2010, enter “1040EZ for tax year 2010″
Receiving letters from the IRS can be a little intimidating. After all, taxes are infamously complex and daunting…so much so that there’s an entire industry designed to help regular folks navigate the tax system and everything required of us by the IRS.
You probably already know that you can hire someone do to your taxes for you. Big national firms like H&R Block or just your local CPA or lawyer are common choices. But did you know you can also designate someone to deal with the IRS in case something arises out of the ordinary?
By using IRS Form 2848, you can designate Power of Attorney so you never have to open a letter from the IRS, talk with an IRS employee, or otherwise deal with them at all. You can have all you IRS mail sent to your representative, including notices and communications. He or she can receive your IRS mail, inspect your tax information, sign agreements, and otherwise take care of all the unpleasant and complicated paperwork the IRS tends to issue.
IRS Form 2848 does not, however, grant your representative the power to get your checks. You still receive your checks, but that’s the easy part, right?